Ghostwriter FAQ

Ghostwriting_pic_5What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter (or ‘ghost writer’) is someone you can hire to write a book or screenplay in an undisclosed fashion. Professional ghostwriters (‘ghost writers’) in the publishing industry are writers who write books for authors in this way, but a ghostwriter can also work for members of the public on their private projects. Some of these collaborations produce the best results.

Although they are normally invisible, there are also collaborative authoring options and sometimes a ghostwriter will feature as co-author. This collaborative co-author approach is often the best choice for certain books and can increase the chances of a book being published. Therefore, acknowledging the ghostwriter through the use of ‘and’ or ‘with’ can be an author’s preference, although most of the time nobody will ever know they were involved.

Why would I hire a ghostwriter?

Because you don’t know where to begin, how to do it, or have the time. Whether it is a short business e-book, a memoir, or a factual book on the history of a shop, writing will take time, research, dedication and commitment. Writing well is a specialised skill that a lot of people just don’t have the time to master. This is where a professional writing firm can help you.

People hire a ghostwriter to turn a rough idea into a complete, well written creative product.

How does a ghostwriter help me to write my book?

To begin, they will need to gather information. Telephone calls, video meetings and face-to-face sit-downs are normal. The amount of time needed will average between 10 and 30 hours depending on the project. Following this information-gathering stage, contact will normally continue but you will also want to leave a writer to do their professional work in private while remaining contactable.

We will lead you through the development process – your job should be mainly talking and answering questions.

My life story would make an excellent book or film, can a ghostwriter help me?

Yes. Lots of people have had fascinating lives and have been told ‘that would make a great book’. Biographies, autobiographies or memoirs are among the most common things that we are asked to work on. We will be able to identify the message at the heart of your story, while making sure that the writing grips the reader’s attention.

I want to shop around; how do I find a professional?

Use a search engine to start with and change your term from ‘ghostwriter’ to ‘ghost writer’. ‘Find a ghostwriter’ and ‘ghostwriter services’ are also helpful key search terms. The business index websites can be helpful. Outside these basic approaches, you can contact publishers or agents. They will be able to partner you with a dependable author who can work as a writer for hire/ghostwriter throughout the development of your project.

Can you get my story published as a book or produced as a film?

We know from agents and publishers that the majority of creative projects – books or films – are not accepted because the standard is not professional enough. Our processes increases the chances that your book will be considered for publication.

Once you get in contact with us and we workshop your idea, we will offer you our opinion on the project, sometimes via a paid Manuscript Assessment. Some of the most surprising results come out of manuscripts that were ambitious enough to be submitted to a literary agent. Timing and persistence are important factors here. If a project is submitted to an agent who happens to be looking for ‘that very thing’ at ‘that very time’, you will be happy you invested in having the piece written professionally, packaged appropriately and submitted with a quality cover letter.

We will try our very best to help place the book into the market. Publishing houses and literary agents in the UK/US are easy to approach when submitting but they require a specific submission package and receive many hundreds of these each year. Standing out is essential. We can also help with this.

Different projects find different homes in different markets. The publishing industry is refining itself with the rise of self-publishing and a greater variety of author services. As a result, new opportunities are presenting themselves. We can discuss all of them one-to-one when we know the specifics of your project.

How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

Please click here for a general price guide.

How long does it take?

The majority of books take between 6 and 8 months to complete. This can change depending on the material we are given to get moving, the amount of research required and the size of the project.

Which writer will I be working with at The London Ghostwriting Company?

This will depend on the kind of project you have. Our team of writers all have specific areas of expertise so we are able to partner every client with the most capable writer. It is also important that you get on well with your ghost so video and 1 to 1 meets are normally arranged. Each enquiry that we receive is unique so every project is managed differently. Our writers are in high demand and are subject to availability, so you may have to wait up to six months for them. Be prepared to enter terms and clear an invoice to retain services. You will normally work with us as a whole team but interact for the majority of the process with a lead writer.

How do I know you are capable as my writer? What is your experience as a company?

Always request samples from your proposed ghostwriter and go with recommendations. If you are not fully convinced, keep searching. It is important to remember that ghostwriters are ‘invisible’ and may not be in a legal position (due to confidentiality) to send you many samples of their past works. You may, however, see work they have published in their own names.

At The London Ghostwriting Company, we have written fiction and non-fiction for all kinds of people from different nationalities and backgrounds. However, we do specialise in certain areas and will never take on a project that we are not well suited for.

A good ghostwriter will be able to write in numerous styles and genres to deliver different messages and themes. Our team of creative writers can adopt descriptive and poetic, as well as direct and simple styles. In addition to natural ability, our writers have spent years mastering the craft and have careers outside of LGC; in publishing, teaching or as established authors.

We work with professional editors, consultants and proofreaders who are some of the best in our industry.

How do I know you will fulfil your contract and finish my book?

You will sign a ‘writer for hire’ contract where all of the specifics are mentioned regarding issues of responsibility. To put it simply, we are contracted to finish the book as you agree it and often by a certain date.

Can a ghostwriter use the work they have written but I have paid for?

In the ‘writer for hire agreement’, you will sign into an Ownership Rights clause which shall assign ownership and intellectual property rights for the project to you as you pay for it.

What if there is a disagreement and the ghostwriter will not do what I want them to do?

You are paying for them to write what you want as best as they can. They will upgrade and enhance your idea and this process will require clarity during conversation as well as flexibility from both parties.

What if I don’t like what my ghostwriter has done?

This is a rare occurrence due to the amount of time a client will spend with their ghostwriter during the pre-production and the development of the book. However, during such circumstances, you will want to seek legal advice and approach the unique situation as advised.

Do I need to sign a contract?

With us – yes. Legally you do not need to sign into a contract but there are benefits to this and it can enhance, motivate, and lock in progress, helping to see things through from a deposit payment all the way to completion.

Are you a team of professional writers?

Our writers are all represented by independent agents. Luke Shipman is the Founder of The London Ghostwriting Company and he is a member of the Society of Authors, the ALCS, and The Writer’s Guild. The London Ghostwriting Company is the trade name of Ghostwriter Services UK Ltd., which is a fully insured incorporated business. We work with solicitors who specialise in media and copyright law. Luke Shipman has a Masters degree in Scriptwriting from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and has been working as a writer for hire for over fifteen years. LGC are a core team of 5 story consultants and we have access to and work with a pool of over 30 others.

What is the history of the company?

On November 16th 2016, the business was incorporated as a limited company and Ghostwriter Services UK Ltd. now trades under the brand name. The company number is 10482126 and our registered office is located at Acre House, 11-15 William Road, London, NW1 3ER.

The Regent Street address listed is now a business address only. Please do not send any hard copy manuscripts to this address as they will not be read.