June 3, 2011
As this blog is about encouraging writers to write, I thought it might be a good idea to give some tips on how to build a solid working relationship with your ghostwriting clients.
Whether you’re ghostwriting a how-to book on business techniques or a personal account of someone’s life, it is important that you get to know your client. After all, you will be working with them for some time!
Some clients have very limited time. This might be why they are hiring you to ghostwrite for them! So, please understand that I’m not suggesting that you engage in endless chit chat. Your goal is to learn about your new writing partner, so that you can better serve them.
Find out what goals they have for this book. What prompted them to write it and why do they feel it is important to share this information with others?
Allow them to take the lead in the early conversations. Ask questions and let them know that you’re interested in the answers. Be genuine with them.
Whatever you do, don’t cut them off, thinking that your time is too valuable. Plan to spend whatever time is needed in the beginning to build a strong relationship.
Throughout the ghostwriting process you will be communicating back and forth frequently. Most conversations should be done via email, because it is good to have your client’s thoughts and ideas in writing.
Plus, it is important to have their approval for outlines, chapters and corrections in writing as well, so there are no miscommunications later.
However, once in a while, pick up the phone. It is good to hear their voice, and have them hear yours. Certain things just don’t communicate through email. A more personal touch is needed.
Make sure to maintain constant communication with your client throughout the project. Send them chapters ahead of time, if possible. If you exceed their expectations, they are likely to hire you again.