How to Become a Ghostwriter

Becoming a ghostwriter can be a great way to earn extra money or even launch a new career as a freelancer. But what many people don’t know is that ghostwriters require more skills than just writing. If you are considering to become a ghostwriter, these tips are for you.

Decide Upon Your Niche

There are several different subject and niches you can write about. Before you become a ghostwriter, you need to decide upon what subject or niche you want to write about. This will help the job be more enjoyable and interesting. Here are a few ideas of niches:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Auto-biographies
  • Self-help books

Hone Your Writing Skills

It is advised to practice your writing skills so you can be an even better writer. Improve your grammar and your vocabulary. You should also write a few pieces, so you can use them for reference for clients until you start to build your portfolio.

Practice Your Interview Skills

A large part of becoming a ghostwriter is the interview process. Clients want to find the person who will be right for the job and who is easy to communicate with. Make sure you can ask the right questions about your client, as well as answer any questions they will have for you.

Become a Good Researcher

As a ghostwriter, you will need to be able to do a thorough research for accurate writing. Along the way, make sure you take clear notes for reference. Learn to take advantage of the library and the Internet for researching the subjects you will write about.

Be a Trustworthy Individual

Ghostwriters must maintain a good reputation, or they will not receive future work. You should expect to become a fully trustworthy individual as you could potentially have access to sensitive materials. Ghostwriters are also expected to preserve the client’s confidentiality.

Follow the Client’s Instructions

Ghostwriters should follow the instructions of the clients. As a ghostwriter, you need to remember the project is not ‘yours’ and you have been hired to do the writing. At the end of the day, what your client says, goes, even if you normally wouldn’t agree to write in that style.

Understand Legal Issues

There are several things that can become legal issues, though it depends on the nature of the project. Before you begin a project, you need to protect yourself and your reputation by making sure everything is bound by a contract. When you receive a contract, ensure you understand everything written there before you sign it. (And yes, you need to read every single part of it before you sign it too!) A few terms to familiarize yourself with are:

  • Duties: what needs to be done and by whom, and when tasks should be done.
  • Credit: The client is usually listed as the author. Sometimes ghostwriters can be featured as co-authors or named in the thank you section. Some ghostwriters are not mentioned at all.
  • Compensation: the amount of payment given to the ghostwriter.
  • Copyright: Most of the time, clients will maintain full rights to works completed. If nothing is written in the contract, the works will be divided evenly among all parties involved.

Ghostwriting can be a fulfilling career but it is not just as simple as writing a story. The immersion in the project and legal issues at hand can turn away many people from this industry. If you truly want to be a ghostwriter, make sure you are well prepared before you take the plunge.

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