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Clock Gears



Hundreds of unvetted ghostwriters offer services through gig economy platforms, but quality of work varies widely. Consider refining your search with the help of a talent agency that specializes in matching vetted writers with individual projects. Literary matchmakers at Pastorini-Bosby Talent have curated a short list of experienced ghostwriters with stellar publishing credentials in a variety of genres. 

Questions to ask before hiring a ghostwriter:

  • How many books have they written/ghostwritten?

  • What publishers have they worked with?

  • What is their genre/area of expertise? 

  • How many other clients will they be working with at the same time they're working with you?

  • How do they approach/execute projects like yours?

  • What is a realistic deadline for completing the work?

  • What's the fee including a realistic estimate of expenses?

  • What are they reading?

Before work can begin, you'll need a collaboration agreement that mutually respects your financial investment and the ghostwriter's investment of time and energy. The collaboration agreement between author and ghostwriter is separate from the contract between author and publisher. 


The typical author/ghostwriter collaboration agreement covers:

  • fee for book proposal, full manuscript, or both

  • ballpark word count of finished work

  • schedule for the completion of work

  • how and where ghostwriter will be credited (cover, title page, and/or acknowledgments) and the ghostwriter's permission to list book on their resume and promotional materials

  • responsibility for expenses including transcription, travel, etc.

  • payment schedule and/or payment triggers such as "on signing" and "delivery and acceptance"

  • indemnities and other legal parameters

  • a clear explanation of each party's obligations

  • confidentiality/nondisclosure commitment


Every book project is different. A great ghostwriter tailors the process to meet the needs of the aspiring author, but most projects evolve in three stages.


Build a solid foundation to bulletproof against false starts.

  • The ghostwriter interviews the aspiring author and does foundational reading and research.

  • Ghost and author brainstorm story arcs and focus messaging.

  • Ghost builds a detailed outline and writes a sample to make sure they've captured the author's voice. 



Generate a rough draft of every chapter.

  • The ghost generates chapters and sends them to the author for feedback. 

  • Ghost and author continue regular conversations to discuss revisions and brainstorm upcoming material.



Assemble and revise the full manuscript.

  • The ghost assembles chapters into a full first draft, incorporating feedback from author.

  • It's a good idea to read the full manuscript aloud at this point. Having the editor participate in the table read eliminates a lot of back and forth.

  • Ghost executes all revisions from the table read, plus a standard pre-CE (copy edit) punch list.

  • Ghost and author deliver the full manuscript to the copy editor and proceed to publishing pipeline. 

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