For a writer seeking to make writing a full time career, it is important to find interesting projects to sustain yourself. Ghostwriting is a lucrative opportunity for a writer to learn and earn at the same time. This article takes a look at some basic tips on becoming a successful ghostwriter in reference to writing nonfiction books.
1. Gain experience in writing
Write a lot. By writing different types of articles and pieces, you will gain an insight into how different platforms work. Start a blog – it offers you great opportunities for writing about things you are passionate about as well as making a wonderful portfolio to link to your prospective client. Offer to write guest articles in well-known blogs or journals, so that you can slowly and gradually build up a good reputation as a writer. Try your hand at different topics and different styles of writing so that you are ready when someone offers you a ghostwriting job with specific instructions. Make sure your language is perfect, including grammar, spelling and presentation.
2. Hone your research skills
Though you are only writing down someone else’s research and work, you will be required to remain accurate and present facts properly. For this, you too will have to do some research. Some clients might even involve you deeper in the project and you might have to interview people or read up on research papers on the subject. It should not be a problem if you are already familiar with the subject, but knowing where to look for information and how to incorporate it in the book is a skill that will be required. This might also mean subscribing to journals and online databases from where you can access research that might not be available to the general public.
3. Understanding your role
In a ghostwriting project, client demands on how the book must be written come along with the territory. You must remember that the book is not yours, but belongs to another person. Even if you are getting credit for it, you have very little control over how it should be approached. If, as a ghostwriter, you want to have fully satisfied clients, you will have to ensure that you follow their instructions and write the book the way they want it written. This means letting go of your own ideas and looking at new ways of structuring the book. You can always consider it as learning something new.
4. Meeting deadlines
Being able to meet your deadlines is important to keep your clients. Publishing is a relentless industry and authors often have strict contracts stipulating how much time they have to finish writing their books. If the book is not ready for publishing on time, then it can lead to a lot of problems, especially since the marketing and promotion may have already started earlier. In case of highly technical research books (which are often ghostwritten), you might even be holding up availability in universities and educational institutions. Keeping your clients and their readers satisfied is your responsibility. Apart from submitting the project on time, also ensure that you respond to requests for corrections or changes or any questions that your client might have in a timely manner to avoid delays. All this will show off your professionalism and keep you in business.
5. Know your limitations
As a ghostwriter, you may receive job offers on writing on different topics. While you might feel tempted to take up everything that comes your way, be aware that most ghostwriting projects involve technical or historical subjects and need some level of basic knowledge. It would be a good idea if you were to develop your niche and learn something about the field in which you propose to write. If you want to specialize with legal texts, then you can start reading up on the more technical points of the law and develop a general awareness on the subject. Or alternatively, if you have a law background and want to work as a ghostwriter, you can seek out legal ghostwriting projects.
If you are already a writer, it is not too difficult to start working with ghostwriting projects. Just ensure that you know what you are doing, be professional and give your best, and soon enough you will be well established.
Image credit: hobvias sudoneighm on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]