Ghostwriting – The Do’s and Don’ts
Ghostwriting is the act of writing a text for and in the name of someone else. It is something that has become more widespread in recent years, with people from different walks of life reaching out to ghostwriters. Whether you are ghostwriting someones memoir, a company blog, or a fantasy saga, some advice and tips go across the board.
Do have a clear idea of what is needed of you.
Don`t accept a job if you aren’t confident you can deliver it in time and as per the client˙s requests.
Don’t plagiarise or make false claims in order to ‘blag’ it through a contract – sooner or later you will be found out and your reputation will suffer.
Do seek projects within your area of interest – this will make your work considerably easier and you will achieve better results.
In order to avoid possible complications further down the line, it is a good idea to talk things out thoroughly with the client, obtain as much information as possible and have a decent grasp of their expectations before accepting the job. Realising you are not able to complete a project in the middle of it can have huge implications for the client, and will definitely not look good for you. Ask as many questions as you need to, recount what they`ve told you, and ask for confirmation. Remember, asking for clarification on an issue will save time in the long run. In contrast, realising you`ve been going in the wrong direction for days or weeks and having to re-do a significant amount of your work will lose you time and money.
Do keep the client involved. Depending on the type of project you`re working on, you may be finding yourself in need of additional information. Let the client review your progress regularly and ask them for input each time. If the project is important to them they will make sure they get exactly what they need.
On the other hand, if you are experienced, don`t cave in under every demand. If you are confident that a certain structure you`ve written works a lot better than what the client is proposing, let the client know, and let them know the rationale behind your choice. Ultimately, the choice is theirs, but most clients will value your opinion. Strong, friendly and creative relationships can be easily forged in the process of ghostwriting.
Do let the client know upfront about your rates and the estimated time it will take to complete the project. Agree on a payment method and schedule. If the project is of a commercial nature, you may be offered a percentage of the future profits in exchange for a discount now.
Do think the proposal through. Unless the client is already established, chances are it will be very hard for the project to be a commercial success. Do your best not to deviate from your arrangement, but also do be wary if the client is not fulfilling their part. If there are any problems, talk it out calmly with the client and find a solution that suits you both.
In the end, you have to decide whether ghostwriting is something you want to keep doing long-term. Ghostwriting can be a tasking job, putting your time, effort and talent into something and then repeatedly seeing someone else get the credit for it can strain a person`s sense of self-worth. On the other hand, if you have a passion for writing and aren’t in it for the credit, it could be your dream job.