Ghostwriting FAQ

For your information and convenience, here are some of the most common, frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers about having your book written by a professional ghostwriter:

What's your story - Dennis Lowery - writer-ghostwriter

Q: How much is having a professional ghostwriter write my book going to cost?

That depends on many factors, including: the length of the book, how much (if any) material exists, how much research will be required, number of interviews that need to take place, how soon it is needed to be completed, etc. Fees can vary greatly among ghostwriters. Here are my current rates. Mine are reasonable (mid range as defined by the Writer’s Market guide–see top of page 73 in that guide).

Q: Will I be credited as the author? You are credited as the author. The ghostwriter can remain completely anonymous or receive attribution such as ‘As told to’ or ‘With.’

Q: How long will the book take? It depends on the ghostwriter and the project. For me, small books can take 2 – 4 months. A mid-size to large or complex book usually takes 6 – 12 months to ghostwrite. Very large or complex books requiring a lot of research or other ‘hand-work’ (beyond just writing) and maneuvering around client schedules will possibly take longer. Again, the scope of work dictates how long it will take and each project delivery has to be evaluated based on workload at the time the project is quoted. (I do offer an Exclusive Service Arrangement that will expedite getting your book finished sooner. Contact me for details.)

Q: Does the ghostwriter get a credit on the book? As mentioned above, depending on the arrangement, attribution or even co-author credit could be negotiated. If the author/client will give the ghostwriter attribution or credit their contribution the fee decreases or they can choose to have their name solely on the book at the standard ghostwriting rate.

Q: How much will I need to be involved? In most cases, you’ll only need to supply access to you and information specific for your story. A series of phone interviews, call-in dictation sessions to gather information and feedback/approvals are typically all that is required. A good ghostwriter works independently, providing as much or as little interaction as you are comfortable with as appropriate or required for your project.

Q: What will I need to supply to the ghostwriter? Very simply: time, information and feedback.

Q: What should I look for in a ghostwriter? The best ghostwriters are professional, proven, dependable, discreet, collaborative, supportive and deadline-oriented. A professional with proven experience has references and often comes recommended from a trusted source. The ideal writer will understand your story or book and its objective. Chemistry and a good fit (the sense you and they will work well together) are very important.

Q: Will the ghostwriter help me find a publisher? Most ghostwriters are not responsible for getting the material published, nor do they typically provide services offered by agents or publishers. In this case, however, if you work with me, you are working with someone who also owns a publishing and publishing assistance company with both nonfiction and fiction imprints and book distribution via Ingram, one of the world’s largest book distributors. If you are interested and I work on your project I will discuss with you the opportunity to publish your book under one of my company’s imprints. (Again, this is an option and not a requirement.)

Q: How does the ghostwriting process typically start? Usually, the client and the ghostwriter have an initial meeting by phone to review the scope of the project. The ghostwriter then presents an overview or proposal to define and detail how things will work, including delivery and pricing. If all parties agree to proceed, the ghostwriter will provide a contract with all deliverables and a milestone schedule.

Q: I have a very hectic and demanding professional and/or personal schedule, how would that impact work on my book? This will depend on the ghostwriter you are working with. Speaking from my own experience: I’ve worked with many busy professionals so if needed, I create flexible timelines for them to accommodate the many demands on their time yet are designed so that work on their book progresses. Through my company, Adducent, I also provide our client’s tools such as our unique, Client Dictation Services, that they can utilize at any time from anywhere. This is a tremendous resource to help with the writing of their book.

Q: What is the first step if I’m interested in your help with my story or book? Aside from reviewing this information, you should set up a call with me. Before our call, please review the 6 Questions I go over initially with all client prospects (this takes you to my business web site).

I’ve had several people request I consider offering arrangements for those who don’t need help with a full-scale project but need assistance incrementally as they work on their own: For those who don’t wish to retain me for a full project I can provide them guidance as a writing/book development consultant. This includes my review of what you have written so I can advise you on direction and suggestions for your storyline and how to improve the narrative and overall quality of the work. Email me to discuss.