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Ghostwriters, Who Needs Them? YOU DO! Read This Before You Hire One

Ghostwriters, Who Needs Them? YOU DO! Read This Before You Hire One

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Ghostwriters work behind the curtain as narrative architects of the literary world. You’ve probably read a ghostwritten book without knowing it, since their names are rarely credited in the books they write. Some experts estimate that up to 60% of the nonfiction section in your nearest bookstore is ghostwritten.

As a book publicist deeply involved in the world of storytelling, some of my clients seek out ghostwriters to pen their books. Working with a ghostwriter can save you valuable time and energy and give your book a professional edge. But ghostwriters can be hard to vet, and their referrals tend to be word-of-mouth. There are also a few things you should know before you hire one. So, I put together a quick list of my favorite ghostwriters in 2023, as well as the top agencies, and a few tips for hiring a ghostwriter.

Marie Hasty

“The books I write for my clients change lives. That’s what I love about ghostwriting — even more so than personal relationships and getting to learn from healthcare leaders. These aren’t vanity books; they’re deeply impactful career investments.” 

Marie is a concierge ghostwriter and former hospital nurse who writes business books and memoirs for healthcare innovators. Her clients are often busy clinicians and leaders who are focusing on a better future for medicine. Her writing helps build brand authority and audience recognition. She loves elevating these leaders’ influence with the books she writes, as well as seeing her clients succeed as published authors.

To learn more about Marie’s work, visit her website: www.mariehasty.com

Debra Englander

“You need to think about your target audience. Some authors want a book to promote their business or gain more visibility. But you should consider the benefits to the reader. Ultimately, writing a book that provides something tangible — skills, exercises, stories – is the one that will be recommended. As ghostwriter and editor, I help the author communicate his or her message in the most effective way to reach a wide readership. Having worked as an editor at traditional publishers, I have a good handle on what books are likely to succeed.”

Debra Englander has worked as a writer and editor for magazines and publishers; she managed a business book program at Wiley for seventeen years, publishing numerous NY Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers.

Learn more about her work at www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander or contact her at: [email protected]

Mike Ball

“We can work with your outline, your rough manuscript, or we can interview you and write your book from scratch.”

Mike Ball is an Erma Bombeck Award-winning author with three books of his own in print, including an Amazon bestseller, “Banjos, Boats and Butt Dialing.” He is a popular speaker at writer’s conferences and retreats and facilitates a number of writers’ groups.

Mike has helped hundreds of authors bring their work into the world, partnering with them in various roles as an editor, writing coach and ghost writer. He most recently penned “MIA’S ODYSSEY.” This 12-time-award-winning book has captivated the hearts and minds of many across the USA for its powerful story about a woman married off by her parents, abused by her husband, homeless all while raising five children. This book is currently in development as a screenplay. He’s ghostwritten several memoirs and a book about “SALES.” CNN has named him a CNN Hero for 2023 for his work with troubled youth using music as an expression of their innermost fears, hopes and dreams. If you have a compassionate, endearing story then Mike is your ghost.

Check out his website: https://www.mikeballonline.com/

Erick Mertz

“Whether I’m working on a memoir or screenplay, my work is focused on bringing the best possible story to the page. I believe we are all natural storytellers. Working with a professional ghostwriter offers the best opportunity to affect your target audience.”

Erick Mertz is a dynamic storyteller who left a career in social work to follow his calling as a full-time professional ghostwriter. He is a native of the Pacific Northwest with dozens of ghostwritten screenplays, television episodes, business books, memoirs and novels to his credit. He especially enjoys working with his clients to discover what it is that makes their story unique.

Visit his website at: www.erickmertzwriting.com

Erick is also the author of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Writing Project.”

Christina Schweighofer

“From my earliest days as a journalist, I have loved interviewing people, hearing about their experiences and dreams, and making their story come alive on the page. My clients, in turn, feel seen and valued for who they are.”

