How to Become a Successful Ghost Writer?

Published on August 16th, 2014 by | Category: Writing

Ghost writing, it may have brought strange things to your mind, the word “ghost”, why? Well, it’s not that strange. It’s a type of writing that gets published under the name of not-the-actual author; ghost writer’s job is to write for someone else, the decent amount he’s paid in return is usually enough to motivate him continue working that way. Among many other things a ghost author learns through his career, one’s to prefer the decent amount he could earn being under cover over the fame and recognition his work could bring him had it been published with his name.

Now that you know what ghost writing is, the list of questions and confusions should have reduced but the truth is it has given way to even more confusions. Why the hell would someone commit himself to writing a book whose credit would be taken by someone else? These ghost writers must be bunch of stupids not aware of the importance of the things. Why would he let someone else take the credit of his work and enjoy the fame and recognition which is his right? Why would he do that? What makes ghost writing so much fun?

Imagine, a renowned author himself contacts you and since he is too busy finishing one of his nonfiction works, asks your services for he has to meet the demand of his fans and publish his fiction by the end of the 5th month from now. 3/4th of it’s already done by him; you are being hired for the remaining 1/4th. Would you have enjoyed such an experience of learning and working with such a renowned author while working on your own work?

I started my career of writing as a technical article writer and my favorite topics were those related to Science and Engineering, I know from my experience that until the day I started working as a ghost writer, I was confined, confined to the topics of my interest, hesitant to make research on something I did not have a chance to explore before. Now that I am a professional ghost writer, no area is what I used to call “That’s not my area”; while writing on topics related to Business, Economics and Management, I sometimes think like this must not be real me, I really like the way I just jump in and get on with it. With the earnings you are going to make from such a project, the feeling of triumph that accompanies the completion and the prospect of being published are two such things that keep you motivated to continue working this way.

Once the writing’s done, your part’s done; from here onwards, promotion campaigns, tours, talk shows and signings, all that are your client’s headache, saving you a lot of money, effort and time. The time saved this way is one of the reasons part-time working professional ghost writers earn more than full-time working freelancers; had the book been published with your name, 2nd half of the year would have been passed in promotion of the book.

It might be hard to see advertisement boards advertising a bestseller with the not-actual-author-of-the-book’s face beaming right beside the picture of the title, but then nothing comes without cost.

For those who have made their choice and are eager to know more about the subject, the remaining article’s going to discuss, in short, things-to-do to make yourself a successful ghost writer.

1. A professional ghost writer understands very well where he stands in the whole project. While writing the book for someone else, you should have the guts of setting aside those of your ideas that are not liked by your client. Do as the client says, you may be writing words, but since the book would be published under your client’s name, his would be the final say.

2. While you would be conducting your research on the topic and learning through several different sources, it would be your responsibility as well, to keep your client up-to-date and make sure that whatever’s being done is being done with his consent.

3. You are writing for someone who’s going to take the whole credit for it, make sure that the tone and style you adopt while writing is appropriate for the kind of man he is.

4. While it takes some time for a beginner to break in and create his name among the pool of prospective clients, here are few tips that may help you get your first job in no time.

  • Search for the freelance article writing jobs at online platforms like Elance.com, Freelancer.com, Odesk.com, there are many others. Create your profile on one of these sites and let your potential clients know your qualifications, your experience as an article writer and your expertise.

Pump up your online portfolio and showcase there the best of your work; your portfolio reflects your experience of the work and could alone become the reason of your selection.

  • One another way to let your potential clients know that you are a ghost writer could be to create a blog or a website of your own and make sure that it specifies you as a ghost writer.

5. Before you start working on the project, make sure that you are well aware of certain things. Here goes the list of those things:

  • What are the client’s expectations from you? How would you get paid, and when would you get paid? Make sure that both of you, you and your client agree to the terms set by each other.
  • How the information required will be provided to you? Through interviews? Through written notes?
  • What’s your part exactly? Would you be sharing some of the workload with your client? How would you be submitting your work? One way could be to write one chapter at a time and submit it for review.
  • What if the client’s providing an unoriginal content for his work, who would be responsible if you get caught plagiarizing?
  • Are you really working as a ghost writer? A co-author would get a cover credit while a ghost writer wouldn’t.

Once all these things get settled between you and your client, you would need to prepare a written agreement mentioning all the terms you have agreed upon, make sure that this document gets signed by both you and your client.

Considering yourself well equipped now that the job’s officially awarded to you, without wasting any time, you would create an outline for your writing and submit it for the approval to your client. Once it gets approved, you would start making your research over the topic and writing the first draft of the first submission.

Since you would be requiring the client’s advice at every step and after all it’s not something you could ignore while working on the project he has hired you for, it is recommended that you submit the work in parts. How many parts? Well, that depends on the type of the work and how much of the workload’s being shared by your client himself.

Learn from the edits and changes your client makes to your submissions before sending them back to you, you can use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes function to let yourself keep track of the edits made. To seek the client’s suggestion about a specific paragraph or a sub topic, you would need to draw his attention to that part, one way could be to use an abbreviation like TK, the editor would be able to find that part by using Microsoft Word’s Find function, another way could be to change that part’s font color.

Writing for someone else is something, making it sound like it’s written by him requires much of an effort and skill. To capture the voice of your client would require you to have a good relationship with your client through all the time. Prefer talking with your client on phone or Skype over the correspondence through text messages or emails. This way, you could learn more about your client’s style and his way of taking things.

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