Ghostwriting Vs. Book Writing – What You Should Know

There are many different types of publishing, and it’s easy to get confused about what it all means. Most people don’t understand how ghostwriting works, for example. Ghostwriters write books for other people and then get paid for their work. 

The author’s name is on the book cover, but the words inside were written by someone else and that person often gets no credit for their work! 

This may sound unethical or even illegal (because truly talented authors should be paid), but it’s actually pretty common in the world of book writing. In fact, many bestselling authors have used ghostwriters at some point in their careers.

Especially if they’re famous celebrities or politicians who don’t really have time to sit down and write out all those words themselves! So what exactly is ghostwriting? How does it compare to self-publishing? And how much does each cost? Well let’s dive into these questions!

Why hire a ghostwriter instead of writing it yourself?! – YouTube
1. Ghostwriting and book writing are distinct forms of writing, each with its unique characteristics and purposes.
2. Ghostwriting involves writing on behalf of someone else without receiving public credit, while book writing entails writing and publishing under one’s name.
3. Ghostwriters play a crucial role in helping authors bring their ideas to life and complete their books.
4. Book writers retain full ownership and recognition for their work, while ghostwriters maintain confidentiality and often sign non-disclosure agreements.
5. The decision between ghostwriting and book writing depends on the author’s goals, preferences, and the level of involvement they desire in the writing process.

Ghostwriting Vs. Book Writing – What You Should Know

You may have heard the terms “ghostwriting” and “book writing.”

Ghostwriting is a service that is provided by a professional writer who writes your book for you, but does not claim any credit for it. While some ghostwriters prefer to remain anonymous, others will use their name on the finished project (although they technically don’t deserve any credit). In this case, it would be considered “co-authored.” 

Book writing refers to the process of writing an entire book yourself and then publishing it under your own name so that people know that YOU wrote the book instead of someone else doing all of the hard work on your behalf and taking all of the credit!

The world of ghostwriting is intriguing and mysterious, making it an appealing profession for many writers. If you’re curious about this hidden realm, delve into the Secret World of Ghostwriting to gain expert insights and a deeper understanding.

Ask The Right Questions

Before you agree to work with a writer, make sure they can answer all of your questions, and that they can do so in a way that makes sense. These are some of the most important ones to ask:

  • What type of book do you want to write? If it’s fiction or nonfiction, tell them.
  • How long have you been writing professionally?
  • Do you have any other published works? If so, what are they and where can I get them? If not yet published but looking for publishing houses like mine that specialize in niche markets (such as fantasy romance), let me know!
  • What is your process for completing books from start to finish and how does it differ from other writers’ processes? 

We’re looking for someone who will work quickly without sacrificing quality just because we need an entire manuscript ASAP…if this isn’t something that bothers them then great! 

But if it does bother them then maybe there could be some room here for improvement later down the road when deadlines become more strict than right now).

The Author Is The Person Who Owns The Idea

When you hire a ghostwriter, you own the idea. But when you work with a book writing coach, your name is on the cover. 

For example, if you decide to publish your book under your own name instead of hiring a ghostwriter who will take credit for writing it then that is what people will see on the cover: Your Name!

You get 100% of all profits from sales of your book and can keep 100% ownership of all rights related to publishing and selling both digital and physical copies (including international rights). In other words…you won’t need to share any revenue with anyone else.

Ghostwriter bloggers are the unsung heroes behind captivating content and successful blogs. Learn all about the role of these talented writers and how they contribute to the blogging world in our article on What You Need to Know About Ghostwriter Bloggers.

How Much Can You Make Writing A Book?

When it comes to the money writers make, there are two main factors: the number of books you write and the amount each book earns.

If you’re an experienced ghostwriter who has a lot of clients (let’s say 10), then your average annual income will be around $15,000 per year. That is a very reasonable amount considering that most people work full-time jobs and spend at least 40 hours per week on their side hustle.

However, if your client base is smaller than 10 but still decent (say five or less), then expect to bring in around $10K annually. Again, this isn’t bad considering how little time most people dedicate to their side hustle compared to their full-time job!

Decide What Type of Writing Works For You

Deciding what type of writing is right for you is a matter of weighing your personal goals with the realities of the market. 

Are you trying to get as many books sold as possible? Do you want to increase your brand’s visibility? Or are you more interested in experiencing the satisfaction that comes from making something new?

Ghostwriting and book writing are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they can work together quite nicely depending on the kind of experience you’re looking for. 

If you’re an aspiring author who wants to create their own original stories but does not have time or expertise in writing craft, working with an experienced ghostwriter can help ensure that all aspects of your book project go smoothly and reach their full potential.

On the other hand, authors who are more experienced writers often use ghostwriters simply because they prefer having someone else do most of the heavy lifting so that they can focus on other important tasks such as marketing themselves and their work.

Publishers Typically Provide An Advance For Book Writing

An advance is a payment to the author before the book is published. Typically, publishers will give an advance in four installments: 

1/4 upon signing, 1/4 halfway through writing the manuscript (and extended if there are delays), 1/4 when the book has been edited and proofed, and finally upon publication day.

