The Basics of Ghostwriting by cmlang


									by: Laura College

Everyone has a story to tell. Weve all experienced love, hate, heartache, joy and fear; weve seen
good times and bad, and we all have little beads of wisdom to pass down to younger generations.
But how can any single individual spread their thoughts and ideas to the rest of the world?

Through writing, of course!

Ghostwriting has taken hold of the copywriting industry and changed the face of publication as
we know it. In case you arent familiar with ghostwriting, here is a practical definition:

Ghostwriting the writing of any manuscript, no matter its length or substance, to which credit of
authorship is given to someone other than the writer.

In other words, one person hires another to write his or her novel, memoirs, articles, book or
other form of media. How cool is that?

Many ghostwriters call their profession the little known secret of the writing industry, which is
accurate because very few people are even familiar with this service. In reality, there are
hundreds of professional ghostwriters all across this country, most of whom are very good at
their jobs.

How Does It Work?

In most cases, ghostwriters are hired by people who have neither the time nor the ability to write
their own book or novella. For example, many of my clients have amazing plot lines for suspense
or thriller novels, but cant figure out how to translate their ideas into a cohesive manuscript.
Others are business or marketing executives who have amazing insight into the business world,
but who need someone else to create a book about it.

Clients usually send me e-mails wondering how the ghostwriting process works, because they
arent sure if it is something they want to pursue. So for all of you out there who have stories and
ideas brimming in your brains, here is a basic synopsis of how I work as a ghostwriter.

I start with a phone interview with the person requesting my services, and we talk in detail about
their ideas. I take extensive notes, not only about their subject matter, but also about the
idiosyncrasies unique to them. All ghostwritten material must reflect the author whose byline
will appear on the manuscript. If I write it in my voice, then it isnt really theirs.

Then I get to work on an outline if necessary, and sometimes I jump directly into a first draft. I
work quickly, and without thought to details, so that my client can see the basic framework for
their manuscript. I submit it after Im finished, let them read it and comment, and then I go back
and begin the lengthy revision process.

How Long Does It Take?
Obviously, the answer to this question will vary from ghostwriter to ghostwriter. It depends on
typing speed, thought processes and the extent of editing to be completed before final draft.
Business and technical manuscripts will take much longer than fiction novels.

For a 70,000 - 100,000 word novel, it usually takes me around three months to complete. Some
ghostwriters take more than a year, while others can pump out novels in less than one month.
Since I usually have more than one project happening at a time, I give the three month estimate
to allow for project overload.

Full-length business, marketing and technical manuscripts take me around six months to
complete. An e-book of 50 100 pages will take much less time around one month. If there is
extensive research involved, I incorporate that into my writing time, and I advise clients to
provide me with any research they might already have acquired.

How Much Does It Cost?

This is everyones favorite question, and like turn-around time, its a difficult one to answer. I
offer custom quotes to each of my clients, and assess the project according to the following

1. Estimated Length of Manuscript
2. Reseach Necessary to Complete
3. Level of Client Involvement
4. Medium for Publication

A full-length novel (more than 50,000 words) will usually run between $10,000 and $25,000. A
business or marketing book more than 50,000 words will cost between $15,000 and $50,000. E-
books less than 100 pages are usually around $900, and articles less than 2,500 words cost
between $150 and $300 per document.

This is a basic guideline for my price list, and is in no way set-in-stone. Some ghostwriters
charge upwards of $70,000 for a full-length manuscript, while others charge less than $5,000.

How Do I Find A Ghostwriter?

The important thing is to find a ghostwriter who can work on your time table and who can
understand your philosophies and ideals. Compatability is extremely important, and I wont
accept a client with whom my basic principles dont coincide. I advise everyone seeking a
ghostwriters services to interview several before making a decision.

I also recommend that you hire a ghostwriting company versus a freelancer. A ghostwriting
business can offer professional support and can ensure that your work will be completed in a
timely fashion. Freelancers are often too overloaded with work, and when you hire a business,
you have multiple writers from which to choose.

This article was posted on April 15, 2006

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