Things Ghostwriters Won’t Tell You (Expert Overview)

When it comes to ghostwriters, there’s a lot of mystery. We’re not just writers; we’re also editors, critics, and career counselors. We know how to craft books that appeal to readers while also helping authors grow their platform. 

But we won’t tell you all the secrets of the trade because then what would be the point of hiring us? Here are 25 things we’d rather not discuss if you want our help with your book:

Tips for Working with Ghostwriters
1. Ghostwriters play a crucial role in the literary world,
breathing life into ideas and stories behind the scenes.
2. Professional ghostwriters maintain strict confidentiality
agreements, ensuring the author’s identity remains hidden.
3. Ghostwriters adapt their writing style to match the voice
and tone of the author, creating a seamless narrative.
4. Hiring a ghostwriter for a book can streamline the writing
process and lead to a polished and impactful final work.
5. Ghostwriting offers a collaborative and efficient way for
authors to bring their visions to life and reach a wider
audience with compelling content.

We Get No Royalties

If you’re thinking about hiring a ghostwriter, but aren’t sure if it will be worth it, consider the following:

We get no royalties. That means that even though your book may become a bestseller and sell millions of copies, we won’t see any of that money. 

Instead, we are paid a flat fee or percentage of the advance (if there is one), plus travel expenses and perhaps some other fees depending on our contract with you. 

If there is an option for us to receive royalties later on down the line (which is rare), then that would come after your publisher has recouped their initial investment in editing costs and marketing efforts which can take years!

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If You’re Famous, We Might Not Work With You

Ghostwriters don’t have to be celebrities like the ones who hire them. There are lots of professional ghostwriters who have experience writing all kinds of stuff. They write for newspapers and magazines, too! 

So if the idea of a creative partnership doesn’t appeal to you but having someone else write your memoir does, just because they’ve written other people’s stuff before doesn’t mean they can do yours (though sometimes it helps). 

Similarly, if a ghostwriter is working on one project at a time and they usually are they won’t want to take on another while they’re still in the middle of it. 

Just ask them how many projects they generally take on at once: how long each lasts; whether or not there’s an option to extend when needed; etcetera.

We’ll Write It In Any Tone You Want

If you’re looking for a ghostwriter, the first thing you should know is that we can write your book in any tone. We are just as comfortable writing it in a formal tone as we are writing it in a funny tone and yes, even a serious one!

If your book is meant to be funny and you want to have some laughs here and there throughout the story, then I totally get it! I will absolutely take on this project for you. 

On the other hand, if your book is about something serious like Alzheimer’s or cancer (or any other type of disease), then I would love an opportunity to tell their story in an impactful way by putting my own spin on it.

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We’re Privy To Your Secrets

We’re privy to your secrets. It’s kind of our job to know as much about you as possible, but don’t worry we won’t share them with anyone. You can trust us! We won’t judge you or hold anything against you. 

We’re not at all interested in doing so. In fact, we’re often impressed by what people need help with and how they go about handling it even if the situation isn’t ideal, we love hearing what makes someone tick and how they work through things.

You Don’t Have To Take Our Advice

You don’t have to take our advice. We’re not your boss, therapist or parent. We’re not your friend or student (although we’d love to be). We’re definitely not your children we’ve seen what happens when people try to force their kids into creative pursuits and it’s not pretty. 

And even though it may seem like we are employees of yours due to the nature of our relationship, let me assure you: we aren’t.

No, You Can’t See The Book First

A ghostwriter is a professional writer who works with clients to write books, articles, or other content. We have a lot of experience writing and editing so you can trust us to deliver high-quality work but there are some things about the process that we won’t tell you up front.

Here’s why: We need room to breathe when we’re working on your book. If we start off by laying out every single detail for you upfront, it’ll be hard for us later on if you want changes made or additional content added. 

The best way for us to write freely is by knowing nothing about the project until after the first draft has been completed (and edited).

We Can Make You Sound Smarter Without Making You Look Stupid

Your readers will think you’re smarter than you really are.

Ghostwriters can make you sound like an expert, even if you don’t feel like one. The trick is in knowing how to structure your thoughts and ideas so they read coherently and with authority. 

