“I’ll just hire a ghostwriter to write my book.” It sounds easy enough, right? But is a ghostwriter really what you need? Or is a professional editor enough? Here are some tips on how to choose which method is right for your project:
Tip #1: More Money than Time
If you have more money than time, a ghostwriter is definitely something to consider. Ghostwriters take your idea from concept or outline to finished book. They make it almost effortless to create massive amounts of content – faster than you can often write it yourself. And as you already know, writing a book can take time and a lot of work! A skilled, professional ghostwriter can cost anywhere from $3,000–$35,000. If money is not an issue, a ghostwriter can be the best choice for you.
Tip #2: More Time than Money
If, however, you find yourself with more time on your hands than money in your bank account, writing the book yourself and hiring a good editor can be a better option. A copy-editor who checks spelling, grammar, punctuation and consistency can range anywhere from $500–$1,000 for a typical 200-page book.
Tip #3: Repurpose
Another option is to repurpose content you already have. Do you have articles you’ve written? Blog posts? A newsletter? Compile all those individual pieces into an organized Microsoft Word document and, whalla, you have the foundation for a book! Read through it once yourself, updating any outdated stats or examples, then send it to a professional developmental editor for a deeper edit. A good developmental editor can range between $1000–$3500 for a typical 200-page book, and are worth their weight in gold! They will do everything the copy-editor will do, adding to that a consistency in the overall tone of the manuscript, your tense and voice, and polish your sentence structure to read clean and clear.
Tip #4: The “Speaker Who Writes”
An author friend of mine, Sue Falcone, often teaches that either you’re a “writer who speaks or a speaker who writes.” If speaking comes more naturally to you than writing, creating your book from transcripts of your recorded keynotes, teleseminars and workshops may be the best option. In this case, either a ghostwriter or a professional developmental editor will be necessary to make your words flow in a way readers can easily understand.
If you’re considering a ghostwriter, know what kind of ghostwriter you want. Do you want a “cleanup” writer/editor who will polish the manuscript you compiled from blogs, articles, or transcripts? Or do you want a ghostwriter who will interview you for several hours and craft a book based off the content of the interviews? The more the ghostwriter is hired to write, the higher the price tag. The more information you can give your ghostwriter to work with, the lower your investment will be.
If you’re considering a ghostwriter simply to cut corners with getting your book written and not out of necessity, think again about the potential costs involved. No matter if you choose a ghostwriter or editor, you will still have to take the time to review the manuscript and make sure everything is written the way you want before publishing it.
What are your thoughts on ghostwriters and editors? Have you had experience with one or the other? Comment below!
Photo Credit: Flickr, hobvias sudoneighm