Typically, authors earn about half of their advance for each installment as they work on their manuscript. If you had a $50k advance and received one fourth at signing ($12k), that would leave $38k in your pocket as you work on your book. 

For every subsequent installment, though which many writers don’t earn you’d have to pay back any money you received from previous payments with interest (typically 8%).

If your publisher doesn’t sell enough books to recoup its investment in your manuscript within three years of publication day, then it won’t pay out those final two installments. 

That means if readers don’t like what they read in book stores or online retailers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, they still owe you that money! But what happens if readers do love it? Well then…

What Is Ghostwriting For?

Ghostwriting is when an author has a specific idea for a book, but cannot write it themselves. They will hire someone to write their book for them. 

The person who does most of the writing is called a ghostwriter. The person who owns the idea and manages everything from beginning to end is called an author.

The author has ideas for stories in their head, and they want them written down exactly as they see them in their mind’s eye (or heard them as if they were spoken). 

A ghostwriter takes all of those thoughts and puts them into words that can be printed on paper or digital file formats like EPUB or MOBI files that are readable by eReaders such as Kindle or Kobo readers.

Are you interested in hiring a ghostwriter but unsure about the costs involved? Discover the ins and outs of ghostwriting and get an idea of potential expenses by reading our comprehensive guide: Ghostwriting: What Is It and How Much Does It Cost?.

Comparing Ghostwriting And Book Writing

Both ghostwriting and book writing involve paying a writer to write a book for you, but though they have the same end goal, there are some differences.

Ghostwriting is more expensive than book writing because it involves hiring not only a writer but an editor as well. If you hire someone to write your book, they won’t need editing help like that of a ghostwriter who will have their work edited by another professional before publication.

The process of ghostwriting is more complicated because it requires multiple people working together on the same project for different stages of completion: you hire the first person(s) who write your story (or at least its outline).

Then when done with that phase they pass off their work onto another expert who edits it into shape before handing it back over to yet another expert who will push through any last-minute changes until everything’s perfect!

How Much Do Ghostwriters Charge?

If you’re working with a ghostwriter, it’s important to be clear about what your budget is. Ghostwriters charge different rates depending on the content they’re creating and the type of project they are working on.

Per word rate: A popular way for ghostwriters to charge is by the word. 

Their standard fee ranges from $0.10 per word for fiction or non-narrative projects down to $0.05 per word for academic texts and up again if you want them to edit your work as well as write it (they can do both).

Per hour rate: Another option that some ghostwriters offer is charging by the hour instead of per word, which means they get paid less if they take longer but more if they write faster than usual and this kind of arrangement is particularly useful.

When trying out someone new who may not yet know how fast their style will come together (or work with external editors who might need extra time).

Project rate: Some writers prefer charging per project rather than per hour, so that there isn’t any confusion about whether or not one session will be productive enough to justify paying them full price until everything has been completed inside that timeframe; 

However, this approach also carries risks because even though writers might think “I’ll just have them do something simple.

So we don’t go over budget,” sometimes those simpler tasks end up taking longer than expected due to unforeseen complications arising during execution, and then suddenly everyone’s upset because nobody knows where all these unexpected costs came from in advance!

How Much Time Does It Take To Write A Book?

How much time it takes to write a book depends on how well you know your topic and whether or not you’re organized. 

Book writing can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how well-researched the topic is and whether or not the author has an idea of where they want their finished work to go. 

If you aren’t sure about what content belongs in your book, then it will be more difficult for you to write it effectively. If there are gaps in your writing that require research, then this will also extend the time required for completing your project.

If you are unable to manage your own time effectively (i.e., if everything takes longer than expected), then this may also mean that finishing up projects like books won’t be feasible until some changes are made regarding organization skills.

And prioritization techniques can be learned through practice over time as well as classes at local colleges or workshops offered by other professionals who specialize in helping writers organize their thoughts into something tangible like novels or nonfiction books all together!

Ghostwriters may seem like enigmatic figures, but they share common traits that define their profession. Uncover the characteristics and qualities typical of ghostwriters in our article, 11 Things Ghostwriters Have in Common.

Do Your Research – Be Informed

Researching the market, competition and industry can help you develop a strong book proposal.

Research your potential readership. Do they read blogs? Are they online? How old are they? What kind of content do they consume most often and why? 

What do these readers value in their books, and how does it compare with the genre of your proposed book (for example, romance readers want happy endings).

Research your competition. Read similar books within this genre or topic area to get an idea of what works for these audiences. Look at reviews on Amazon or Goodreads to see if there are any common themes among them that you can address in your own work.

Authors Need To Understand That Writers Might Still Have Rights To Their Work Even If It’s Been Sold And Paid For In Full

It may be tempting to think that you’re off the hook when it comes to paying money or giving credit when hiring a ghostwriter. However, this isn’t always the case. 

