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What Does a Ghostwriter Do? The Only Guide You Need


Did you know that many nonfiction books get written by ghostwriters? If you’re asking the question, “what does a ghostwriter do?” we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over what a ghostwriter does and what it’s like working with one.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

What Does a Ghostwriter Do?

If someone wants to publish a book but doesn’t have the skillset, they will hire a ghostwriter.

The ghostwriter will often spend time talking to the named author. The ghostwriter will ask lots of questions and learn about the person’s vision.

Is there a book you have wanted to write but need help? You could hire a ghostwriter.

Initial Meeting

The ghostwriter and client will meet together. During the initial conversation, the ghostwriter will ask different questions. The ghostwriter needs to understand the project and what the client hopes to achieve.

You’ll Receive a Proposal

After the conversation, the ghostwriter will head to their computer and work on a proposal. The project proposal will get customized to a particular book.

After the client approves the proposal, the ghostwriter can start the project.

Outline the Book

The ghostwriter will begin working on the book outline. The ghostwriter may schedule a few interviews through video conferencing, and these interviews will get transcribed.

The ghostwriter will start putting together an outline. The client will take a look at the outline and revise it.

For example, you might end up working on a few different drafts of the outline with the client before approving it.

Longer Book Outline

Next, the ghostwriter will work on creating a detailed book outline. The detailed book outline might be 50 pages long, and the outline length will depend on the book’s complexity.

You might work with the ghostwriter a few more times before you approve the final detailed outline.

You’ll Receive a Rough Draft

After, the ghostwriter will start working on a rough book draft. The ghostwriter will work for a couple of weeks or months, depending on the contract, and complete the draft.

The drafting process could even take a year. You will discuss the timeline with the ghostwriter and choose something that works for you.

What About Revision?

At this stage, the client will become more involved or choose to step back.

Clients will sometimes want to add revision notes to the draft or even add new stories. Some clients will ask questions and look for clarification.

Once completed, the client will ask for the project to get submitted for editing. The turnaround for a completed draft could be a year, and it will go faster or slower, depending on the project.

You should ask the ghostwriter how long they think it will take to finish the project. You will need to begin creating a marketing plan for your novel.

Think about when you will begin releasing initial information about your upcoming book. You want to make sure you stay on schedule, so you don’t disappoint your audience.

You Will Invest in a Product

Ghostwriting isn’t a cheap venture. Yet, the return on a written book is usually well worth the initial investment.

A lot of clients won’t make their money back in the book sales. Yet, publishing a book will often bring in new clients to their business. You might end up with new clients because of the publication of your book.

You’ll Save Precious Time

One of the main benefits of ghostwriting is the time you will save. If you’re able to invest in a ghostwriter, you will save precious time writing a book.

An average author will take upwards of 1000 hours to finish a book on their own. Yet ghostwriters can reduce this time almost in half because of their expertise.

A primary reason people will take a long time to write a book is that the writing process’s complicated.

A book has different structures and rules compared to other forms of communication. Writing a book that’s clear, engaging, and helpful is a challenging task.

A lot of people who write books will learn these things as they practice over the years.

If you choose to work with a ghostwriter, you will end up with a completed project. Most people who start a novel don’t end up finishing them. A ghostwriter will ensure your manuscript project gets finished.

Interior and Cover Design

At this stage, the ghostwriter has finished your manuscript. You will need to look at working with an interior layout expert and a cover designer.

Some businesses will choose to work with a full-service agency. The full-service agency will have different designers in the house, so you don’t need to find them.

Traditional publishers tend to take control of the design process. When you choose to hire a ghostwriter and self-publish, you will get to choose a designer. Pick someone who will give you some creative control.

Consider Hiring a Ghostwriter 

We hope this guide on ghostwriters was helpful. Since you now know the answer to “what does a ghostwriter do?”, start looking for a reputable freelancer.

If you would like to publish a book and boost sales to your business, look at hiring a ghostwriter.

The ghostwriter will involve you in the process as much as you would like, and you will get to approve different stages of the book.

Are you looking for more business tips? Check out our resources on the blog.


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