3 Qualities Your Memoir Ghostwriter Should Possess
Finding the right ghostwriter for your memoir can be a daunting task. With tons of different specialties within the ghostwriting industry, it can be difficult to find the right professional for your project. A memoir is also very personal, and you want to have good chemistry with your ghostwriter—otherwise, you may struggle to open up to them about your innermost thoughts and feelings. Finally, your ghostwriter should already have experience with writing nonfiction books and understand what it takes to write a compelling, commercially successful memoir. So, where do you start?
The best way to ensure you’ll be paired up with the right ghostwriter for your project is to contact our memoir ghostwriting services to find the perfect writer for you. Our team is expansive, with professional ghostwriters covering any number of specialties and niches. So, what are some of the qualities your ghostwriter should have?
1. Your ghostwriter should have experience writing books (of course)
Writing a full-length book takes more organization, time, and an established, practiced process, especially when deadlines are involved. Each writer has their own process and way of doing things, but you want them to already know what they’re doing and have a clear blueprint of how they’re going to do it. A ghostwriter who has published their own book will have a better understanding of how the process, and the industry, work, which can only be beneficial to your memoir. They don’t need to have published a book under their own name, but they should have at least published books for other clients, even if they can’t divulge the titles of the works due to confidentiality agreements.
A ghostwriter with experience writing full-length books will know how to organize all your content and ideas and how to handle the elements of a memoir, from chronology to anecdotes, characters, narrative arcs, and everything in between. Writing a book is much more than simply finding the best words, after all—the entire book needs to flow together to create a cohesive experience for the reader. Your ghostwriter’s experience will also translate to the business side of the project, which means they’ll likely have a sample contract you can look through to make sure they’ll deliver what you’re paying for. Comb through it carefully to ensure all the elements that might concern you are present, including a confidentiality clause if you want your ghost to remain anonymous.
2. Your ghostwriter should have experience ghostwriting nonfiction books
Ghostwriting nonfiction, especially a memoir, requires a completely different set of skills than writing fiction. Most ghostwriters work with nonfiction, but fiction ghostwriting is also a thriving industry in its own right.
Ghostwriting a memoir requires a knack for understanding the author’s voice to adopt and recreate it. It also necessitates doing some research, such as conducting interviews, combing through archival materials, and analyzing the historical and cultural context the story inhabits. While a fiction writer relies more heavily on their imagination to create new worlds, a nonfiction writer needs to make reality engaging through storytelling and literary elements like themes and narrative. This is why you want your memoir ghostwriter to have experience writing nonfiction, interviewing subjects, and compiling research material. However, you can’t saddle your ghostwriter with too much research work—the content and ideas of the book must come from you. Your ghostwriter can conduct fact-checking and basic research, but they can’t come up with the content on their own.
Most ghostwriters sign a confidentiality agreement or NDA before taking on a project, especially if they’re working with a high-profile client, which means they’re not legally allowed to provide samples of their work. If this is the case with your ghostwriter, they might be able to show you only a letter from their editor or publisher endorsing their skills and work ethic, which should be enough if their employer has a solid reputation. If your ghostwriter can’t show you any proof that they’ve worked on a successful memoir before, they should, at the very least, have some kind of writing sample you can read. If not, you should start looking for someone else. Hiring a ghostwriter is a major investment, and the quality of your memoir is on the line, so don’t take a chance on a friendly ghostwriter with nothing to show.
3. Your ghostwriter should put in the effort to get to know you
You want a ghostwriter who will be involved in every step of your project and who will put in the effort to get to know you as a person. This knowledge will go directly into the writing to make it sound more authentically like you. A ghostwriter who isn’t involved or excited about your memoir probably won’t deliver a high-quality manuscript, as they won’t be familiar with the way you speak, think, and behave. So, hire a ghostwriter who you like, trust, and can easily get along with. This way, it’ll be easy for you to open up to them, and they’ll be more interested in and attuned to you and the way you tick.
Some ghostwriters will even outsource the writing to someone else who doesn’t personally know you, and their disregard for your book will show in the final product. Make sure they won’t be outsourcing their work to anyone else—you can do so by including a clause in the contract forbidding outsourcing. The only parts of the process where it’s not only acceptable but desirable for a ghostwriter to outsource their work is when the time comes for editing and proofreading. These are specialized skills that a professional writer may not necessarily possess. Besides, editing and proofreading your own work is exceptionally difficult because you’re too familiar with your own work to catch all the little oversights. Many professional ghostwriters, including our experts, work hand in hand with an editorial team made up of editors and proofreaders to ensure they’re providing the highest-quality content possible. In fact, our ghostwriting services even include help with publishing and promotion, which is more than most freelance ghostwriters can deliver. This gives you a comprehensive ghostwriting package from ideation to publication, supported throughout the entire process by seasoned professionals.
To take full advantage of our experienced in-house team of writers, editors, proofreaders, designers, and other industry experts, check out our memoir ghostwriting services and get a free consultation today.