What exactly does a ghostwriter do?

A guide for non-fiction authors

In the world of non-fiction literature, the term “ghostwriter” often remains enigmatic, somewhat shrouded in mystery and wonder. Behind the scenes of many successful non-fiction books, there’s often an unsung hero known as the ghostwriter, diligently crafting words, weaving narratives and transforming ideas into eloquent prose. If you’ve ever wondered about the magic behind these books, or if you’re considering becoming a non-fiction author yourself, let’s demystify non-fiction ghostwriting and delve into what exactly a ghostwriter does.

The ghostwriter’s role

A ghostwriter is a skilled and versatile wordsmith who collaborates with authors to bring their ideas to life. They capture the author’s unique voice, style, and expertise, crafting a seamless narrative that resonates with readers. Ghostwriters often remain anonymous, allowing the author to take full credit for the work – not to mention royalties – while providing invaluable support throughout the writing process.

Exploring the landscape of non-fiction books

Non-fiction books come in various shapes and sizes, each catering to a specific audience and offering unique insights. Here are some common types of non-fiction books, along with how a ghostwriter’s expertise can add value:

Business and leadership books

In this genre, a ghostwriter can help business leaders and entrepreneurs share their insights, strategies, and experiences. By translating complex ideas into accessible language, they help create engaging books that establish the author as a thought leader in their field.

Self-help and personal development books

Ghostwriters collaborate with authors to distil life lessons, personal stories and actionable advice into compelling self-help books. These books empower readers to make positive changes and navigate challenges. Often authored by business coaches or health and wellness coaches, this genre of non-fiction book is a powerful marketing tool that will enhance your personal brand and lead to more credibility and visibility in addition to opening doors to new and exciting business opportunities.

Biographies and memoirs

Capturing an individual’s life journey requires sensitivity and skill. Ghostwriters work closely with authors to recount their experiences, creating captivating biographies and memoirs that inspire and connect with readers. This type of book lends itself well to people who have had extraordinary experiences and want to share their life stories to entertain, inform, amuse or help others facing similar challenges. Others may just want to document their life in a book to leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

How-to and educational books

Ghostwriters excel in breaking down complex concepts into understandable terms. They collaborate with experts in various fields to create informative how-to guides and educational books that empower readers with new skills and knowledge. A how-to or educational book is typically written by subject-matter experts who have in-depth knowledge and experience in a specific field. These professionals are often considered thought leaders, educators or practitioners with valuable insights to share. They can be individuals who have excelled in their industry, possess specialist skills or have a unique perspective that can benefit others.

The benefits of authoring a how-to or educational book offers
  • Establish your authority and expertise
  • Build your personal brand
  • Expand your reach and influence
  • Create new opportunities
  • Monetise your expertise
  • Educate and empower others
  • Share your expertise
  • Leave a lasting legacy

Professionals who write how-to or educational books come from diverse fields, including business, technology, health and wellness, arts and crafts, finance, self-improvement and more. Regardless of the field, the key is having specialist knowledge and a strong desire to share that knowledge with a wider audience.

Remember that writing a book takes dedication, effort and time. However, the benefits can be substantial, both in terms of personal growth and professional advancement. If you’re considering writing a how-to or educational book, it’s important to plan and structure your content effectively to ensure that your insights are communicated clearly and effectively to your readers.

Industry insights and thought leadership books

Professionals looking to establish themselves as key figures in their industry can benefit from working with a ghostwriter who can help them translate industry knowledge into insightful books, and thereby position them as authorities and influencers or movers and shakers.

Advantages of hiring a ghostwriter

A ghostwriter can significantly contribute to your journey towards becoming a key person of influence in your field by using their finely tuned writing skills. A well-written non-fiction book positions you as an expert and a key figure in your industry. A skilled ghostwriter can help articulate your ideas clearly, boosting your credibility and visibility.

Leveraging your ideas

Your unique insights and experiences are invaluable. A ghostwriter can help you condense them into a compelling narrative, ensuring your message reaches a wider audience.

Time and focus

Writing a book is time-consuming. With a ghostwriter’s support, you can focus on your personal and professional responsibilities whist knowing your book is being crafted by a professional.

Professionalism and quality

Ghostwriters bring professional writing skills to the table, ensuring that your book is well-structured, engaging and of high quality.

What it’s like working with a ghostwriter

Most ghostwriters work on a one-off fee basis with a deposit payment of between 40 and 60% paid upfront and the balance on completion and approval by the author of the manuscript.

Idea generation and conceptualisation

It all starts with your ideas. A ghostwriter works with you to understand your vision, objectives and the key messages you want to convey starting with why you want to write a non-fiction book and who your target audience is.

Collaborative planning

Ghostwriters work with the author to create a detailed outline and structure for your book, aligning it with your business or personal goals and target audience.

Interviews and research

To capture your voice and expertise, ghostwriters conduct interviews and research, gathering the content needed to craft your book. You may already have a bank of blogs/journals or notes that can form part of the book. On the other hand, writing may not be your thing, in which case you can send the ghostwriter voice recordings made on your phone or another recording device.

Writing and drafting

Using the gathered material, the ghostwriter begins the writing process, creating drafts that evolve into a coherent manuscript.

Feedback and revisions

Your input is crucial. You review the drafts, offering feedback and suggestions that guide the ghostwriter in refining the content.

Finalising and polishing

The ghostwriter takes your feedback into account, polishing the manuscript to ensure it aligns perfectly with your vision and then the manuscript is sent to a copy editor to ensure it is ready for publication.

Self-publishing and print-on-demand

Publication and beyond

Once the manuscript is complete, you’re ready to publish. Most non-fiction authors choose to go down the self-publishing route so that they can retain all the rights and ownership of the book and collect all the royalties. Your book can be sold on Amazon and other online book retailers and will become a powerful tool for establishing your influence and authority.

In conclusion, a ghostwriter is the behind-the-scenes architect of non-fiction books, weaving words and ideas into impactful narratives that resonate with readers. Collaborating with a ghostwriter offers a strategic advantage in establishing yourself as a key person of influence in your field, allowing you to share your expertise and insights on a wider platform and the possibility of creating a training course or video content at a later date.

So, if you have a non-fiction book idea, let’s discuss it and see which genre it fits into and how it will benefit you professionally and personally. Together, we can embark on a journey that transforms your ideas into a tangible, influential work that shapes minds and leaves a lasting impact.

So, what are you waiting for?

Contact me today and let’s book a call to discuss your book idea.

I'd love to hear more about your
needs, and how I can help.