3 Ways to Avoid Extra Costs When Hiring a Ghostwriter for Your Memoir

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Talk With a Ghostwriter

If you’re thinking of publishing your memoir but writing isn’t your strong suit, you’ve probably made the wise decision to hire a ghostwriter. The majority of people who publish memoirs—from A-list celebrities and politicians to regular people with incredible stories—hire a ghostwriter to do the heavy lifting for them as they simply don’t have the time and skills to write the book on their own. That said, the world of ghostwriting is unknown territory to most people. 

Ghostwriting doesn’t come cheap, especially if you’re hiring someone highly skilled at what they do. It’s an investment in your future book, so opting for a cheap ghostwriter means you probably won’t get a good return. If you’re worried about the cost and wondering how to avoid overpaying, read on to learn three ways in which you can avoid extra costs when hiring a ghostwriter.

We offer a memoir ghostwriting service that covers everything, from the interview and outline to writing, editing, publication, and promotion. Get a free memoir consultation to determine if our service is right for you.

Before we break down the ways to avoid unnecessary costs when hiring a ghostwriter, it’s important to drive this point home: Don’t compromise on quality for the sake of saving a few bucks! You certainly don’t want to get ripped off, but you also don’t want to end up with a poorly written memoir because you went for the cheapest option. You get what you pay for, so make sure you choose a ghostwriter who can deliver a memoir you’ll be proud to publish.

How to save money when hiring a ghostwriter

1. Plan ahead

Having a plan and being organized means less work for the ghostwriter, which often translates into lower costs for you.

Before hiring a ghostwriter, think about the kind of memoir you want. Be clear about your tone and writing style preferences and your target audience. Have a good idea of the story you wish to share and a general idea of the events and experiences you want included in your memoir. This will save the ghostwriter from having to pry these thoughts out of you during the interview, making for a smoother creative process. Plus, if you’ve already given some serious thought to what you want, you’ll be able to present concrete ideas to your ghostwriter, allowing them to come up with a higher-quality outline.

Aside from knowing what you want, have things prepared. If you’ve recorded conversations with people, transcribe them so you don’t have to pay your ghostwriter to do that. Organize your notes and diaries: events listed chronologically, information sorted by people or places, or a list of topics to cover or messages to convey. In short, make sure your materials are easy to read and reference. Try to think objectively—how would an outsider see them? Make whatever adjustments are necessary to ensure someone else can easily digest your notes.

While organizing your documents, select only what the ghostwriter will need. You probably have an awful lot of notes, journal entries, and interview transcripts, but many of them will be unnecessary. By streamlining, you ensure your ghostwriter won’t have to wade through a ton of material that may end up being irrelevant to your story. Still, don’t discard too much—you never know what seemingly insignificant details a ghostwriter may see as adding value to your tale.

2. Cast aside filler stories

This is a book about your life, so it will be tempting to include EVERYTHING, but doing so may cost you. An overly long manuscript is simply a larger project for a ghostwriter, and they’ll likely charge more. Besides, readers aren’t interested in everything that’s ever happened in your life.

Besides costing more, it could also irk readers to wade through “filler” stories that add little to the overall narrative or message. The harsh truth is that even though every experience may be important to you, not every one of them will contribute to crafting a gripping narrative. In any case, you can’t fit your entire life into a single book, so you have no choice but to cut out certain stories.

Think hard about what events move the narrative forward and throw out anything that doesn’t. This means eliminating the “boring” sections that don’t contribute to the overarching theme or message of your memoir and focusing on the parts that add the most value.

3. Hire an editor instead

Opting for an editor instead of a ghostwriter only works if you have some writing skills, not to mention the time to write your memoir on your own. If you do, it may be less expensive to write the book yourself and hire an editor for feedback on how to improve it. Armed with notes from an editor, you’ll be able to revise and rewrite until you have a polished memoir. Since this is a huge time commitment, however, you will want to consider the opportunity cost associated with writing the book yourself. 

A similar option is to stick with a ghostwriter but hire them to rewrite a rough draft you’ve written yourself. You’d still pen the first draft, as you would when working with an editor, but you would hire a ghostwriter instead to shape it into a viable final draft. This is a less time-consuming process for the ghostwriter and is therefore likely to be less expensive. You won’t save a ton, but you’ll definitely save something.

Cost isn’t everything

Finding the right ghostwriter for your memoir requires considering far more factors than cost, but we hope this post will help you understand better how the ghostwriting process works and how you may be able to reduce your expenses when enlisting the services of a professional. Don’t forget that hiring a ghostwriter is an investment, so don’t be afraid to spend a bit more on a great one. Your rewards will be the stronger sales and clout that come with a fantastic book.

Don’t forget: You can hire a ghostwriter through us. Take advantage of our free consultation to see if we’d be a good fit for your memoir project.

Talk With a Ghostwriter