Finding the right person to write in your voice is not easy.
Before you think about how much time you’re willing to invest, or who will provide what resources for what price, or whether your writer will get credit, ask yourself one question:
When the project is complete, what will it look like?
Writing your memoir, or drafting that one speech, is vastly different than providing a new blog post every few days, or writing letters to employees who need to be thanked or congratulated.
Find examples of similar projects that you like, and tell prospective writers why you like them. We ghostwriters pride ourselves on being able to write just about anything, but the truth is that some genres and styles are better fits than others.
Do you want your project to educate, to reassure, to make a bold, new claim . . . in other words, what do you want to have happen, or to change, as a result of your project?
Be honest and direct! Time is money for all of us, and you will get more for your money if you say it like it is from the beginning. Ghostwriters care far more about the structure of your story or message and how to make it appeal to the relevant audiences than about your celebrity status. If you don’t think you can confide in a prospective ghostwriter about your bumps and bruises along the way, then that person is not right for you.
Finally, make sure the person is up to the job. Compared to some other forms of writing, ghostwriting can seem glamorous and sexy. You will find no shortage of writers wanting to attach themselves to you.
But this is an area where older and wiser is often better than younger and sexier. Credentials and years of work are important. Ghostwriters, unlike supermodels and athletes, get better as we hone our craft year after year.
Having a clear idea of the product you want to author—what it is, who it’s for, and what its consequences will be—will help you save time and money at every step of the ghostwriter selection process.
--Ann Kellett, Ph.D.
Ann Kellett Editing