FAQ – Ghostwriting

What kind of projects do you work on as a ghostwriter?

Typical projects include blog content, industry trade journal articles, and non-fiction books. I can also be hired to write and edit speeches and presentations, op-eds, articles, Kindle singles, and social media content.

What are your specialty areas?

I have written, revised, and edited client work on topics including:

  • business management and leadership
  • B2B marketing and market research
  • job hunting and professional development
  • health and wellness (nutrition, neuroscience/cognitive science, psychology, sex, sleep, public health)
  • self-help/self-improvement
  • humor

I’m very adaptable and I love to learn. Everyone has preferred subjects, however. I love working with doctors and medical researchers, helping them to present their work for a lay audience. I also enjoy working on business books and how-to (a.k.a. prescriptive) non-fiction.

Memoir and autobiography are also of interest. I have studied memoir and personal essay writing in a workshop setting and have experience critiquing and shaping sensitive personal material.

What have you ghosted?

Due to the nature of the work I can’t give titles or names. I’ve ghosted, rewritten, or revised/doctored health and psychology content–including two books–by practicing therapists.

I’ve also worked on business books (tech, entrepreneurship), Huffington Post op-eds, blog posts, magazine articles, About pages, jokes, and social media content.

My clients include Fortune 500 executives, news anchors, physicians, psychotherapists, performers, and TV comedy writers.

How does the ghostwriting process work?

Some clients come to me with a premise or idea. Others have a rough draft or a few pages of thoughts but need help getting them publication-ready.

Through interviews (mostly telephone) and a collaborative process of drafting and rewriting, I focus on creating content that is consistent with my client’s goals and true to his or her voice.

Will your name be on the cover page of my book?

Co-author or “as told to” status is a contract issue. Sometimes (but not always!), a ghostwriter who negotiates to have her name on the cover of a book accepts less payment upfront in exchange for the exposure or a share of the royalties. (There’s a great article about cookbook ghostwriting in The New York Times, if you’d like to learn more about this.)

Every project is different and credit is negotiable.

How much do you charge?

Prices vary depending on variables such as page length, time frame, and how much research or interviewing is involved. The status of the project when it comes to me also makes a difference. (Is it partially written or not at all? Is there a contract with a publisher, or are you writing this to self-publish or submit on spec to publishers?)

  • For smaller projects like speeches, magazine articles, or white papers, I can charge hourly, by the page, or sometimes by the word. I have a range of fees depending on the type of project. Contact me for an estimate.
  • For books, I charge a flat fee and include a scope of work: a contract stating exactly what I’ll write for you, plus a writing and revisions schedule that will bring the project in on time and on budget. If the work goes beyond scope, any additional work is hourly. To give you a ballpark idea: most experienced ghostwriters ask for an average fee in the $25,000-$75,000 range. Books at the higher end tend to involve more research and interviews.
  • A very short book (such as a white paper or e-book for business lead generation) can be lower, anywhere from $5000 to $15,000.

Keep in mind, a ghostwriting project can take up 100% of your collaborator’s professional writing time for a month to a year, maybe longer. Fees are commensurate with that time commitment and with the skill and experience level of the ghost you hire.

As with all things, you get what you pay for. Expect to pay a premium for technical expertise and speed. A really terrific ghost with a solid command of grammar and writing mechanics can save you time and money later on line editing, copy editing and proofreading.

If you need help with your writing but want to do more of the work yourself, developmental editing or writing coaching may suit your needs.

How long does it take to write a book?

A white paper or short e-book project (50 pages or less) could take as little as 2-4 weeks.

A full-length book (40,000 words/150 pages or more) could take anywhere from 60 days to a year, depending on how organized the author is, how far along the project is when I’m brought on board, and how firm the deadline is.

If you are planning to write a full-length book to sell in bookstores, you should budget at least six months of your time from conception to revisions.

If your book is self-published, remember to allow extra time in your schedule for content edits, copy edits, and author queries, as well as all the sundry activities involved in packaging your book and getting it distribution.

If you need help putting your self-published book together, please contact me; I have work relationships with book shepherds (project managers) who can help you bring together the talent and resources you need to create, design, distribute, and market both print and digital editions.

Will you help me market my book?

In some cases, yes — I can help clients research markets, submit their work for publication, and create any supporting marketing materials they might require to help promote their work, such as Kindle singles, op-eds, columns, articles, guest blog posts, Q&A answers, and so forth.

I have extensive experience helping authors to build their platforms and promote their work online. I can offer marketing consultations to my ghostwriting clients on an hourly or contract basis.

Do you have testimonials from past clients?

Yes. Click here for ghostwriting testimonials and here for editing testimonials. (Oftentimes, developmental or line edits are an in-depth collaboration, almost as intensive as original writing.)


Ready to get started? Contact me today to discuss your project and how I can help.