Got a great idea but don’t have the time or the energy to make it into a book? Most books with a high-profile name on the cover weren’t created by a celebrity typing away furiously for months. These authors used ghostwriters, who took an expert’s or public figure’s knowledge and ideas and crafted them into structured, coherent copy. Even famous authors such as James Patterson and Wilbur Smith have openly used co-authors.
There are generally two options to get your book to market without your having to slave away at the keyboard: ghostwriting and co-authorship. With ghostwriting, the author you hire remains anonymous (although we appreciate it when we’re mentioned in the book’s acknowledgment section!). A co-author, on the other hand, will have his or her name on the cover along with yours. Here are some of the main benefits of each:
- You get sole credit for the book.
- In most cases, the final product is considered a work for hire, meaning you own full rights to the material.
- Depending on the co-author’s notoriety, you can benefit from having his or her name on the cover with yours.
- Because the hired writer benefits from having their name on the cover of a book, the price for co-authorship is often lower than that of a ghostwritten work.
I have ghostwritten more than a dozen books, two of which became New York Times bestsellers. I’ve developed a process that lets me produce a book in as little as two months, depending on the topic and amount of research involved. I’ve written on topics as wide-ranging as baseball, civil rights, finances, marketing, and religion, as well as in various genres of fiction.
If you still have questions, I’ve written an article that covers much of the ghostwriting basics, including the importance of author/ghostwriter chemistry, your time commitment, and what to look for when choosing a ghostwriter or co-author.
Got a great idea and need help getting it on paper? Contact me for rates and other information.