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@November 9, 2023, Wendy Scheuring
We often read about what prospective authors should look for in a ghostwriter. For example, what does a ghostwriter do and what is the typical rate for their services? How experienced is the ghostwriter? Have they written in our genre before? How many books have they written? Are any of them bestsellers?
While these are important questions, there is an important point missing from this dialogue, and that is what a ghostwriter looks for in a prospective client. Yes, the ghostwriter’s perspective matters too because he or she is the one who is going to be writing for you.
First of all, is your story interesting and intriguing? So much so that a ghostwriter is just dying to write about it? Is your concept new and inviting? Do you have a different angle or perspective on an old topic? If your story is not intriguing, a ghostwriter will also most likely not be interested in writing about it. We must be intrigued to write about something. There must be not a spark, but a fire, to get us truly motivated and excited to write about your subject.
Secondly, are you ready to start now or are you just fishing for information? Most ghostwriters can spot procrastination right away and, if it’s present, we will soon lose interest if you delay. We like working with people who are “on fire” for their project. Because we get “on fire” too. You definitely want your ghostwriter to be as excited as, if not more so, about your project. Yet too many stops and starts can put out that fire and we lose interest.
Thirdly, do you see the value in what a ghostwriter does? There are clients at times that want ghostwriters to work for way less than their value to write stories that they can’t write themselves or don’t have time to. Ghostwriters thrive on working with clients who view ghostwriting as an investment, not as a liability, and truly value the work of a professional.
Fourth, are you easy to work with? This means do your words reflect your actions and vice versa. If you say you are going to be available for an interview, do you show up on time or let the ghostwriter know you can’t make the meeting ahead of time? Are you kind and friendly, reliable and pleasant?
And, last but not least, are you aligned with your ghostwriter? You should not have to think about this one because you can feel the alignment from the very beginning of your first meeting. This is something we call “chemistry.” That chemistry is either there or it is not. Ghostwriters generally do not like to work on a project when they are not aligned with a client. We will know right away and step away from the project. Consider that business relationship between you and your ghostwriter as a long-term one. It must be valued and respected for the long haul.