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When to Hire a Professional Ghostwriter for Your Book

December 17, 2020 (Last Updated February 17, 2021)

Marcy G.

If you’ve had “write a book” on your to-do list for a while, but haven’t had the time to make it happen, you’re not alone. Many busy professionals know that writing a book has the potential to supercharge their business, but are struggling with demands on their time.

Or, perhaps they’ve gotten to a point where their time management is under control, but they aren’t strong writers. They worry they won’t be able to do their justice in print.

If this sounds like you, you may be curious about hiring a ghostwriter.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a professional freelance writer who is hired to help write a book. They typically don’t get any credit (putting the “ghost” in ghostwriter). However, they perform a valuable service for the person whose name will be attached to the work.

Though the ghostwriter is invisible to others, to the book’s owner, they are indispensable. The ghostwriter helps research the book, conducts recorded interviews with the book’s owner, and draws up an outline. The book’s owner reviews the material and the outline with the ghostwriter to be sure everything is accounted for and offers suggestions where appropriate.

The ghostwriter then uses the transcribed interviews, research, and notes to write the book in the book owner’s voice. This process creates a work the book owner can comfortably recognize as their own — even though their own fingers never touched a keyboard.

Who uses ghostwriters?

So who uses ghostwriters? Certainly not every busy business owner needs to hire one. Sometimes all someone needs to do is drop a few obligations to create space in their week to write.

Amateur writers who feel a calling to write would not find much use in a ghostwriter — after all, why would they outsource their passion?

But for a select number of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals, a ghostwriter is an investment that makes sense. The people most likely to use a ghostwriter have big ideas to share, but may lack the time or skill required to produce a book. Celebrities often use ghostwriters, as do CEOs and thought leaders.

Also, it must be pointed out, people who hire a ghostwriter are able to afford the expense. If you try to cheap out when hiring a ghostwriter, you’ll wind up with a product you won’t be proud to put your name on.

When to use a ghostwriter

To determine whether you should hire a ghostwriter, ask yourself a few important questions.

   Have you been struggling to find time to write — as in, years? A ghostwriter might be the solution.

   Will a book increase your authority, improve understanding of your expertise, and position you to attract bigger and better clients? If so, getting it written could be worth the expense.

   Is it more important to you to write the book yourself, or to have the book completed? If it’s the latter, then hiring help makes sense.

   Are you great at speaking, but not with putting words on paper? Does writing take you way longer than it does for other people? Many entrepreneurs feel the same. Since your strengths lie in other areas, it makes sense to outsource writing to a person who is skilled in that area and save your time and energy for what you excel at.

Hiring a ghostwriter key takeaways

A ghostwriter is not the solution for everyone. If you can't spare the expense, if you look forward to the writing process, or if you want complete control over every comma and phrase, then buckle down and prepare to do the work of writing yourself.

However, if it's more important to you that the book be completed, no matter who is actually tasked with writing it, a ghostwriter could be the perfect solution. If that’s the case, you could be well on your way to publishing your book, with your thoughts — with a little help from a friendly ghost.

And when you’re ready to publish your book, let 48 Hour Books be your self-publishing partner. We provide fast turnaround times, so you can be holding your high-quality bound book sooner than you thought possible. Give us a call at 1-800-231-0521 or contact us online to get started.

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Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.

Print painlessly

Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


Trish Beaulieu August 13, 2023

Interested in finding more organic means for pre-sales marketing. Do you offer information in this field?

48 Hr Books August 15, 2023

Hi Trish! We do not have information of pre-sale marketing specifically, but you can find all of our tips on marketing via our Marketing Resources page . You can also search "Marketing" on our vlog landing page. https://www.48hrbooks.com/publishing-resources/marketing-resources

Cora White January 19, 2021

I'm ready to submit my work to you at 48hrbooks,com, but I'm not sure how to upload it from my computer because I don't have all the latest programs. I've copied my photos on to a thumb drive and printed the other information, etc. Is it possible to send it to you that way and have someone advise me then print my photojournalism for printing?

48 Hr Books January 19, 2021

Hi Cora! We recommend calling us at 800-231-0521 so we can walk you through how to upload your files. If your files are saved to your computer, no special program is required to upload them to your account once you place an order.

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