A ghostwriter can help with this, but it’s important to remember that no matter how good the writing itself is if the content doesn’t come from within yourself even if it has been shaped by someone else your readers may be able to tell that something isn’t quite right about what they’re reading.

The best writers are those who know how to use their own experiences as a springboard for creating work that speaks authentically and directly from them, conveying their own voice in their words rather than those of another person’s creation or imagination (even their own). 

This means learning how best expressing our ideas on paper; knowing what works well enough off-the-cuff but also being able to craft complex sentences that flow smoothly together instead sounding forced or awkward; understanding what kinds of words work best which situations; 

Choosing between simple nouns versus complex ones depends on whether we’re talking about concrete things versus abstract concepts; using syntax structures effectively while still sounding natural enough not to seem forced into using certain constructions.

Because they’re “traditionally expected” – these are all skills that require practice before mastering them fully!

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You Probably Can’t Find Us On Linkedin

You probably won’t find us on LinkedIn. We’re not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. We don’t have a LinkedIn profile either, but we’re not sure if that’s something you can even have or if it’s just something they tell you to do to sell you something else.

There are many other social media sites where we may never be found and that’s because we’re ghostwriters. 

Or perhaps because we hate all things social media and prefer to live in the woods with our dogs and guns for company. Either way: no need to worry about finding us there!

Yes, We Might Write More Than One Book For You

If you’re looking for a ghostwriter, this might be the most important thing to know: we can help you write more than one book. Let’s say that after working with us on your first book, we realize there’s more to be said about your topic. 

In fact, maybe there are 10 or 20 books in that topic that would be of interest to your audience! We can also help you develop your website and marketing materials so that they’re geared toward selling multiple books rather than just one. 

The same goes for social media profiles we’ll make sure everything looks cohesive so people recognize the brand across all mediums.

If you do decide to hire us again (and we hope you will!), just remember: It’s not easy being a ghostwriter! 

There will probably still be stressful moments where it seems like everything is falling apart around us, but if someone has already trusted us with their work once before then they’ll often agree again when we ask them.

Whether they’d consider letting us write another book as well as promote both titles together through blog posts and interviews with other authors who talk about how great their writing process was while working with me.”

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Likely, We Won’t Win An Award For Your Book

You’re a celebrity with a new book, and you think it should win an award. And, who knows? It might. But the fact that you are famous isn’t enough to guarantee an award for your book.

The truth is, most books don’t win awards. If they did, there would be more than one or two books on the shelf at any given time! So let’s just focus on creating a great book instead of worrying about whether we will win an award (or not).

We’re Good At Making Stuff Up

You might be wondering why I’m telling you this. Well, it’s because ghostwriters are good at making things up. We’re so good at it that we can make things up that sound real, or even true. Or sometimes we’ll make something up that’s a mix of true and false and still get away with it!

Ghostwriters are really good at making stuff up because they have to be in order to create compelling content for clients’ books and articles. If your job was writing about eye shadow or how to lose weight by drinking less alcohol (yes, those exist).

Then you probably wouldn’t need to rely on much imagination. 

But if you’re trying to write a book about how your grandma died during World War II and what insights her death gave you into life itself you’ve got some work ahead of you!

Your Book Proposal Is Crucial And We Can Write It For You Too

It’s the first thing a publisher will see. It’s what gets you in the door, so it’s crucial that you nail it.

A book proposal isn’t just an outline or even a sample chapter it’s a marketing document that lays out your book idea, explains why it will be successful and provides concrete examples of how you’ll make money from it.

It’s also an opportunity to sell yourself as an author by showing off your name recognition, clout and sales history (if applicable).

If you’re looking for ghostwriting services but aren’t sure exactly what kind are right for you or where to begin with the process of finding one, don’t hesitate to reach out!

A Big Advance Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Big Sales Or A Big Payday For Us

One of the biggest myths about ghostwriting is that if you get a big advance, your book will sell like hotcakes. 

But that’s not necessarily true. In fact, it’s usually not true. If an author gets a six-figure advance for his novel, for example, he may have only sold 20% by the time the first royalty check rolls in at year two. Listen up: 

The thing that makes good money for you as a ghostwriter isn’t just how much money goes into your bank account when the publisher cuts you your check…

It’s how well that book sells over time and how many books are sold overall. And once again (you’re getting tired of hearing this), most of us don’t make much from one book anyway.

