What is a ghost writer?
Ghost writing involves you, the author, the person who takes credit for all the writing that is to be produced. Your ghost writer is the invisible partner, hired in to produce the writing in conjunction with you. She or he gets none of the credit and is usually paid in advance, in agreed instalments.
It’s important to note here that this is not a fixed arrangement. Sometimes, the author will agree to feature the ghost writer as co-author, usually in exchange for a reduction on the quoted fee.
If you’re in the market for a ghost writer, London or elsewhere, you need to choose very carefully indeed. The one who charges the highest fees will not always be the one you need – or indeed the one you can afford. There are plenty of writers out there, you only have to start looking.
So browse, browse, browse – then ask some key questions. Has the ghost writer done any work in the field you want them to work in? What do you think of their writing samples? Does it seem evident that they have a particular style? And perhaps more important than any of that: how will you get on with them on a personal level. You will be spending quite a bit of time with them, so you need to be compatible.
When you think about it in this way it soon becomes evident that they will be much more than just someone you hire in to do a job, like a builder. You should view them as a potential partner. They will around you a lot and be fairly constantly in your ear, asking you questions? The last thing you want is to be irritated by them. So look for someone you can connect with on a personal level.
Why hire a ghost writer?
If you have a story to tell or something you want people to read, you need to make it easy for them to do that. And you need to make it as attractive an offering as you can. Hiring a ghost writer will do all of that, and it will also serve to enhance your personal reputation.
It may seem like a luxurious or exotic choice, but you’d probably be surprised by how common it is to use a ghost writer. Have you ever wondered how those celebrities with their books out for Christmas find the time to do all that writing? In the vast majority of cases, they don’t!
How to hire a ghost writer
Search Ghost Writer London and you’ll soon have plenty of candidates to produce a shortlist. Once you’ve done your research and made up your shortlist, revised the brief you will be giving your candidates. Get a tight focus on what it is they will need to create. Then arrange a preliminary meeting, preferably in person. If that’s not possible, then online via Skype, Zoom or the like.
When you’re chatting about the brief, be thinking about how they are coming over. You may not need to have a lot in common, but you must be able to talk to them and to connect at a good level. Ask: is this a person who will be able to get inside my head? Do I really want them in my head in the first place? Will the be ‘sympatico’ enough to really ‘get’ me and convey my stories, my views, my perspectives – to my intended audience?
Another point about confidentiality. If there is anything that you’re going to say that you think might be damaging, get them to sign a basic confidentiality agreement. Nothing in depth, but just to cover yourself.
Once you’ve settled on a writer, get everything in writing. You must make sure that everything is completely nailed down. Prepare a contract which states in detail what their responsibilities are, all appropriate timescales, and other details such as their share of any publisher’s advance. Set the payment stages and make everything enforceable. If you’re worried about any of this, it is worth contacting a contract lawyer for advice or support.
Essential qualities of the ghost writer
To this extent, your writer is like a portrait painter. Sometimes you see a portrait where the artist has almost magically captured an essence of their subject – something that undeniably IS that person.
How do artists do this? Watch a TV show like ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ and you will hear judges talking about pure talent. Some artists are perceived to be especially gifted in capturing something which is much more than a photographic type likeness – they have been able to capture and recreate quintessential aspects of their subject’s particular personality.
Natural, inbuilt ability, genius, call it what you will, is inherently just ‘there’ in the artist’s psyche. But alongside natural ability, these great artists are able to draw on learned techniques and skills.
Ghost writing – it’s not just books
A writer for hire – whether for books or shorter publications or marketing pieces – can also be described as a ghost writer. Companies regularly hire writers to enhance their reputations and their sales. These writers are generally referred to as copywriters, but they can also be looked upon as ghost writers. But book or not, you want to hire a ghost writer, to write authentically in your voice.
Best Words ghost writer services
You may also want to talk to me for further advice. I may not be the ideal ‘ghost writer London’ for you, but I may also be able to offer you further advice. I’ve been a writer for hire for almost 15 years and there is very little that I haven’t covered. I can be contacted any time here at the Best Words office.