Because the ghostwriting world is a bit secretive, becoming a ghostwriter isn't on many people's radars. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for those of us who have already built a ghostwriting business. But it’s not very good for those breaking in. That’s why I promised myself that I’d pull back the curtain on the industry.
The secretive nature of building a ghostwriting business isn’t the only thing holding people back, either. Myths about the nature of what we do keep way too many writers on the sideline. Here are three common myths about becoming a ghostwriter that hold people back.
When someone wants to write a book, they find a ghostwriter, dump a bunch of ideas and information on them, and then disappear until the project is complete, right? Wrong. This is the number one myth that people assume about being a ghostwriter—both clients and writers.
The vast majority of our projects are collaborations with our clients. We plan the book together. We interview the client to get information and stories. And while we write the main content, our clients review, comment, and even edit many times. We communicate this to our clients so expectations are clear. And it’s best for the project because our clients need to know what’s in their books.
One of the biggest myths about writing is that you can’t make good money. If you want to write your own books and are just getting started, that might be true in the short-term. Making $1 to $5 per book as a royalty doesn’t add up very fast if you don’t have a big audience. So, if you’ve struggled to make money as a writer, ghostwriting could be your answer.
With ghostwriting, your first projects generally pay thousands of dollars. I charged $3,400 for my first book as a ghostwriter and raised my rates from there. I got paid right away and didn’t have to worry about whether the book sold. And I didn’t need to do any of the selling work, either. All I needed to do was write the book. The client had an audience and a way to get a return on his investment.
We’ve helped many ghostwriters get started, charging thousands of dollars for their very first book. They then use that money and the connections they make through ghostwriting to fund their own writing without the pressure of having to sell their books all the time.
This myth has likely turned a lot of people away from pursuing a ghostwriting career. Anyone can be a ghostwriter and the more professional you present yourself, the better your career will be.
We teach ghostwriters to treat themselves like the professionals they are. Clients need to be confident in you before they hire you. If you show up late for calls and look like a slob, they will not want to work with you. It’s that simple. If you show up on time for calls and are well-groomed, they will be much more confident in you.
Feel free to grow a beard if you want but if you don’t treat yourself like a professional, nobody will.
These three myths hold way too many people back from making real money as a ghostwriter. You are not a lone wolf. You can make good money as a ghostwriter. And the more professional you present yourself, the more professional people will treat you.
If you want help building a ghostwriting business, join our free Facebook group, Ghostwriter Growth, where you can connect with thousands of other writers working to build a ghostwriting business.