We make our real money on long-term projects where we’ve helped develop characters and plots and created entire worlds or series of books (like “Game of Thrones”!).

People Do Judge Books By Their Covers And We Can Help Make Yours Good Enough To Read

One of the most important parts of your book is its cover. It’s a book cover, after all, and people will judge a book by it. We know this is true because we’ve seen it in action many times over: A client came to us with a manuscript and asked for help getting it published. 

She had already written her book title, but she wanted some guidance on how to make her back cover text more appealing and readable to potential readers. We wrote an entire back cover for her that was short, informative, and easy to read and she was thrilled with the results!

We can also help you with interior design (including font selection), layout considerations such as margins and headers/footers, as well as what type of paper stock makes sense for your needs (such as matte or glossy).

It’s Not Like Writing A Term Paper We Need Free Rein To Be Creative

You may be surprised to learn that ghostwriters aren’t robots. We aren’t just there to write exactly what you tell us to, without thinking or creating on our own. As a writer, I am aware of my own style and voice as much as any other writer. 

This means that if given freedom within an outline I can produce a higher-quality piece than if I were simply handed a laundry list of facts about your topic and told “write this book for me” or even worse: “just make sure it doesn’t suck too badly!”

It is true that ghostwriting is not like writing term papers in college where the professor has outlined everything for you in excruciating detail (don’t worry; we won’t judge). 

But ultimately, it’s still writing and good writers need creative leeway in order to do their best work with passion and conviction behind them.

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Yes, We Will Hold Your Hand If You Need Us To

We are not just a “ghostwriter.” We are a collaborator. And as much as we like to think we know what’s best for you, sometimes it helps to have someone give us a gentle push in the right direction especially when it comes to finishing our work!

You see, some writers are perfectionists by nature and often spend too much time working on something that isn’t ready yet. 

Other writers may be more anxious or stressed than they let on and would rather have someone else tell them what needs fixing while they focus their energy on getting things done. 

Maybe you’ve experienced this before: You’re facing a deadline (or several) with no end in sight; everything’s falling apart around you; everyone is counting on the project being done ASAP…and then suddenly there’s an intervention! 

Your mom calls up unexpectedly because she misses talking with her son who lives far away now; your boss asks how things are going at work these days; an old friend reaches out asking if he can help out any way he can…and suddenly all those voices at once become too overwhelming for one person alone!


I know that being a ghostwriter is a little less glamorous than it may appear at first, but I hope this article has given you some insight into what our job is really like. If you have any questions about ghostwriting or the process in general, don’t hesitate to ask!

This blog post was written by me as part of my role as a content strategist for Ghostwriter Hub. The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect those of my employer.

Further Reading

Professional Ghostwriters: Discover the world of professional ghostwriters and how they bring life to your ideas through skillful writing and collaboration.

What is Ghostwriting?: Unravel the concept of ghostwriting and understand its significance in the world of literature and content creation.

Ghostwriter for Books: Learn how hiring a ghostwriter for your book can streamline the writing process and lead to a polished and impactful final product.


What does a professional ghostwriter do?

A professional ghostwriter is a skilled writer who crafts content, including books, articles, and speeches, on behalf of someone else, the author. They remain anonymous, allowing the author to take credit for the work.

How much does a ghostwriter charge for their services?

The fees charged by ghostwriters can vary significantly based on factors like project complexity, word count, and the writer’s experience. Generally, they may charge per word, per project, or through royalties.

Will a ghostwriter maintain confidentiality?

Yes, professional ghostwriters adhere to strict confidentiality agreements. They work discreetly, ensuring that the author’s identity remains confidential, and they do not claim authorship of the work.

How involved can an author be in the ghostwriting process?

The level of involvement an author has in the ghostwriting process varies and can be customized based on their preferences. Some authors provide detailed outlines and ideas, while others offer general concepts for the ghostwriter to develop.

Can a ghostwriter work on various types of content?

Absolutely! Ghostwriters are versatile and can work on diverse types of content, such as books, blog posts, speeches, whitepapers, and more. They adapt their writing style to suit the author’s voice and the specific requirements of each project.