When I first began writing, it took me a long time to determine what my process was. For a while, I didn’t think that it was necessary to have a single way of doing things.
Now I realize that (while it’s great to branch out and try new methods), in most cases, you’ll end up finding what works best for you and running with it. In my experience, it’s the same for ghostwriting.
In this post, I’m going to talk a little bit about my process as a ghostwriter. I hope this is helpful for those of you who are trying to decide if it’s worth hiring a ghostwriter, or perhaps looking to become one yourself.
1. The Hire
While this isn’t technically a part of the writing process, I thought that it was something important enough to mention. The first step in any ghostwriting gig is being hired, of course, and this tends to be the hardest part for those who are new to the career. While I’m not going to turn this post into an advice column for getting clients (I’ll likely do a separate post for that), I think that it’s worth discussing how the client factors into the writing aspect.
Many people who are hiring ghostwriters already have an idea for a story in mind. While ghostwriters are oftentimes allowed to take creative liberties, it’s important for them to stick as close to the original storyline as possible. To ensure that the client is happy with the finished result, I always begin by sending them an outline of the book (unless they’ve already provided this, of course). This will allow them to catch anything they don’t like upfront, before I waste time writing it. I do the same thing with character designs, as well.
While this varies between projects and clients, I like to break up a ghostwriting gig into increments. This is always something that I determine with my client upfront. For example, we might agree that I will submit each milestone of 10,000 words to them separately for their review before moving on, and it’s during each of these stages that I’ll get a portion of my pay. This allows for a broken up payment schedule (beneficial to both myself and the client), and also means that they can review the writing on a regular basis to be sure that they’re happy with it.
3. The Editing Process
Some ghostwriters don’t include editing in their services, but I find that it is the best way to finish the gig. After all, I want my client to have a polished manuscript that we can both be proud of. I go through at least three rounds of edits, and am happy to do revisions at no extra cost.
Of course, each of these segments could be more detailed, but I wanted to make this a concise post for your convenience. I hope that it was helpful to you, and as usual, feel free to leave any questions in the comments!