What are the 5 steps to finding the perfect ghostwriter?

I'm glad you asked, because I happen to have the answers for you right here.

1. Look For Your Ghostwriter

Sounds obvious, but there are a number of ways you can do this.


Type ‘ghostwriter,' the type of book you want written and the name of your town or city into the Google search bar and see who comes up.

For example, 'ghostwriter life stories Sydney.'

Ghostwriters write in a variety of fields, from blog posts to novels, and most specialise in particular areas.

So you want to make sure you find a writer who specialises in the type of story you want written.

If you want to work with someone face to face, you’ll need to find a ghostwriter in your area.

This may be a challenge, given that ghostwriters are not nearly as common a breed as other writers, such as freelance writers or copywriters.

Remember that it’s entirely possible to have a book ghostwritten without ever meeting the writer in person. 

Ghostwriters work with clients all over the world, using video apps such as Skype and Zoom to talk to them.

Social Media

Type the same search term that you put into Google into the search bar of Facebook. Put a call out on Twitter with a ‘ghostwriter’ hashtag, or search on LinkedIn.

Here’s my profile on LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinstoreyauthor

Some ghostwriters have a presence on Youtube. Here’s my YouTube channel.

There are some sites that curate professional writers in various fields, eg Reedsy. https://reedsy.com/ghostwriting/book-ghostwriter

Some writer’s organisations provide a list of ghostwriters, eg the Australian Society of Authors.

Life Stories Australia also has a list of ghostwriters.


Personal recommendation.

Put the call out among friends and family, and make use of their social networks.

It’s surprising who people know. Word of mouth is a powerful tool - a ‘friend of a friend’ or a similar relationship can often lead to a referral.

5 Steps To Finding The Perfect Ghostwriter Pinterest

2. Discuss Your Project

Once you’ve found a ghostwriter who seems suitable - and if you can find more than one, even better, so you can do comparisons - contact them and discuss your project.

Most ghostwriters offer a free initial consultation so you can both ascertain if you’re a good fit for each other.

If you can’t meet them in person, arrange a video chat. This will enable you to get a better feel for the writer’s personality.

Be clear about your aims.

How many words do you envisage your story will be?

Full-length life stories are usually between 50 000 to 60 000 words. Memoirs, covering only a portion of your life, are often shorter.

Do you want to submit it to traditional publishers, or do you want to publish it yourself? 

Or do you just want it for family?

If it’s a memoir, be clear about the specific time period in which it takes place.

Tell the ghostwriter about any information/documentation you already have or research you’ve done. 

All this information will help them to create an exact quote that reflects the amount of work involved.

3. Find Out The Cost

Most ghostwriters will be able to give you a ballpark figure, or at least a range, eg between $25,000 and $35,000 once they’ve got a good idea of the type and length of your story.

This is the most important information to get upfront, because there’s no point continuing the conversation if their fees are above your budget.

Ghostwriting is a specialised craft that requires a lot of time and expertise, and most professional ghostwriters won’t charge any less than $15,000 - $20,000, especially if you want your book to be commercially published.

Some may charge less than that, if your story is only for the family.

My fees for a full-length life story for commercial publication start at $35,000. To see more about what ghostwriters do go here.

Ask the ghostwriter how they want the fees paid.

This varies from writer to writer, but most will require a deposit of at least 25% and the rest paid in instalments over the period of writing.  

The payment schedule will be included in the contract you sign before the ghostwriter starts work on your story. 

4. Ask The Ghostwriter About Their Process

Ghostwriters work to a particular process and it’s important to know what their process is so you know what to expect. The basic process is:

  • Create an outline and structure of the story in conjunction with the client
  • Gathering of information via interviews, research etc 
  • Writing first draft
  • Client review, marking changes to be made
  • Writing second draft with requested changes
  • Client review again for final approval
  • Manuscript sent to professional proofreader

This process will often vary with each ghostwriter.

For example, some don’t include proofreading as part of their service.

I always do, as I like to present my client with a clean manuscript that’s ready to present to a publisher.

Ask the ghostwriter how long it will take and when they will be ready to start. 

It can take between three and six months to complete a project, sometimes longer. 

And if the ghostwriter is currently working on a project or have others booked ahead of you, they may not be able to start straight away.

5. Ask To See Samples And Testimonials

This can be a challenge, as ghostwriters are often required to sign a non-disclosure agreement when they take on a project, which prohibits them from publicly identifying as the author.

It’s not the case for every book and they may still be able to show you books they have ghostwritten where their writing has been acknowledged.

If not, they should have other samples, such as books they’ve written under their own names, short stories, articles or blog posts.

Finally, if they tick all the boxes but you’re still not sure if they’re the perfect ghostwriter for you, you can request that they write a trial chapter of your story, so you can ascertain if the style and voice resonates with you.

Not all ghostwriters will agree to it and of course, you’ll need to pay for it.

But it’s one way of making sure that you have the right person for the job.

6. Bonus Tip - Let Me Write It For You

Book a Free, No-Obligation Consultation Today!

Click the button below to find out more about having your story ghostwritten and to book an appointment with me.

Did the 5 steps to finding the perfect ghostwriter answer some of your questions? 

If so, and you want to know more about my ghostwriting services, including mentoring, click here. https://www.storey-lines.com/ghostwriter-life-story/

Enter your name and email address as directed and I will contact you within 24 hours to discuss how I can help you. 

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