What is Ghostwriting? Who is a Ghostwriter? How much should you charge?

crop woman with coffee writing in notebook on bed

Ghostwriting is — just like the name implies — “Ghost” “Writing.”

Think of it like this: A ghost is someone you cannot see (an invisible person) that could be dead or maybe in coma.

Someone who is probably walking around but other people cannot see them but they can see others.

That is what a ghost is or at least that’s what movies and dramas make us believe. We don’t even know if they are real or not but that’s not the point of this article.

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“Ghost” “Writing” Pexels.com

So also, Ghostwriting is a form of writing where a writer writes for another person who “is too busy to write but wants to publish a book under their name,” “has ideas but doesn’t know how to put them into writing,” “wants to be an author or wants to publish a blog content and he doesn’t have the time or skills to do them.”

So, these set of people reach out to a writer called Ghostwriter and hires them to write but the client will be written as the author of the book instead of the writer.

Many writers today earn a lot of money by becoming ghostwriters because there are many busy people out there with the dream of becoming an author, blogger, or writer without the time, energy, commitment, and skills of a writer.

Why do people hire Ghostwriters?

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Ghostwriter Pexels.com

You might wonder why anyone would hire another person to write for them. Does it make sense? Isn’t that lying?

Putting your name on the front cover of a post or book that you didn’t write.

Well, it’s not lying and it’s not a bad thing. 

Ghostwriting is a form of solving a common problem. 

There are writers. There are people with constant ideas. There are people who like the idea or have a dream of becoming an author or writer but they don’t have the time.

The core factor here is Time.

Former U.S. First lady Michelle Obama hired a team of ghostwriters for her book. 

The 45th president, Donald Trump also hired a ghostwriter for his book “The Art of the Deal.” (Source)

It isn’t that these people are not smart and accomplished people that can write on their own or by themselves. 

Rather, these people are busy people who want to tell their story and share their life and wisdom with the world but with little time on their hands.

This is where Ghostwriters come in. 

Ghostwriters take these ideas and stories and turn them into the reality of their clients (blog content, books, etc.) with their clients’ names attributed to it.

No one will ever know if they used a Ghostwriter or not (unless they say it). Even if you do know, you might never know who the Ghostwriter is.

This is the life of a Ghostwriter.

One who works behind the scene for their client to shine.

The Process of Ghostwriting

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The process of Ghostwriting Pexels.com

The process of ghostwriting is a simple and complex one. So, if you’re considering going into Ghostwriting as a career or if you would like to hire a Ghostwriter someday, the following process will come in handy. (Hire me)

This is the life of a Ghostwriter.

One who works behind the scene for their client to shine.


Understand the clients needs and ideas.

It’s easy to call yourself a Ghostwriter or to find a Ghostwriter but what is the core quality of an excellent Ghostwriter?

Understanding the client

Being a Ghostwriter is putting yourself in the shoes of the client. Bringing yourself to understand how they think and what they want.

Some clients share their ideas and even have big plans and outlines on how they want their book or content to go while some will give you nothing or they give just one or two thoughts on how they want the book or content to be.

This is where your skill as a Ghostwriter comes in which is understanding the clients’ spoken and unspoken words.

Clients can easily tell whether they can work with you by listening to your opinion on the subject matter and evaluating how much you know about the work they want to get done.

So ensure you learn some vital information about the client. Also, listen to their voice and write with their voice.


Making your Research

This is important. When trying to understand a clients’ needs, you might not also be familiar with the topic or subject, so the next thing to do is Research.

Make your findings. Learn more about the subject matter.

I got a project recently to ghostwrite a faith-based book for a client.

I am a Christian and I have written diverse articles on Christian Living.

But when I started writing this book, I realised there were some things I didn’t know about the subject matter so I decided to do some research.

The research didn’t only help me understand more about the subject, it also helped me discover new things I never knew about the subject.

So, make your research before writing and while writing. 

It will help your work stand out.


Always reach out to the client

Unlike other types of writing that can be carried out solely and independently, ghostwriting is that type of writing that should be more of a collaboration between the client and the writer.

Ensure you reach out to the client frequently. If possible, show them the drafts you are working on. Get their opinions about each chapter or page.

Carry them along with each new step. Ask them for their views. 

Ask them if this is what they want their work to be like and so on.

This will ensure the client is aware of the progress of their work, they are pleased with how the writing is going, and that is how they want it to turn out.

In this case, remember you’re writing as someone else and this can be quite awkward because you have to assume you are that person and write the way they would write.

So, keep in touch with them, ask questions, and ensure they are on board with your new ideas and plans.

When the book is completed

This is not common or popular but some clients allow their Ghostwriters to add their work as a ghostwritten project in their portfolio.

So, if you would like to showcase your Ghostwriting skills, you can seek permission from your client to put their work in your portfolio.

Like what I did with the Best and How-To content I wrote in my portfolio. If you check the article, you will see that my name is not written as the author but my client permitted me to share them as a ghostwritten work.

So, when you complete the book you can ask your client if they will permit you to share the work as a ghostwritten work (not as the author). 

They retain the right as the author but other people can get to work with you by seeing samples of what you have done.

Which brings us to the next important question.

How much should I charge as a Ghostwriter?

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Ghostwriting charges Pexels.com

So, how much should you charge?

The point is there is no one size fit all, one price for all — charge for ghostwriting.

Usually, you will weigh things like “How long will it take me to write this project?” “How easy is it to research this project?” “Does it require in-depth research?” and so on.

These are questions only you can answer after weighing the possibilities.

Also, Ghostwriters charge more than normal writers because they don’t take the credit for their “hard work.”

So, it is left to you to determine how much you think you’re worth.

But Lisa Tener says Ghostwriting fees for a book could be charged hourly ($30 to $200), per word ($1 to $3) or per project ($5,000 to $100,000 and even more, depending on the writer’s accomplishments and genre). More experienced ghostwriters tend to charge per project, with additional hourly fees if the project scope expands.

Note: It is different for everyone. Some people charge less than these or even more depending on the scope of work, the length of time it will take, the quality of work it will require, the expenses incurred while working, the total pages or words, etc.

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The Ghostwriter Pexels.com

Ghostwriters are valuable writers in high demand. They are vast in different scopes of writing and highly skilled. In conclusion, you can call them wish granters.

If you need the services of a Ghostwriter. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Discount for anyone who reaches out to me through my blog.

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About Author

I am a Freelance Writer, Blogger, Content Creator, and Productivity Coach.

I am passionate about writing, designing, God, and helping people achieve their goals and be productive.