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What Should I Ask a Prospective Ghostwriter?

So you have come to realize that using a ghostwriter can save you time and money—since time means money— and will help you to achieve previously unheard of goals and get you moving ahead quickly on projects that seemed insurmountable. But what sorts of questions should you ask your prospective ghost?

An author/ghostwriter relationship is a very special one, and it is important that you feel comfortable working with the ghostwriter and/or service you will be using. You—the person who is hiring the ghostwriter to complete your book or project—want to feel completely comfortable with the answers to your questions, as it is your peace of mind and reputation you are guarding. When speaking with a potential ghostwriter, you will want to discuss everything from legal issues and copyrights to writing style and genre to be sure that you are both on the same “page” in progressing with your project.

Be wise and choose

Legal and Copyright Questions for a Potential Ghostwriter

This is a very important topic area when dealing with books or written content in general, and especially so when you have a ghostwriter. Be sure to consider the following:

  • When the book/project is completed, who will own the copyright? Are there any limitations on the future use of the material?
  • Will the ghostwriter be signing an NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement) to protect the author from information which may be revealed during the writing of the book?
  • Will there be a contract in place protecting both parties—the ghostwriter being protected from non-payment for work completed and the author being protected from revelations brought forth by the ghostwriter?
  • While the ghostwriter must remain anonymous to the public, are there any circumstances under which the author may consider revealing the ghostwriter’s role in the project? For example, may the ghostwriter use the author as a reference for future projects?

Depending upon the author’s field and particular situation, there may be other questions of a legal nature to consider. In answer to these questions, when working with __________, you the author will retain ALL legal and copyrights to the work, and we would be happy to provide contracts and an NDA for you to use—and edit if needed—so that you are protected every step of the way in your book project.

Previous Work

As ghostwriters work anonymously, it can be very difficult for a ghostwriter to “prove” their previous work through a standard portfolio. However, the author will certainly want to ask questions such as the following:

  • Has the ghostwriter written books of this genre or style before? What type of audience were they written for? Were they written on a higher level for people who are well versed in the subject area or on a more general level for the universal population?
  • Can the ghostwriter provide samples of their writing of this type? While a sample may be just a page or two, how long would they estimate this book should be upon completion? Is that a typical book-length for them?
  • Will there be a contract in place protecting both parties—the ghostwriter being protected from non-payment for work completed and the author being protected from revelations brought forth by the ghostwriter?
  • While a ghostwriter may not be at liberty to reveal previous employers, can they provide referrals or testimonials to support their successful previous ventures?

At Ghostwriter , we would be happy to discuss the types of work and audiences reached with our previous projects. We would also be pleased to provide samples for your project to ensure that you are satisfied with the quality and tone of our writing for your project before progressing further. We also have many previous employers who would be happy to discuss their working relationship with us and validate the care with which we treat our authors and their work.

Work Flow/Accountability

Once embarking upon a book/project, it is important to know that it will be completed in a timely matter. Some things to consider are:

  • When will this project be completed? Is there a penalty for late completion?
  • During the project working/development time, what sorts of benchmarks will there be? When can I expect to receive completed work—all at the end, or ongoing while it is being written?
  • What kind of influence can I have over the project if I am not happy with the way it is progressing?

At GhostWriter, we set up a shared file system with our author clients so that you can access our written work as it is being completed. Additionally, we set up regular check-in times so that we can discuss the progress; and if you are unhappy with anything you see in the shared files or would like something added or expanded upon, we can make those changes readily. The author’s word is THE final word, and we want our authors to be 100% satisfied at all times

Project Completion

It is vital to verbalize your expectations for the project completion before its inception so that all parties are satisfied at the finish line.

  • What constitutes “project completion?” Will I receive paper/digital files? Will the book be published? Does the price include formatting in addition to writing?
  • How are final payments handled? Upon receipt of the project files? Before taking possession? Some other way?
  • If further edits are needed to the documents—either near the end of the project or after they are completed—how are such edits handled?

We at  GhostWriter want you to receive a completely finished project, so our pricing includes formatting and publishing services where appropriate. Your final payment is due upon publication when you as the author are completely satisfied with the work produced. If further edits are required after publication, they can most certainly be arranged, as we want your written word to always reflect and support you in the best possible way.