Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Smart Ghostwriter @Work

Ghostwriter Mahesh Grossman does all of us in the ghost biz a service with his book "Write a Book Without Lifting a Finger: How to Hire a Ghostwriter Even if You are on a Shoestring Budget" (10 Finger Press, 2nd Edition updated and revised for 2010, ISBN: 978-1-933174-98-3, Price: $17.95).

Can’t say I love the title. Those “I don’t want to lift a finger” clients are a nightmare! But, hey, titles sell books and when it comes to content, it appears to me that Mahesh is spot on. His tips:

"If you're writing a book to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and to land new clients or customers, your best bet is to find someone who has written books published by major publishers in your topic area, if you can afford it (costs can be $25,000-$45,000).
For more affordable ghostwriters, visit to find editors who write about your topic for magazines to see if they might be interested in working on your book. Or ask for referrals to freelance writers they have worked with. You can hire someone to write a book proposal to help you get a publishing deal for as little as $500.
Make sure there's chemistry between you and the writer; they have to understand you and your area of expertise.
Always check their references. Make sure they turn in polished work and meet deadlines. Having a test phase is mandatory: hire your ghostwriter to write one chapter before proceeding.
Avoid hiring a professor or English teacher or someone who's never been published. Their writing often winds up sounding like a term paper instead of a book.
Be sure to make yourself available enough for the ghostwriter to get the information they need."

Interesting stuff. More info is here.


  1. At least he has a reasonable fee for someone who wants to be known as a "thought leader." I recently completed a project for a great client; smart, easy to work with, paid well, paid on time...why can't they all be like that? At his book release party, two of his friends approached me about book projects of their own. Once I mentioned that fees depended on scope, length, deadline, etc, each pleaded poverty...yet insisted that both books were wonderful books that *needed* to be written. But not by me...and certainly not for nothing!

    Really enjoying the blog, Gwen and Ellen. :)

  2. Ah, yes, the many would-be clients who think we should do it for love. We've all met them.