It’s very common for people to say “if only someone would write my blog/book for me.” This thought is usually flippant, and the idea of someone writing for you in your voice and representing your ideas remains nothing more than a frivolous comment. Maybe you think ghost writers are too expensive, unlikely to represent your voice accurately, or only available to famous people like Snookie and the Kardashians.
Well, guess what, none of those things are true.
Let’s break down why you would want someone to write for you in your voice in the first place. A ghost writer is ideal for someone who’s very busy running a business or in a stressful job and literally lacks the time it would take to do the writing. Ghost writers are also a good fit for people who are not confident of their writing or are too self-critical to finish a long writing project. Hiring someone to do your writing is also ideal if you don’t want to spend your time learning how to write well in your chosen genre. The wonderful thing about your ghost writer is that this is all she does every day, so she has time to do your writing, and on the other hand, she has none of your hang-ups because this writing project isn’t about her. It’s your voice and your vision.
Well, this is all fine, but how will you afford a ghost writer? To find out what the standard prices are for writers, the Editorial Freelance Association has a good guide for mid-level budgets. Before signing a contract, understand the pay schedule, everything you will get from the writer, and use common sense based on the EFA chart to determine if you are being charged fairly. Be concerned about the quality you may get if the price quoted is much lower than the guidelines as well. If you just want to create blogs, content gems may be all you need right now, which is also fine.
But, if you want your content to be your own unique brain children, then you won’t be happy to copy and paste from a subscription site. You will want to speak directly to your readers and share your unique wisdom, but without actually doing that writing. If you want to author a full-length book, then there are no legitimate shortcuts, but the good news is that if the project is important to you, it’s not about whether you can afford the ghost writer, but rather, can you afford to wait any longer to become an author? If no, keep reading.
Now, you must wonder how it is that a ghost writer can literally write as if they are you. We don’t have your ideas and insights. That’s why we interview you and review all of your available recordings, writings, and social media to get a sense of who you are, what your voice is, what your message is, and who your audience is. But, with that information, a skillful ghostwriter will find your voice and be able to emulate it seamlessly. She will know how you would respond to a question in your field of study and be able to answer as you would. This is the genius of the ghostwriter. And yet, your intellectual property is yours, not hers.
For instance, in the course of ghost writing for an NLP Master Coach, I am fully versed on her perspective of her field. But it’s her perspective, and it belongs to her. I can tell people why they need to read her amazing book (and it is amazing), but I won’t and can’t represent the content as my own knowledge. This is partly because of an NDA, but mostly because that would be like chewing someone else’s gum. Gross.
Have you ever worked with a ghost writer? What has your experience been like? Let me know if you have any questions about other processes and practices related to ghost writing.