Why Would I Want to Be a Ghost Writer?
If you are a talented writer who can easily take on random projects, you may have a great career ahead of you in the field of ghostwriting. As long as you are versatile and have no desire to ever become famous, ghostwriting may be the most lucrative path in the field of professional writing. Ask yourself the questions below to see if this is a good fit for you.
How many times would you answer 'yes' to these questions?
|Do I enjoy writing?||Yes or No|
|Can I meet deadlines easily?||Yes or No|
|Can I mask my own personality?||Yes or No|
|Can I write from scratch?||Yes or No|
|Do I hate selling myself?||Yes or No|
|Is money a priority?||Yes or No|
|Can I leave my comfort zone?||Yes or No|
|Is fame important to me?||Yes or No|
|Can I be my own editor?||Yes or No|
|Can I give up royalties?||Yes or No|
|Do I like working with people across the globe?||Yes or No|
|Do I enjoy working at home?||Yes or No|
Why Do These Questions Matter?
Do I enjoy writing?
This may sound obvious, but as a ghostwriter, your job is pretty simple: you are the one doing the writing. If you want to make a career out of it, you need to be sure that this is your desired job.
Can I meet deadlines easily?
Your clients will have specific dates in mind for drafts, edits and final copies. You will need to have the self-discipline required to not let these deadlines slip, especially if legal contracts are involved.
Can I mask my own personality?
As a ghostwriter, it is your job to take on the character of someone else's writing style. If you have a non-fiction project in front of you, such as a memoir, you will basically have to become your client.
Can I write from scratch?
You won't always have a lot of existing content, or even a template, when you take on a project. If you can create a story out of nothing more than a couple of words, you will be in good shape!
Do I hate selling myself?
As a ghostwriter, you won't have to worry about publicizing your work or hounding your friends on social media to buy your stuff. Once you finish writing, you can relax and wait for your next project to present itself.
Is money a priority?
Ghostwriters are some of the highest paid in the field. Some of the best can expect to make $50,000 for a book, and you can also charge by the page or by the hour, depending on the scope of the project.
Can I leave my comfort zone?
Because there are so many clients out there, you will want to diversify your talents. If you can only write poetry, you might be out of luck when a political biography with a six-figure advance comes knocking at your door.
Is fame important to me?
Make no mistake: your name, just as the title implies, will be invisible as a ghostwriter. If the book you wrote goes on to sell five million copies, the only satisfaction you will gain will be from knowing that you wrote it.
Can I be my own editor?
With such a lucrative deal in place, your client will want to be sure you can do as much of the work as possible. Saving them the task of finding an editor will make you even more marketable.
Can I give up royalties?
Except for very rare instances, ghostwriters are paid entirely for their work up front. This means that a number-one bestseller will net you the same as a book that shows up in the bargain bin two months after release.
Do I like working with people across the globe?
With the internet at your disposal, there is no shortage of writing work for you. There will be potential clients throughout the world available for you to seek out.
Do I enjoy working at home?
Not having to get up and 'go to work' may sound exciting at first, but the temptation to laze around and let the book sit will always be there - it even happens to other writers. Don't let your new office distract you from your job!
Start Your Ghostwriting Career Today
The only thing stopping you from becoming a ghostwriter is yourself. Once you find out that you answered 'yes' to a majority of these questions, start building your profile to sell to clients. It won't happen overnight, but with enough persistence, you can carve out an entirely new path for yourself, and live a comfortable life in the shadows behind powerful names in writing.