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Ghostwriting Basics

Are you thinking of ghostwriting?
Did you know that there is an Association of Ghostwriters? Yep, there is. They’ve got some great articles if you are interested in some of the logistics, such as:
How to market yourself as a ghostwriter without sharing confidential client information or 3 Secret Places to Find Ghostwriting Gigs.
Websites like these exist to help ghostwriters connect with those in search of your talent. But what are some general issues that a potential ghostwriter would want to know before dipping their toe in the waters of this type of gig?
A Defined Ghostwriting Process
Before looking for clients, ghostwriters should be familiar with what their process would look like for working with clients. Here’s an example of issues you’ll want to consider and be ready to speak to before you start querying for work. They include ways you’ll communicate with your client, length of time you’ll need to complete various projects. Will you provide an outline to the client, or do you expect that they’ll show up with that? Which items in your process are negotiable. It’s important to note that you will want to be completely confident in your own writing process before you begin working with others. Unless you are completely familiar with your own methods, you’ll have trouble agreeing to a defined process from someone else. Know thyself.
Types of Projects Available for Ghostwriting
It’s not just books or blog posts. There are actually tons of writing categories where a ghostwriter could find a specialty.
Books, Blogs, Biographies, Manuals, Muscial Lyrics, Press Releases, and Email Newsletters are just some of the options. For a list of 15 different types of ghostwriting projects, check this article. Ghostwriting projects are much more varied than just writing  books. If you are skilled in a particular area of writing, see if their is a market for ghostwriters in that niche. You may find a perfect marriage of your skill set.
How Much Do Ghostwriters Charge?
This answer varies depending on experience and type of project. You could be paid by the hour, page, word, or project. You’ll probably need to experiment with different methods to see which one works better for you and your chosen niche. As for the actual rate of pay, that will also vary. Ghostwriter and author Laura Sherman has a some great info on pricing here but for example if you were charging by the word, the range could be between. $0.25 and $3 per word.
Is Fame Important to You?
One last thing to note before diving too deeply into the research to find the specifics on ghostwriting. You won’t get a byline or an honorable mention or a spot on the cover of your book. The entire point of ghostwriting is that you will be anonymous. And you must be able to keep your clients identity a secret as well. If you can’t keep a secret, or need to be able to brag a little about the latest amazing project you are working on, this might not be the work for you. If notoriety isn’t a core value of yours, then you might revel in the anonymity.
Happy Ghosting!
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