Got a Book in You? Here s How to Find the Perfect Ghostwriter

Got a Book in You? Here's How to Find the Perfect Ghostwriter

How To Find and Choose A Ghostwriter For Your Project

For authors who decide to work with a ghostwriter, the whole point is to make the process easier—less time, fewer headaches, more support, and ultimately a better experience and product. But the first step of that journey—finding a suitable partner—can seem every bit as daunting and challenging as writing the book itself.

That’s in no small part because ghostwriters are meant to be invisible, after all. Most pro ghosts typically don’t market themselves and certainly don’t showcase their clients. Moreover, outside of our agency and our friends at United Ghostwriters, almost all ghosts work on their own. So searching for a writer is extremely different from trying to hire a PR or digital marketing or pretty much any other less anonymous, atomized communications or creative related service.

What makes the selection process especially tricky is the unique, intimate nature of the work we do. In most cases, our clients make their careers, their lives, even their families an open book to their collaborators. It can be an intense, emotionally trying experience that demands reliability, care, and commitment. It’s a little bit like getting married for a moment.

That’s why we advise our clients to think about picking a writing partner like choosing a life partner. Skills and experience are important, of course, but ultimately, chemistry and trust matter just as much, if not more so.

With this installment of our Ghostwriting Confidential series, we share the most important insights and best practices we have learned from over a decade of matchmaking to provide a “ghost dating manual” that helps authors just starting their journey find the right person for their project. Specifically, we cover:

Decide what you want your book to accomplish and who should read it.

“You may want to do a book to raise your profile or position yourself as an expert or attract more clients,” James says. You should decide what your top priorities are for your book, what topics it will cover, and–importantly–who your target readership will be.

In fact, she says, it will help both you and your ghostwriter a lot if you can find one or two examples of the kind of book you want, similar in structure and style if not necessarily on the same topic. “Have something that you can say, ‘This is the kind of thing I’m thinking of,'” she advises. “Think about where it would go on a bookstore shelf and have some idea of what it should look like. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard to be happy because you don’t know what you’re aiming for.”

Skills for ghostwriters

Attention to detail

Ghostwriting involves researching, writing and editing, which require attention to detail to ensure cohesion and readability. Because different industries and businesses can vary in what citation or writing style to follow, attention to punctuation, diction and formatting is necessary to replicate a brand’s voice. Companies target different audiences and understanding those audience details can guide content writing in reading level and vocabulary.

Content management

Understanding how to manage the content you write allows you to remain organized and efficient in your work process. Clients may require you to use specific content management systems to track your work. Having a familiarity with these systems can help you navigate each one to optimize your performance.


Research is an important part of the ghostwriting process for fact-checking and consistency. You may research to propose topics, understand topic trends and content performance. Researching after writing is necessary to make sure that published information is accurate.


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