Frequently Asked Questions
When authors get in touch, they often have the same questions and concerns. The ones that crop up most often have been listed here, together with the answers which can be accessed by clicking on the plus symbol. If you have a specific query that is not dealt with in these FAQs, do, of course get in touch via the contact page.
Ghostwriters, like any other freelancers, do look to have a seamless pipeline of work. Thus, while they are working on a book, they do speak with other potential authors and may even work through the early stages of a collaboration, where they write an initial plan and get ready to start on the next project while completing the current one. This does not mean that they are not entirely focussed on the main project in hand.
Yes. Professional Ghost has a standard contract which it will share with authors following an initial consultation. As well as laying out the terms and conditions of the collaboration, it also deals with important issues such as copyright and confidentiality. The copyright in any project is assigned to the author, 100%, and any information given to the ghost during the process is completely confidential.
In most cases, Professional Ghost undertakes to write a book in six months, from initial interview to completed manuscript. It is possible to complete a project quicker, but if speed is not an imperative, it is better to give the process ample time. Prioritise quality over impatience to see the best end result.
A ghostwriter can only take on a set number of books a year, so if you find one you really want to work with, you need to sell your story to them, as much as them selling their services to you. When making the initial approach, it is really helpful if an author has given some thought to their story, why they are the best person to write it and what sort of person might be interested in reading the book. Explain this succinctly and perhaps add some facts and a little ‘colour’ which will show why this will be an entertaining book. If there is a budget that you have in mind, share it. Similarly, if there is a firm deadline, state it from the outset.
Absolutely. Teena Lyons has worked on a number of fiction titles with authors and achieved excellent results. The author brings the idea and the ghost her writing expertise.
Ghostwriting takes many forms, from writing an entire book from scratch based on interviews with the author, to helping them edit part-finished works into shape. If you’ve already started writing and become stuck, a ghost may be able to work with you to develop the book, edit existing work and then complete the project. The fee to do this will depend upon the time required to complete the manuscript, so Professional Ghost will need sight of the work-in-progress in order to quote.
Yes. Professional Ghost is used to working with agents and publishers and is happy to write to a specified style/length. Publishers like it when there is a ghost onboard, since it is a sign that they will get a good quality manuscript on brief and on time.
Writing and publishing a book is never the end of the process. There is a great deal to be done in terms of sales and marketing. Authors may be asked to pen insightful pieces for magazines and newspapers, or publish blogs on their own websites and social media. Since a ghost knows the material better than anyone, it is possible to commission them separately for these ‘mini’ writing projects. It certainly ensures the tone and voice is consistent.
If there is a possibility the project could be greatly expanded, it is best to discuss this upfront. This will help a ghost plan their schedule and ensure they keep slots free for further books in the series.
Yes. That’s a great idea. Check out the featured work on this website to get an idea of the books Teena Lyons has worked on in the past. If you would like to read a sample, head over to Amazon and use their handy ‘look inside’ feature, which means you don’t even need to buy the books. Please though, don’t ask your ghost to submit to a ‘writing test’. Aside that it is rude to ask a ghost to write speculatively for free, the fact that Teena has in excess of fifty books to her name means it is a given that she can write well.
Writing a book is not something that happens overnight. After an initial intense period of interviewing, it may feel like everything goes quiet for a little while. This is quite normal. A ghost needs time to digest what they’ve heard, think about the narrative and, of course, write and edit the manuscript. As per the contract though, regular updates will be sent, as well as chapters to review. Be patient. The magic is happening.
Authors do, of course, need to know exactly who is doing the work. Rest assured, Teena Lyons handles 100% of the projects taken on by Professional Ghost. If she is unable to take on a commission, she is able to recommend a number of excellent ghosts from the www.unitedghostwriters.co.uk service.
If author and ghost do their due diligence properly, it is rare that they fall out, but it does, occasionally happen. What is more common is, despite setting aside time to work on the project, an author finds life gets in the way and it is no longer possible to pursue the project. There are provisions in the contract for this eventuality. Authors can stop a project at any time, and only pay for the work completed up until that point.
No. Professional Ghost will only work on a fee basis.
The agreed fee will take an author from an idea and a burning desire to write a book, all the way through to a finished manuscript. This will include the interviews and research required to gather the information needed, draft chapters, edits and revisions. It does not include publishing the final result. Professional Ghost will, however, undertake to advise on all aspects of publishing and will help an author to the next stage of the process.