Ghostwriters can come up with ideas for the book and work towards making them reality without having any rights over the finished product. 

This means that even if you pay them in full and they do all of the work on your book, they still might have rights over what happens with it after publication (or even before publication).

For example: Let’s say that an author hires someone else to write a novel for him using his characters and story ideas as inspiration. 

The writer creates an outline for their client before writing any actual words for him; however, he does not hand over these materials.

When he’s finished instead of keeping them as part of his own portfolio so that he can market himself later on down the road if necessary (or simply because he likes having something tangible from every project).

Why Is Ghostwriting So Expensive? Here Are Four Reasons

The biggest reason why ghostwriting is so expensive is because it’s not a product.

Ghostwriting is a service, and that means it takes time. You can’t buy your way into a book deal as you would with other products. Ghostwriters will need to interview you and your clients and conduct research (including internet searches).

Write rough drafts based on the information they’ve gathered from their interviews, edit those rough drafts with you until both parties are happy with the final product, and then finally produce the final manuscript for publication. 

The process can take months or even years depending on how involved you want to be in every step of writing your book! 

That’s why ghostwriters charge so much: unlike with most other services that can be performed quickly and efficiently by others (hiring an accountant or lawyer) writing books requires extensive collaboration between multiple parties over long periods of time–and this level of collaboration does not come cheap!

If this seems like too much work for anyone who doesn’t have plenty of free time on their hands…well…good news: there are alternatives available! 

Check out our next section below where we discuss self-publishing vs traditional publishers–you’ll find out which option might make sense based on what type of author YOU want to become!

Is There A Difference Between Being An Author, Writer, And Collaborator?

When we talk about the difference between being an author, writer, and collaborator we are really talking about three different people working together to create a book. The author is the person who owns the idea for the book. 

This could be anything from their life experiences or expertise in their industry (for example, if you’re a business owner who wants to write a book on how to build successful startups).

The writer is the person who will take all of that information and turn it into something readable for others in order to create their final product: an actual manuscript with words on paper that can be published as an eBook or printed out into hard copies. 

That’s where ghostwriting comes in because ghostwriters are responsible for writing books under someone else’s name in exchange for payment or royalties after publication.

The collaborator is someone who works closely with other people throughout their writing process by reading drafts before they go out into public as well as providing feedback after initial drafts have been completed so that revisions can happen before printing begins!

Compare Pricing On Various Types Of Books Before Pursuing Ghostwriting Or Self-Publishing

Before beginning the process of writing a book, you should be aware of your options. You can hire a ghostwriter to write it for you, or choose to self-publish. 

There are other options as well, including hiring a publisher or editor. The costs associated with each option vary greatly and may surprise you so make sure to do your homework before moving forward!

Ghostwriting is often considered less expensive than self-publishing because it requires fewer resources beyond those already owned by the author (i.e., laptop). 

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that ghostwriting is cheaper than hiring an editor yourself or working with an independent publisher like Outskirts Press (which offers free editing services). 

In fact, depending on where your book ends up after being edited by one of these professionals could end up costing more than if they weren’t involved at all!

The best way to determine which option will work best for you financially is through trial and error: 

Get estimates from multiple sources who are willing to discuss their pricing structure openly; then compare these quotes closely before making any final decisions about how much money will be required throughout every step along this journey together and don’t forget about taxes!

Speed and productivity are essential skills for any ghostwriter looking to excel in their craft. If you want to enhance your writing speed and publish more effectively, check out our valuable tips in Tips to Help You Write Faster and Publish More as a Ghostwriter.


The fact is that ghostwriting and book writing are very different types of work. If you’re looking to get your message out there, then ghostwriting might be the right choice for you. 

However, if you want full creative control over your project and aren’t interested in working with someone else’s idea or content then book writing might be better suited for what you’re looking for as an author.

Further Reading

Ghostwriter for Books – Brian Tracy: Learn about the role of a ghostwriter in the book writing process and how they help authors bring their stories to life.

Ghostwriter: What You Need to Know – Rock Content: Find out the essential information about ghostwriters and how they contribute to content creation and marketing strategies.

Ghostwriters vs. Coauthors: What’s Different? – Kaufman & Associates: Understand the distinctions between ghostwriters and coauthors and the various ghostwriting services available.


What does a ghostwriter do?

A ghostwriter is a professional writer who creates content on behalf of someone else, often without public credit, allowing the credited author to take full ownership of the work.

How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

The cost of hiring a ghostwriter varies depending on factors such as the scope of the project, the writer’s experience, and the complexity of the content. Generally, ghostwriting services can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Do ghostwriters sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)?

Yes, many ghostwriters sign NDAs to ensure confidentiality and protect the author’s identity and intellectual property.

Can a ghostwriter work on any type of content?

Yes, ghostwriters can work on various types of content, including books, articles, blog posts, speeches, and more.

Will the ghostwriter have any rights to the work?

No, a ghostwriter typically relinquishes all rights to the work they create, and the credited author retains full ownership and control.