April 14, 2010
Image by striatic via Flickr
I love ghostwriting. It is very rewarding to help someone put their thoughts and ideas into a story, which communicates to their readers.
People often ask me about ghostwriting: what is involved, can you ghostwrite non-fiction, how much do you get paid and do you ever get a writing credit? The answer is, each scenario is different and each client has different needs.
Most clients will not give you a writing credit, but some will. Some actually want your name next to theirs and they like the idea that you’ll help sell copies when the book is published (because you have a stake in the sales).
You do give up all rights to the story when you ghostwrite. That is difficult for many writers to accept. Personally, I don’t mind. There are tons of stories to write and I just enjoy writing.
A ghostwriter should be paid upfront. I would strongly suggest that writers never accept a percentage of the royalties as a sole method of payment. Many potential clients will offer this as compensation, but honestly they will probably not be happy in the end.
On the whole, writers who accept this do so because they don’t realize what is involved in writing a book. They don’t understand the research required and the hours it takes to create a story.
Once they start hitting snags and realize that they need to pay this month’s mortgage, they will drop the project. It is better to pay an experienced writer a fair price than it is to bargain hunt.
As a ghostwriter I write fiction and non fiction. Both are in high demand. And both are equally rewarding.
If you are a new writer, who is interested in ghostwriting, the first step is to let people know that you’re available to writer for them. Tell your friends and family and any networking connections. Post it on your status line on Linkedin or Facebook.
If you are new to the industry, maybe pair up with an experienced writer and split the commission. Allow them to guide and mentor you, while you try out your writer wings. Enjoy the process!