I work with brilliant executives, helping them shape careers with transformational executive resumes, executive bios, and other career marketing tools.
What’s surprising is that many of these fantastic leaders harbor hidden passions to explore another line of work, even if they are considering it on a ‘moonlighting’ basis.
One of the most common ‘another-life’ gigs that I often hear about is ghostwriting. Yes, indeed. This is especially true for marketing executives, creative directors, and communications strategists.
If you are one of those considering penning your way to a side gig, I’ve put together some advice to help you launch this new venture.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a CEO, with a passion for writing–go for it. Writing is a gratifying craft. You will love it as much as I do.
HOW TO GET A GHOSTWRITING CAREER OFF THE GROUND
So, you’ve been writing for years and are thinking of taking your writing talent on the road. And so you decided to start ghostwriting. That’s great! But there are a few things you need to know before you get started.
According to professionalghost.com, more than 50 percent of the non-fiction books on bestsellers lists have been written with the help of a ghostwriter. Did you know? Consider that and imagine that one of those books could easily have been ghostwritten by you (wink).
In a post written by Kelly James-Enger on Writer’s Digest, his recent ghost-writing projects earned him anywhere from $20K to $80,000. If that isn’t a little motivation…
What You Will Need
Project management skills
You have to be ready, willing, and comfortable taking on massive projects and balancing the deadline while you hold down a full-time job. These types of projects can quickly become overwhelming.
YOU MUST ENJOY WRITING TO CONSIDER THIS SIDE GIG
Getting started with ghostwriting will be relatively easy if you have been writing in the past. If you have a writing background, and a decent amount of knowledge and literacy skills, this transition will be a breeze. It will genuinely leave you wondering why you didn’t start sooner.
According to thewritelife.com, a writer should have extensive experience writing before attempting to get into the world of ghostwriting. They recommend at least 10,000 hours of exposure. And according to the same blog, the amount of time needed to be considered an expert writer would be 12.8 years. So experience and patience are key.
How will you work with your first client?
Meet with your prospective client first and learn about the topic, deadline, number of pages, and chapters. Make sure your client gives you an outline or the base (writing structure/guidelines).
What’s next? You draw up a contract, provide them with an estimate, and list deliverables and project scope with deadlines. If you have asked for payment upfront–that is great. If you have asked for partial payment, be sure to include that in your contract with clearly defined expectations regarding payment schedule and deliverables.
Rates for ghostwriting vary based on skill and experience. Some writers charge per word and others per page. One of the best rate structures I prefer is to calculate based on the number of pages.
What you must consider before you quote for ghostwriting services:
How much research will it involve.
How many hours will it take to complete.
Ghostwriting is not for everyone–no matter how much you love the written word. Invest the time researching or get your feet wet by taking on a small project on the first go. If you conclude that writing is for you, make it your lane!
If you need a quote from us for ghostwriting services, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another great website with information on ghostwriting: CopyBlogger.com