What is a ghostwriter?

Also known as a ghost, a ghostwriter is one who labors on your behalf to turn your story into book form. While ghostwritten books assign no credit to the ghostwriter, a collaborative writer will receive partial credit for helping to write the book. Your Written Word accepts both ghostwriting and collaborative writing projects.


Why hire a ghostwriter?

  • You cannot dedicate the time necessary to complete your book.
  • You’re a successful individual with a unique story or idea but have limited book-writing experience.
  • You’re uncomfortable writing the 60,000 – 100,000 words it generally takes to complete a full-length book.
  • You’re an expert in a particular field and want to appeal to a broader audience. A ghostwriter will give you a fresh perspective while eliminating jargon and helping to explain difficult concepts.
  • You’ve already tried to write the book but found the task daunting.
  • You lack proficiency in the English language
  • You’re an older individual and your family wants you to draft a narrative for generational legacy.


What if I’m too busy to contribute any writing of my own and want it written entirely by a ghostwriter?

This is ghostwriting in its truest form. Allocating the necessary amount of time it takes to produce a professional, market-ready book is a challenge for many people. In this case, a ghostwriter can be your most valuable asset for getting your story or idea to market.


How long is a typical book?

Often, successful books span 60,000 to 100,000 words. For inexperienced writers, this task may become unachievable. Hiring a ghostwriter ensures that your work will, in fact, reach completion.


I know more about my subject than anyone else. Why would I need a ghostwriter?

Sometimes even an expert needs a ghostwriter. If an author knows too much about a subject, it may be difficult to determine which information is interesting and applicable to a well-focused, fluid, and complete book. It’s also vital to decide which information should be excluded from the final product. A ghostwriter will help organize your ideas and articulate exactly what you intend to say in written form.


Will the book sound like I wrote it?

It must. When hiring a ghostwriter, you ensure that your ideas will be written in a polished and professional version of your own voice.


How does a ghostwriter obtain the information needed to create my book?

Contingent upon the author’s consent…

  • The ghostwriter gains personal exposure to your idea, life, or story. (i.e. a ghostwriter might accompany you in order to learn your speech patterns and directly witness your daily interactions)
  • The ghostwriter conducts interviews with you and supportive subjects involving your idea, life, or story
  • The ghostwriter researches details to support your book topic and package it into writing
  • You submit written drafts, blurbs, and outlines for the ghostwriter to edit, reshape, and restructure into book form
  • You record verbal accounts, details, ideas, or statements to be used in the reconstruction of your book


Is my privacy protected when I hire a ghostwriter?

Absolutely. It’s common practice for a ghostwriter to sign a contract protecting your privacy and giving you full discretion of what is published and what is ultimately kept private. Note: Your Written Word upholds the utmost professionalism and privacy protections in all business dealings.


I’m already a great writer. Why hire someone else to do what I can do myself?

Hiring a professional to complete your book will drastically reduce the amount of time needed to produce a finished product. If you are generally a busy person, or if you happen to be in a time crunch, a ghostwriter can undertake all of the research, interviewing, outlining, drafting, and editing necessary to complete the job. Meanwhile, you are free to dedicate your energy to more pressing matters.


Why should I hire someone to write my blog?

  • Hiring a ghostwriter to blog for you ensures that your entries are well edited, articulate, and professional.
  • Blogging on a regular basis will help increase your SEO (search engine optimization) so that your webpage will more likely be found among a search engine’s top hits.
  • Blogging can help you to seem more personable and accessible.
  • Delegating your blog content to a ghostwriter gives you the opportunity to benefit as an expert in your field while spending minimal personal time maintaining your blog.


How can I tell if a book is ghostwritten or collaboratively written?

  • Search online. Sometimes ghostwriters are allowed to claim credit on their websites but not on the physical books they have ghostwritten; other times, authors will be exposed as having hired a ghostwriter.
  • Read with an eye for detail– occasionally ghostwriters’ names are hidden among the acknowledgements.
  • Read bylines; if it’s collaboratively written (as opposed to purely ghostwritten) there will usually be an “and,” “with,” or “as told to” – if not on the front cover, then possibly on the title page.


About the author

Rachel Rachel Brownlow is founder and CEO of Your Written Word LLC, a ghostwriting company that helps successful and aspiring business leaders take their ideas from conception to publication. She has written, edited, proofread, consulted and/or created publishing proposals for more than a dozen nonfiction books. She also contributes to a variety of magazines and publications, including the Austin Business Journal, Austin Monthly, NSIDE Magazine and Georgetown View Magazine. You can find more of her work at rachelbrownlow.com/portfolio.