Many more books than you might realize are written using ghost writers. While sacrificing cover credits may be a blow to some writer’s egos, many find ghost writing to be a lucrative and rewarding career. Ghost writers can often make tens of thousands of dollars per project. It is not the same as any book writing, though, and there are some things to keep in mind if you want to become an effective ghost writer.
– Work Well With Others
- As a ghost writer, it is essential that you collaborate with the author in a positive and successful way. Ghost writing requires a lot of teamwork, because it is your job to satisfy the author’s vision. Take as much time as you need to understand the project, and be sure to include the author in the process of writing. You may want to have your work reviewed chapter by chapter to make sure you are on track, rather than write an entire book that later needs major revision. Do your best to communicate with the author throughout the project.
– Find Their Voice
- Since you are writing for someone else, you will want to do your best to capture his or her voice. Pay close attention to the way they speak or the style in which they have written parts of the book. You will want to emulate their voice and remain consistent throughout. This is especially important for memoirs.
– Agree on Conditions
- Before you begin the project, you want to make sure both parties agree on conditions. You want to divide up the labor of the book and ascertain exactly what you are responsible for completing as the ghost writer from the very start. Who will do the research? When will the author review the material you complete? Who will pay for expenses? When is the deadline? Is a confidentiality agreement required? You will want to sign a contract.
– Market Yourself
- Use Web sites to locate potential ghost writing jobs, and advertise your services on them, too. Web sites like journalismjobs.com and freelancedaily.net advertise ghost writing gigs. If you have an expertise, you may find ghostwriting opportunities in your field. Network with other writers, editors and agents to find potential clients. Make sure everyone knows you are willing to ghostwrite.
– Have a Diverse Portfolio
- Make sure you have a portfolio to offer to potential clients, and make sure it will appeal to authors that are looking for a ghostwriter. Have a variety of different writing samples that show your range and versatility as a writer. Authors want to find a ghostwriter that will be able to adapt well to their needs, not someone with a very distinct, original style.
– Be Polished
- As a ghostwriter, you should do a lot of your own editing and proofreading before offering a finished product to your author. Whether you submit work chapter-by-chapter or as a whole, make sure you use a spell and grammar checker to go over your work. It isn’t appealing when your book contains simple spelling or grammar mistakes. You want to make sure to present the best product possible if you hope to get referrals or be hired again.
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