Bringing clarity and power to your message.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do you like being a ghostwriter?
How would we work together?
What would your responsibilities be?
What would my responsibilities as author be?
How much control would I have over the work?
How much of my time would it take?
What type of credit does a ghostwriter get?
What if I'm not happy with the product?
Do you have a cancellation policy?
How long will it take to get a finished product?
What are your rates?
Do you receive royalties on top of your fee?
Do you charge any additional fees?
What is the payment process?
What happens after the book is finished?
Do you help with the publishing and marketing process?
Can you guarantee success?
Will I need a book proposal?
What do book proposals contain?
Do you write book proposals?
What about query letters?
What if I have other questions?

Why do you like being a ghostwriter?

I love writing, pure and simple. As I grow older, I find I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know I was born to be a writer. I also love helping people essentially give birth to their idea for a book (but no, I’m not a midwife). I enjoy working with people and helping them achieve their goals. And I love organizing ideas and expressing them in a way that engages readers and makes an impact on them.

How would we work together?

First, we’d discuss your purpose and your audience (what they need to know about your topic, and what they already know or think they know about it). We would talk about your basic message and the impact you want your book to have on the reader. We would discuss other particulars about your content, including the style, the voice, and any special features.

We would figure out how I would gather the information and content I need to write your book.

I would outline the book for you, and once you have approved any revisions of that outline, I would begin writing. You would receive drafts of chapters as I write them. We would determine the amount of contact I would need with you, and figure out how to schedule that time (typically through face-to-face meetings, emails, and phone calls).

I would be driving all of this; I would ask you what working model suits you best and work within that model, so long as it would result in the book that you want.

What would your responsibilities be?

I would be responsible for the entire project. I would develop, or help develop, the book concept; the outline; and the proposal (if one is necessary). I would also be responsible for

  • interviewing and transcribing;
  • researching;
  • rewriting any contents that you provide;
  • writing original copy; and
  • revising.

I could potentially be responsible for additional work, which I will discuss later.

What would my responsibilities as author be?

You would be responsible for

  • communicating clearly with me regarding your desires for the book;
  • providing me as much content and material as we agree is appropriate; and
  • reviewing the book outline and all drafts of the book, and providing me with useful feedback for revisions.

Though you are hiring me to write your book, you still need to be engaged in the process. We form a partnership with a common goal, and work together to reach that goal.

How much control would I have over the work?

You would have total control. It’s your book; my duty is to create the book you want. I, of course, will offer opinions and recommendations along the way, but you get final say in all matters.

How much of my time would it take?

That’s hard for me to estimate, and it will differ from project to project, but your time will be significantly less than if you tried to write the book yourself. One of my goals is to take as little time as possible from you, while not sacrificing the quality of your book. You are, after all, the content expert; you will need to be involved.

What type of credit does a ghostwriter get?

A ghostwriter is not credited on the cover (if he is, he becomes not a ghost, but a coauthor). He is either not credited at all, or given some sort of acknowledgement up front. I would prefer the latter, so I can lay claim to working on the book.

What if I'm not happy with the product?

Then I will make you happy by revising. I have never written for a client who was not happy with the finished product.

Do you have a cancellation policy?

I’ve never had a project canceled, or canceled one on my own, but if you decide to stop the project or hire a different writer, I would ask that you pay me for all services rendered plus a cancellation fee.

How long will it take to get a finished product?

That depends on your schedule, my schedule, and the length and complexity of the book. Typically it takes somewhere between 6 months and a year (typically 9 to 12 months) to get a finished draft that is ready for a printer or publisher.

What are your rates?

I charge rates that are appropriate for writers of my experience and ability. I determine a fee after I clearly understand the scope of the project, my responsibilities, approximately how long it will take, and any other factors that would affect my work. Once I have that information, and before we begin the project, I will quote you a fee.

At times I work at an hourly rate (though this is rare in writing books). We can discuss which approach would be more appropriate for your project.

Do you receive royalties on top of your fee?

I don’t receive royalties; all royalties are yours. I am not paid by the publisher; I am paid by the client (you).

Do you charge any additional fees?

You would pay any travel fees (transportation, lodging, food) related to the book. This would primarily come up if we live in different cities and we need to meet face to face.

If I need to purchase materials or pay any other expenses directly related to the project, you would pay for these as well, though such fees have never come up.

For additional services—writing query letters, book proposals, website copy related to your book, doing agent/publisher searches, writing ancillary materials for your book—I charge a fee. The fee will differ, based on the extent of the work involved.

What is the payment process?

I would invoice you monthly, dividing the fee by the estimated number of months.

What happens after the book is finished?

That depends on your plans for it. If you have a publisher in place, you send it to the publisher. If you are self-publishing, you continue with your plans there. If you want a traditional publisher but don’t have one yet, you send query letters and proposals to agents or publishers.

Do you help with the publishing and marketing process?

I am very happy to help with this process. Fees for this would be in addition to the basic book-writing fee.

Can you guarantee success?

I can’t guarantee your book will be a bestseller, or even that it will be picked up by a publisher, because those things are beyond my control. I can guarantee it will be well organized, clearly and well written, and positioned to meet the needs of your audience.

Will I need a book proposal?

If you want to be published by a traditional publisher, you will need a proposal. You won’t need one if you are self-publishing.

What do book proposals contain?

Proposals contain all the information a publisher needs to decide whether your book is a good risk to take on. Some of the pieces of a proposal are:

  • your book in a nutshell (the gist of your book in one or two sentences),
  • your audience,
  • their needs regarding your message,
  • what your primary message is and how it will meet the audience’s needs,
  • the impact your book will have on the audience,
  • an overview of the book,
  • the approach you will take (style, voice, features, art, special elements, and so on),
  • the length of the book,
  • a summary of your author qualifications,
  • an assessment of the books yours will compete against (and how yours is better),
  • a marketing plan—i.e., how you plan to market your book (through speaking engagements, seminars, and so on),
  • a chapter-by-chapter synopsis, and
  • a sample chapter or two.

Book proposals are generally 24 to 36 pages.

Do you write book proposals?

Yes. I charge separately for proposals. They require a significant amount of planning, research, and writing, and provide the blueprint for your book.

What about query letters?

Most agents and editors require authors query them before sending a proposal or manuscript. The query letter is a one-page letter that is your calling card for the agent or editor. The letter includes a hook (a one-sentence tagline for your book—these are often more difficult to write than the book itself!), a mini-synopsis, an author bio that relates your credentials, and a closing. I am happy to write a query letter for you (for a fee).

What if I have other questions?

Then contact me. I am happy to answer any questions you have.