If you’re looking to hire a ghostwriter or hire someone to write a book for you, this is how you can get the best out of your writer.
Lately I’ve been hired to write quite a few books for clients. Ghostwriting, it turns out, is something that I both and enjoy and excel at.
While working on these books I have discovered that there are several different methods that can make a huge difference to the quality of your ghostwritten book.
Some of these might be obvious to you, some might be more of a surprise. But if you’re planning on hiring a ghostwriter to write the book about your life or to create a best selling novel, these simple tips will ensure you get the best finished product.
1.Know Your Target Market
Having a target reader in mind is very important for any author. Without knowing who you’re writing for the tone of the book can be very different.
Example – if you’re writing a book about your life as a Buddhist monk who sets up a charity looking after lepers in Nepal; your audience will be very different to a story about being released from prison and setting up a successful business in catering.
OK yes, they’re both stories about life changing decisions and are intended to inspire, but the ex-con who starts the catering biz is most likely to appeal to entrepreneurs and aspiring business people. Whereas the lepers in Nepal story may be more appealing to travel readers or those interested in the compassionate aspects of life.
For fiction, this is even more important. Sci-fi, romance, erotica, thrillers – the audience isn’t always obvious just from the genre. What sex the lead is, how they are described, the events that unfold all need to be written with that target reader in mind.
Why is this so important?
For the writer, knowing the audience makes a difference to how the book is written. Are the audience familiar with slang? Will they understand certain facets of humour? What common experiences are you looking to emotionally exploit in your reader?
Trust me, this all helps.
2.Be Clear What You Want
This may sound obvious, but too many times lately I’ve been asked to write a book on a particular subject, and when asked the client has said I can do what I want with it.
OK. Great and all that.
But really. This is your book.
Write an outline, simple chapter headings, a few quotes that you want included, a rough word count, some sort of idea of what the book should include.
If it’s fiction, any notes on the character, some flash points or scenes you want to include. Anything…!
This will help speed things up massively. When you hire a ghostwriter you want to get the most out of their time, so be as clear as possible.
3.Discuss And Be Responsive
Chatting with your ghostwriter will help speed things along and enable them to get your style in their mind. And of course, they will normally ask questions to ascertain what it is you need before the project starts.
But, as the project progresses you may find the writer will ask additional questions to make sure they’re on track. Try and be responsive and get back to them ASAP, else you might be looking at a bit of a delay. If you’re dealing with technical subjects be prepared to have to break it down in laymans terms… It might be obvious to you; but for someone hired to write an in-depth book about your specialist subject (especially when they have no knowledge of it) your input is crucial throughout.
4.Write Some Notes That Can Be Used In The Book
If you’re looking for a particular voice then this is very useful to the writer. For example, if you’re writing a book that’s supposed to convey your personality, having something you’ve written will help the writer find your voice in the text.
Of course this is also the case if they speak to you or browse your website, but your phrasing and your vocab might be different to your ghostwriter’s. Some people swear a lot, others don’t. Some people use flowery language and prose, others are more succinct and straight talking.
If you don’t make notes, you can at least tell them how you want the book to read or sound (this also goes back to the first point, know your audience).
5.Remember: This Is Their Time
Writing takes time and effort. It can take a lot of time – and a lot of effort. So if you change your mind about something or realise that you needed to include something important, well, it’s going to take more time.
It isn’t always easy to insert a piece of content, especially if the project is quite far along.
Take time at the beginning to ensure that you have all the pieces of the puzzle in place, before finger is put to keyboard.
And when it comes to edits, sure, we all know the first draft is never perfect. Go through it with a fine toothed comb and spot the typos, the grammar mistakes, the stray full stops, the paragraph that appears incomplete and make notes or (better still) edit it yourself.
Then when they do their edit they are able to know exactly what needs doing and can make maximum use of their time (and minimise your costs too!).
So now you know what to do if you hire a ghostwriter. If you’re looking for someone to write your book, why not drop me a line (seeing as I am a ghostwriter for hire and all).