- A ghostwriter is a professional hired to write something that someone else gets credit for.
- 60% of all nonfiction books are products of a ghostwriter.
- Hiring a ghostwriter in the right niche is legal and ethical.
Should you hire a ghostwriter? Nearly 60% of all nonfiction books are products of a ghostwriter. Ghostwriters are seasoned freelancing professionals that have been writing for many years if not decades.
In certain professions or in academic studies, hiring a ghostwriter isn’t ethical. It could even result in a plagiarism lawsuit. Additionally, audiences or other professionals may even view it as unethical behavior.
If you’re considering hiring a professional ghostwriter but don’t want it to get messy, then you should keep reading!
Here is everything you need to know:
What is a Ghostwriter Anyway?
A ghostwriter is usually a freelance professional hired to write something that someone else gets credit for.
From celebrity memories to presidential speeches, ghostwriters are found in almost every niche. A ghostwriter has outsourced to either draft a project or complete a project. Sometimes an entire project can collaborate between an author and a ghostwriter.
A ghostwriter is not credited as an author, in fact, the word “ghost” in the title says it all. Basically, a ghostwriter does not normally receive any credit for a book, blog post, or any other published content. When you outsource a ghostwriter, the published content is then yours to do with whatever you want.
Beginner ghostwriters can expect to make anywhere between $2,000 to $9,000 per book. However, blog writers can sometimes may much less. For example, when I first started blog post writing for content mills, I was making a whopping 2 cents per word. Which is, now that I think about it, pretty gross. Eventually, my income increased with experience.
Ghostwriters mainly help companies and personalities build brand awareness. Rather than taking the time to publish high-quality stories once a month, you can speed up your process by hiring one or a team of writers to help you publish your content.
Is it Legal to Hire a Ghostwriter?
Yes, hiring a ghostwriter in the right niche is totally legal and ethical.
Here’s when it’s okay to hire a ghostwriter:
- When sharing your expertise would be the right career move, but you don’t write well.
- When you have been dying to write a book for ages, but can’t seem to finish it.
- You’re an established author with zero time to write.
- You need a ton of written content for an upcoming brand or event. (This is common in the blogging community.)
- You don’t have enough expertise in your niche, but you need the content.
Actually, let’s dive deeper into this subject:
Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?
Hiring a ghostwriter can help you stay consistent and finish up projects that may either be giving you trouble or you can’t find the time to finish them yourself.
Additionally, here are some reasons why you should hire a ghostwriter:
- If you’re an expert or professional in a niche with a ton of knowledge to share, ghostwriters can give your content the boost it needs especially if you aren’t the best writer yourself. You might have some awesome ideas or notes but aren’t sure how to pull them all together. That’s where professionals like me come in.
- Additionally, if you have had an idea for a book for a very long time, but just can’t seem to write it out or have no idea where to start then hiring a ghostwriter might be the right move for you. Even if you just outsource a short draft to help get you started, you can then make edits yourself.
- Michael Crichton, Ian Fleming, and Tom Clancy are all well-known authors who hire ghostwriters! That isn’t to say they aren’t great authors themselves, but many authors simply don’t have the time to write. Once an author makes it, most of their time is consumed by the business aspect of writing novels rather than writing novels. That’s why hiring a ghostwriter is sometimes necessary.
- Lastly, many websites and blogs outsource their content writing. As a freelance SEO content creator myself, I can tell you, some websites have huge teams of dozens of ghostwriters, editors, and optimization editors. I have done all three, and have ghostwritten and edited for some pretty well-known companies.
Ghostwriting in the blogging community is super common and totally legit.
Disclaimer: Freelancer Artistry does NOT hire ghostwriters. I am a one-woman show.
Tips for Outsourcing a Ghostwriter
Additionally, here are some tips for outsourcing a ghostwriter:
- Know your voice and tone before hiring
- Plan out your budget beforehand
- Know how to edit or write yourself (this isn’t necessary but can help)
- Plan your digital marketing strategy ahead of time
- Create a timeline of what you’d like to accomplish
- Get a recommendation or check out the social proof of your ghostwriter
- Hire a great editor
- Don’t leave your SEO to your ghostwriter (if you’re blogging)
Where Can You Find a Ghostwriter?
Whew! Alright, this is going to be long. There are so many places to find ghostwriters, however, you need to always vet your writers with a paid sample test before continuing. Sometimes writers have really great editors, so the finished product of a writer’s sample might be from great editing.
That’s why it’s really important to go through a hiring process rather than just jumping right in from the get-go.
With that said, a good ghostwriter might cost you a whopping 30 cents per word depending on the experience level of said writer. Actually, based on 2021 data from Reedsy, you can expect to spend anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 per book. Although children’s books may see a bit of a rate drop, you’re still looking at an average of 26 cents per word.
List of Best Places to find Ghostwriters
Here is a list of the best places to find a ghostwriter:
- Freeup.net (a personal favorite with an incredible customer service team)
- Crowd Content
- Social media under the #ghostwriter, #hireme #blogger, etc…
- Craigslist (that might be a little shady, totally proceed with caution, I mean – please)
Additionally, the above list may also be a great place to look for ghostwriting jobs.
Note: if you are working with a professional ghostwriter, they will have either a website, a third-party freelancing platform account with reviews or a well-established social media account with social proof to back up their claims.
Beginner ghostwriters probably won’t have this type of experience and won’t cost you as much as stated above. However, keep in mind, sometimes hiring a newbie is a good thing because you can train them in your tone, voice, and writing style before they’ve been desensitized by the market.
Should You Hire a Ghostwriter and Do You Need a Contract?
Yes, you need either a written or verbal agreement between both parties.
However, third-party platforms such as Freeup.net or Upwork make agreements between freelancers and clients easier and safer.
Out of every single client I’ve worked with in all of my years as an SEO freelancer, I’ve only been jagged by a client once. It was only out of 8 hours of work, fortunately, however, some freelancers have come out with some horror stories and vice versa. I’ve worked with a ton of clients who have had some really bad experiences with freelancers before speaking with me.
It’s perfectly acceptable to come up with a written contract. However, for most of the clients I work with, I’ve only spoken on the phone once if that. Most of this communication is through emails back and forth.
If you both are happy, just a verbal agreement will do. However, if you’re a little unsure or feel as if you need a formal agreement such as a non-disclosure then written contracts can help make each of you comfortable.
Don’t hire if you don’t trust
Let me tell you something though, I still get the jitters before a first invoice is due if I’m not using a third-party platform. So, I imagine it would be similar for clients waiting for completed work. That’s why trust is such a huge part of a ghostwriter/author arrangement.
Basically, If you can’t trust each other, then you shouldn’t be working together.
Let’s Wind This Down
Writing takes a lot of time, creativity, and patience to complete. Sometimes, you just need a little help, and that’s okay!