1. Why do people use ghostwriters?
You may have a compelling personal or commercial story you wish to tell, or an innovative approach to training, business or education that you want to articulate. But unless you have both the time and the talent, you could be better off working in tandem with an experienced ghost.
Maybe you’ve made a start on your book but run out of steam, or you feel the structure or the writing could be better. Perhaps English is not your first language. Perhaps you’ve taken on too many commitments and just can’t find the hours you need. Whatever’s been holding you back, hiring the right ghostwriter will help you get over the line.
2. How does ghosting work?
The first step is to contact one or more of us to outline your thoughts and ambitions for your book and your anticipated deadline. Once we know what you have in mind, we can discuss style, process and timing and agree a fee that fairly reflects the scope of the project.
Your ghostwriter will conduct interviews with you, in person, over the phone or via Skype, and use your ideas and stories to create your book. If you have existing materials, either written or audio, these can also be helpful contributions.
The ghost will then create a draft manuscript, which you will have the opportunity to review and approve, section by section or chapter by chapter. It’s your book, so nothing goes in without your approval.
The details of the work process will depend on your chosen ghostwriter, so it’s best to discuss this when you have your initial conversation.
3. How much does it cost?
No two ghostwriting projects are the same. Everything depends on the nature of the task, and the fee you agree will reflect the length of your book and the amount of research the ghostwriter must carry out. It will also depend upon the type of research required, such as whether travel and lengthy face-to-face interviews are needed.
A short book based on interviews with one individual will cost substantially less than a lengthy investigation into a politically sensitive controversy.
4. How long will it take?
Ghostwriting is an art, not a science, so no two projects require exactly the same amount of time and effort. As a broad general guideline, a 70,000-word book will probably take four to six months.
5. Will the book be written in my voice?
Yes. Absolutely. At our level of expertise, we take enormous pride in our ability to echo the tone and speech patterns of our clients’ individual voices. You can see this from the variety of styles we have written in. It’s your book, your way.
6. Can you get my book published?
Working with a United Ghostwriters member guarantees that you will have a high quality manuscript with which to approach publishers. While we can offer plenty of support and guidance, please be aware that we cannot guarantee publication, let alone bestseller status.
If you decide to take the self-publishing route – often an excellent option nowadays – we can refer you to some reputable self-publishers. Indeed, several of our ghosts are prepared to provide a complete all-in, soup-to-nuts service, taking your project all the way through from the initial interviews to delivery of the printed hardback or paperback volumes.
7. Is location important?
Not really. We can do a lot on the phone, while Skype is a godsend and can provide a very efficient way of using your time. If regular face-to-face meetings are important to you, please make that clear when you’re talking to your chosen ghostwriter.
8. Do your ghostwriters do any additional research?
As a rule, no. But this depends on exactly what you’re after, and also on the individual ghostwriter. If you’re expecting the ghost to carry out independent research or interview third parties, this will definitely involve additional costs, so please discuss this right at the beginning.
9. What topics do you write about?
You can get some idea of the vast range of subjects we’ve written about from our individual profile pages. If your particular area doesn’t show up there, don’t worry. We take the information that’s in your head and turn it into a book. It’s your expertise and knowledge of your subject that counts, not ours.
10. Is ghosting deceitful/unethical/illegal?
Not at all. You are simply hiring a professional author or editor – no different from working with a professional web designer, surveyor or marketing specialist. You can list your ghost as a co-author, include a tactful acknowledgement in the book credits or decide to keep his or her involvement completely confidential. The choice is yours.
11. I have written most of the story down. If I send this to you, is it confidential?
Completely! All your information and materials will remain strictly confidential, and all future rights will belong to you. These will be two of the key points spelled out in the contract between you and your ghostwriter.
12. I’m keen to get started. What do I do next?
Decide which service you’re interested in.
Read our profiles to see which ghosts are likely to suit you best.
Click through to their individual websites to find out more detail and get in touch with them.
We’re a friendly bunch and will come back to you as quickly as we can.