Everyone from musicians to novelists use ghostwriters, but the process is shrouded in mystery and negative connotations. While ghostwriting can be used for bad (like unscrupulous students passing off other’s work  as their own) it can also be a force for good.

Got big ideas, but limited time and resources? A major way that ghostwriters can have a positive impact is by providing help bringing ideas to life, or putting a framework in place for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Like many small business owners, you might be wondering where you’ll find the time to write the book that’s been rattling around in your head for as long as you can remember.

What is what is ghostwritingghostwriting, anyway?

Ghostwriting gets a bad rap. In a perfect world, everyone has the time and skills to plan, write and format an amazing book themselves. Unfortunately this isn’t that world, and writing a book is a daunting task. Despite having a brilliant idea for a book that will provide knowledge and insight (and build the brand’s value and attract new customers) many entrepreneurs and business owners simply don’t have the time to write such a book.

That’s where ghostwriters come in. Hiring a ghostwriter to pick up the slack is often the best solution available. Ghostwriting might have a negative connotation, but it isn’t always the monster it’s made out to be.

why use a ghostwriterWhy use a ghostwriter

Ghostwriters can be used for a variety of corporate writing, including articles, blog posts and books. The biggest reason people use ghostwriters is time. Many entrepreneurs want to focus on content and marketing strategy, but have a hard time juggling priorities between their main service offering and developing high quality content.

Lack of time shouldn’t prevent business owners from accessing a powerful marketing tool. Having a self-published books lends credibility to your business and may allow you to increase your rates.

Pros and Cons of Ghostwriting

Let’s get the cons out of the way.

1. It can be expensive. Luckily, not all ghostwriters ask unreasonable prices, and if you know where to look, you can find services that provide high quality results for affordable rates. Be sure you know what you are getting into, and have an accurate quote or package up front.

2. Ghostwriters don’t publish. After you’ve received your complete manuscript, you will still need to find a good publisher and cover the costs of publishing. Make sure you factor in both the costs of ghostwriting and publishing when you are planning the budget for your book. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a ghostwriter with an existing partnership with a publisher, so your ghostwriter and publisher can work together to provide you with the smoothest transition between the two phases of self-publishing.

3. Your book isn’t your own work. Some people are hung up on the idea that their book won’t technically be written by them. If that’s too big a hurdle to for you to overcome, then ghostwriting might not be a viable option for you. A good ghostwriter, however, knows how to make your book be as close to yours as if you’d had the time to write it yourself, using your ideas, methodology and voice. While you might not have written every word, your book should be still be yours. If the manuscript feels foreign and unfamiliar, that is a problem with your ghostwriter, not ghostwriting.

Now that the cons are out in the open, let’s look on the bright side.

1. You get a book fast. In as little as 12 weeks, you can have a manuscript written, edited and formatted for publication. When compared with the years that many small business owners have spent thinking about the book they want to write, it’s easy to see the appeal of just getting it done.

2. Focus on your business. Hiring a ghostwriter allows you to continue to develop your business while developing a book, and without sacrificing on the quality of either.

3. Get the ideas out of your head. Many entrepreneurs find that having a book detailing their business philosophy and methodology helps solidify the ideas that have been floating around in their head. Sitting down with a ghostwriter and explaining your methods out loud can help to discover any flaws in your thinking and develop a more cohesive approach to your business, while also providing a valuable marketing tool.

How to use ghostwriters to your advantage

As with all good things, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use ghostwriters. Here are a few do’s and don’t of working with ghostwriters that will help you get the most out of the relationship.

1. Rely entirely on ghostwriters. Washing your hands of the whole process is never a good idea. If you don’t engage with your ghostwriter, you won’t get content that reflects you and your methodology. Make sure you can provide enough detail and interact enough with the writer that they’ll be able to get a feel for you and produce content that you’ll recognise yourself in.

2. Micromanage. Just as you don’t want to remove yourself completely from the process, you also don’t want to micromanage. Once you’ve had the initial conversation and provided the ideas and outline of the book, step back a bit and allow the writers to work. If they have any questions, they’ll come to you.

Ghostwriting dos1. Find a ghostwriter who will work with you. A good ghostwriter will know that in order to end up with a final product that you like and are willing to publish under your name, the process must be collaborative. It’s a good idea to work with the writer to approve the content as it’s written. The right ghostwriter will send their work to you in increments so there are no surprises once the manuscript is delivered. A chapter-by-chapter approval process is the best way to make course corrections as you go without micromanaging.

2. Manage. Provide enough information to guide the ghostwriter. Communicate your main ideas and themes, and work with them to develop an outline for the book, including chapter headings and topics. While writers need a little bit of space to work, they also need guidance. There’s nothing more frustrating for a writer than trying to produce content from thin air, and there’s nothing more frustrating for a client than receiving a book that doesn’t match their vision. That’s why it’s best for both parties to communicate often and well about what you want from your book.

3. Get to know your book. Because you didn’t write every word of your book yourself, you won’t know it as well initially. You’ll want to familiarise yourself with the book so you can answer questions consistently and talk knowledgeably with clients about the content. That’s why it’s vital to hire a ghostwriter who knows how to get inside your head. A good ghostwriter can take your ideas and themes, find your voice and write as if they were you. Before you invest in ghostwriting, make sure you take the time to find the right one.

Long story short, hiring a ghostwriter is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s not admitting defeat. Using a ghostwriter to write the book you’ve always wanted to write is getting sh!t done (#gsd). When it comes to a tool as powerful as a self-published book, you can’t afford to let your ideas go to waste.

write your bookReady to get your book written?

PitchThis offers ghostwriting services to help you get that book written. We know how hard it is to find the time to write a book while running a business. Neither your book or your business should suffer from lack of time and attention. With professional ghostwriters ready to tackle any topic and an existing partnership with a well-established publisher, we offer the best ghostwriting service in the industry.

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