Guest Post: The Book Doctor on Ghostwriting

More on ghostwriting for self-publishing authors from the Book Doctor…

Q: Where can I find an established writer to write my husband’s story?

A: Let’s first discuss the term “established,” because I want to be sure you are informed about the writing business. Most established authors and ghostwriters will not co-write a book without getting paid up front, because their time is valuable, they know how difficult it is to sell a book to a publisher, and they know that even if a publisher buys the book, the royalties on it can be abysmal. For those reasons, established writers won’t “write on spec,” as we call it, a term that refers to the speculation that the book might sell, and if it does, the writer would participate in the royalties. Unless you have $10,000 to $25,000 to pay an established writer or ghostwriter, look for someone who is not yet established. For a writer willing to work on spec, call around to find a college with an MFA program in creative writing. Ask the professor how to get your request to students. Perhaps one of the students will take on your husband’s story as a writing project and use it toward getting a degree.

If, however, you have the funds to pay an established ghostwriter for your book, many are registered with writers organizations. Search the Internet, and be sure to get references on the person you choose.

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Bobbie Christmas, book doctor, author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), and owner of Zebra Communications, will answer your questions, too. Send them to Read more “Ask the Book Doctor” questions and answers at

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