Working with a ghostwriter, while a sound investment, isn’t something that everybody can afford. But while the cost of a fully ghostwritten book will be prohibitive to some, this doesn’t mean that aspiring authors can’t get their proposed book to market – far from it.
At a time when the self-publishing industry presents real options for writers – as do the increasingly prevalent ‘author partnerships’, or joint contribution schemes, whereby publisher and writer share the costs associated with publishing – the options available are widening. The difficulty in submitting manuscripts to more traditional publishers, and the ostensible snobbery of many, used to preclude such possibilities. But the authorial landscape is, thankfully, a progressively diverse one.
That might not come as much of a relief to people bursting to tell their story, but who currently lack the funds to hire somebody to write it for them. There’s another way, though, but one that, at first glance, might not seem especially helpful – writing, as fully as possible, their story in their own words.
For those who have little or no confidence in their writing abilities – and you don’t need to be able to write well to tell a great story – fear not. A good ghostwriter will be able to work with whatever you present them with, applying their years of experience to transform it into the story you envisaged, while sprinkling a little literary stardust over its pages. Most commonly referred to as a developmental edit, this is a process in which the ghost gets into the guts of the piece and, by working with the story’s creator, really brings it to life.
The cost of such an edit is considerably cheaper than a ghostwritten book, and though the sometimes weighty job of writing the initial manuscript is the responsibility of the person who dreamt it up, when handed over to a ghostwriter, their job entails little more than explaining their vision and reading the redrafted material.
Of course, some aspiring authors are better writers than they imagine, in which case a ghostwriter may be only be required for a straightforward edit/polish. Whatever the case, there are real options for those with a story to tell.
So if you have a great idea, but lack the confidence and/or the finances to proceed in your preferred manner, your dream most certainly does not have to die. And never feel embarrassed about presenting ghostwriters with what you might consider poorly written, substandard material, for we absolutely are not here to knock or deride. On the contrary, it is a ghost’s responsibility to bring the best out of their clients’ manuscripts. The only judgement we apply is that which is totally necessary – how much work we need to put in, in order to help our collaborator reach their goal.