Hiring a Ghostwriter to Write Your Book: Pros and Cons

By: Mary Anna Rodabaugh in Book Writing and Editing
on February 8th, 2021

You have that brilliant idea that you can’t seem to shake. You know you want to write a book. You’ve fantasized and dreamed about that moment when you can unbox your masterpiece and show friends and family your byline prominently adorned on that eye-catching book cover. However, there may be a few holes in your master plan. Maybe you’re a gifted speaker, but when it comes to putting your thoughts on the page, they just don’t sound or feel like you. Maybe you simply just hate writing. Perhaps the thought of dedicating hours a day to writing your story is daunting when piled on top of life’s demands.

If any of these pain points ring true for you, it may be best to hire a ghostwriter to write your book. There is nothing spooky about it, but there are a few pros and cons to consider.

Pro: Hiring a Ghostwriter Will Save You Time

Once you get the initial outline and interviews out of the way, a ghostwriter will do all the writing for you. So while you’re cooking dinner for your family, conducting important business meetings, taking time to work out at the gym, or even sleeping, your book is being written. You’ll invest time and energy into editing and reviewing the ghostwriting. It is much easier to work with material that has already been composed than to start from scratch. Your book is now their job, so therefore you can feel confident your ghostwriter will spend time, effort, and talent to make your story come to life.

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Con: You May Feel Like You’re Cheating If You Hire a Ghostwriter

When you hire a ghostwriter to write your book, you may feel like you’re cheating or taking the easy way out. A lack of authenticity may stir in your heart, but you should ignore that nagging feeling that “you didn’t really write a book.” The fact is, you absolutely wrote your book. A ghostwriter can’t piece together someone else’s story without knowing the facts, the tone, the language, the pacing, and the feel for the author. You contribute to all of these elements in addition to your story itself. Many celebrities and famous authors have hired ghostwriters. You’re not cheating; you’re simply bringing a project to fruition in a different way.

Pro: Ghostwriting Services Come with Editorial Expertise

Your ghostwriter probably does this on the side or for a living. He or she eats books for breakfast (figuratively speaking). Having a ghostwriter on your team is like having a writer and editor built into one. They will share their editorial expertise with you as they compose your story. They may suggest different narrative elements to make your story captivating and, yes, marketable. Ghostwriters are grammar gurus. Hiring a ghostwriter to write your book is like hiring an architect to design your dream home. You’re in charge of the creative direction, but the expert does the heavy lifting when it comes to the design.

“A ghostwriter is a wonderful collaboration partner and makes the whole process of book writing a little less lonely.”

Con: Ghostwriting Services Cost Money (and the Cost Is Variable)

If you hire a freelance ghostwriter, you will be subject to their individual rate. This varies across the board and usually correlates to experience and demand. You could also find a ghostwriter through an agency or storytelling company. If you choose this route, you can expect to pay for a service package. Some agencies charge a monthly subscription. Others will charge by the project. Be sure to do your research to determine the best rate for your budget.

Pro: Hiring a Ghostwriter Can Be Fun

Remember when you were a little kid, and someone told you a really juicy secret? That is kind of what hiring a ghostwriter is like. You don’t have to tell anyone that someone else is doing the main writing of your book! It can be your little secret. Ghostwriters do not write books for fame or prestige. They write books to help those who can’t, who are challenged by book writing, or who simply do not have the time. So when people read your book and tell you how beautifully it is written, you can smile and say a silent thank you to your ghostwriter. In addition to the secrecy element, a ghostwriter is a wonderful collaboration partner and makes the whole process of book writing a little less lonely.

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Bottom Line

Choosing to hire a ghostwriter to write your book is a very personal decision. You have to decide what benefits are most important to you as you embark on your book writing journey. Just know that the collaboration, time saved, and expertise are all worth it in the long run.