Christina has a passion for writing that began in her days as a staff journalist and reporter in Austria. She’s an accomplished writer and interviewer, known for her ability to capture the essence of the people she writes for. Christina specializes in personal and business memoirs and has interviewed and portrayed notable names such as John Irving, Lisbeth Zwerger, Wolfgang Puck, and more.

Learn more about Christina and her ghostwriting services at: www.chswriter.com

Pam Gossiaux

My clients are often busy entrepreneurs and CEOs who have a great book idea, but no time to write about it. Entrepreneurs are fearless about change, they love challenges, and are known for creating the future they want. I love being a part of that energy! Handing them a finished book that they can add to their platform is very rewarding for both of us. I love to write and am blessed that I can do what I love for a living!”

Pamela specializes in ghostwriting business books and articles but writes sweet romance fiction on the side. Her clients are USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors and range from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned C-Suite executives.

Explore Pamela’s website at: www.BestsellingBookShepherd.com

Dr. Don Steele

“My Legacy books capture the life of people with stories that need to be told. There’s an African Proverb that says “When a man dies a whole library of life experience turns to ashes”. The Legacy books I write prevent that.”

Dr. Steele has an impressive background in education and as a corporate speaker at the highest levels and has published nine books, three of which have been used as university textbooks. His ‘Moments to Remember’ Legacy book series helps preserve and elevate stories of people who have led fascinating lives. His titles have included Rebel Without Applause, Undefeated, and The Misfit Millionaire: The Life and Times of Terry Duperon.

Find out more about Don on his website: www.performancelearninginc.com/authoring-1

Ghostwriting Agencies

Writer’s groups and agencies can be another great resource for finding a ghostwriter for your next project.

Jenkins Group

With 35 years of custom book publishing and ghostwriting experience, the Jenkins Group has written and produced books for thousands of clients. With the expertise of their professional writers, your ideas and concepts are transformed into polished and engaging content. Working closely with their clients, Jenkins Group understands your goals, voice, and objectives, ensuring that the final product aligns with your vision. Since they are full service, they can also handle the publishing and distribution of your book once its completed. Reach them at: www.JenkinsGroupInc.com

Gotham Ghostwriters

Gotham Ghostwriters, founded by CEO Dan Gerstein, is the first agency dedicated to long-form writing solutions. With a network of over 3,200 skilled writers, Gotham has successfully matched clients with top-tier editorial professionals for over a decade. From business books to white papers, their one-stop solution offers excellent ghostwriting support and expertise.

Between these top agencies and the writers, I mentioned earlier, you should be able to find someone who meets your ghostwriting needs. But what should you know before hiring a book ghostwriter? Let’s talk about it.

4 Tips for Hiring a Ghostwriter

Know ghostwriting rates.

Many people are surprised at the going rate for ghostwriting. For example, Gotham’s rates start around $30-35k. Many of the top writers’ charge in the six figures. J.D. Moehringer, who ghostwrote Prince Harry’s memoir Spare, was paid a million dollars. If you want a professionally written book, expect to pay at least $25,000.

Know your audience.

It’s essential to know and understand who you want to target before you hire a ghostwriter for your book. Knowing your audience leads to a more successful book launch and a more targeted book. Your ghostwriter won’t intuit your audience, so it’s essential to know this before you work together.

Do some vetting.

Ghostwriters can be difficult to evaluate because many work under strict Non-Disclosure Agreements. But any writer should have samples of work you can view before agreeing to work together. You’ll likely be able to tell after a quick conversation whether they’re experienced or not.

Seek compatibility.

The writing process can be an intimate affair with the author and ghostwriter. Look for someone who is reliable, and who you genuinely like talking to. They should be good listeners and take the time to understand you and your project.

Following these tips will help you find a ghostwriter who will elevate your story, build your brand authority, and above all, make the book-writing process a breeze. If you’ve been thinking about writing a book for more than a year… it’s time to hire a ghostwriter. We’re not getting any younger!

The Bottom Line: Hire a Ghostwriter! A ghostwriter will get the job done faster and probably better than you can write it yourself.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

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