Helpful information for people looking to hire a ghostwriter or start a business ghostwriting. www.UPghost.com for ghostwriting services and more!
The first step in ghostwriting is always to lay out an outline. You must determine where you’re going before you start. Be sure to get a clear, mutual understanding between the writer and the client on how many chapters and the direction the book should take. An outline is a clear map of where the book will be once complete. Always have your client confirm or adjust the outline before you start. A good ghostwriter will present the outline clearly. An outline for ghostwriting is not a table of contents. It’s a summary of the table of contents. You want a sentence or more explaining what will be in each chapter.
Ghostwriting a Client-Made Outline
As a ghostwriter, you may come across clients with an outline already. There is a big difference between planning a book and writing a book. A professional ghostwriter will know through experience what works in planning and what works in writing. Often, an inexperienced client will need their outline reworked. Be clear up front with your intentions to polish the outline and be sure the client is on board every step of the way. Changing an outline is changing their vision.
Ghostwriting with Interviews
When possible, interview the client. As a ghostwriter, you juggle several projects and speak to different clients daily. You may prefer to keep all communication in writing so you can go back and reference clearly what the next step is. In the ghostwriting industry, clients often prefer to speak one on one with their ghostwriter, especially for large projects. Always try to record the conversation for record purposes. Inform the client you are doing so. When a phone conversation ends, each party has a slightly different interpretation of the information. You will learn quickly to follow up with the client via email. Write them a summary of the events and next steps.
Written Communication Is Best for the Ghostwriter and Client
Strong written communication is vital for a successful project. If there is an issue with the direction, you need to know ASAP. The direction of the book is dictated by the flow of the last paragraph or chapter. If the client has an issue with a direction at the start, the entire book needs to be rewritten. Time is money for a ghostwriter and scraping a book you spent a week writing is money down the drain.
Client and Writer Need to Sign Off After Each Section
As you begin to write through the outline, each finished section needs to be sent to the client. Clients ordering ghostwriting services may not be experienced writers themselves. Always explain the difference between a first draft and second draft. After completing a first draft, you don’t want to waste time proofing it, especially if something needs to be changed. Let them know a first draft will look like you typed it with your face. They need to look at topic, flow and direction — not grammar, punctuation and structure.
As they review the last section, you start writing the next. Rinse, repeat. If change requests are minor, you make note and keep moving. If a direction change is requested, you stop and sort it out with the client before moving on. Minor changes are done after the book is complete and you go back to your notes making said changes during the proofreading phase.
Ghostwriting – Client Software
There is a lot of software available for working together on a document, however, the best is Word. Use the Change Tracking Feature to make notes and see the client’s requested changes directly in the document. Most software is compatible with Word’s Change Tracking feature, including free software like Open Office.
Ghostwriting and Timelines
Always overestimate your project to the client by at least 20%. If you come in early, you look like a hero. If you come in on time with all the delays, you look like a hard worker. If you come in late over an extra 20%-time line, you still look great since the client likely predicted a late delivery with all the change requests.
Experienced Ghostwriting vs. a Cheap Ghostwriter
To all the clients out there, a great ghostwriter is worth their weight in gold. They produce strong content, specific to your requests balanced with their experience with what works. A poor ghostwriter is a horrible experience, often costing you more than the fee for writing. If you don’t get what you want, what’s the point in hiring a cheap ghostwriter? If what you get isn’t received well by readers, what’s the point of saving a buck?
Questions? Here is a link to our ghostwriting service UPghost.com. We are based out of Lancaster, PA, which is Eastern Standard Time. We get back to you within hours during business hours and within twelve after. Would love to hear what you think of our site and services!