Ways To Avoid 5 Common Ghostwriting Mistakes

Every year, thousands of people decide to write and publish their own book. Some do it for fun and profit, while many others want to use their book as a way to build their personal brand and establish themselves as an expert in their field. 

While writing a book is exciting and fulfilling, it can also be difficult at times especially if you’re just starting out on the journey with no experience under your belt. That’s why many authors hire ghostwriters: they provide good content without having done all of the actual work themselves!

How to Find a Ghostwriter (DON’T GET SCAMMED) – YouTube
1. Properly communicate with clients to avoid misunderstandings.
2. Always clarify contract terms and scope of work.
3. Avoid plagiarism and respect intellectual property rights.
4. Conduct thorough research to provide accurate information.
5. Proofread and edit meticulously for a polished final product.

Know Your Audience

As a ghostwriter, it’s important to know your audience. This will help you write the book in a way that will appeal to their needs and interests. It also helps you avoid writing books that don’t sell well, which could end up costing you money as a ghostwriter.

Here are some things to consider when researching your target audience:

  • What do they like?
  • What do they not like?
  • How old are they? (Age can give you clues about what subjects they’re interested in.)
  • What are their demographics? (Gender, race/ethnicity, income level, etc.)
  • How will they use the book(s) you write for them?
  • Do they want information or entertainment? Are there other books already on the market that address this topic better than yours does?

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Be Clear On The Ghostwriter’s Role

You know what’s the most painful thing in the world? When you write a book, and then people come up to you and say, “I love your book! I want you to sign it for me!”

And then they hand you their Kindle.

It hurts so much because clearly, this person thinks that any idiot can write a book just by hitting “Save As.” It makes me want to punch them right in their smug little face. But I don’t have time for that I’ve got books waiting on my bedside table: 

How To Cheat At Getting Published Without The Help Of A Ghostwriter; How To Find Your Own Agent And Self-Publish Your Book On Amazon Without Using Any Actual Knowledge Or Talent; 

How To Become An Expert At Everything By Reading Books About Experts Who Are Experts In Everything And Then Vaguely Mentioning Them In Articles That You Write For Money And Don’t Care If Anyone Reads Them Or Not…but enough about me!

Find A Ghostwriter Who Writes Like You

It’s important to find a ghostwriter who writes like you.

A good ghostwriter can help you get more sales, more readers and more recognition from your target audience. A great one will do all of that while writing in your voice—so that people actually think it’s YOU writing the book (and not some random person).

That means:

The Ghostwriter Should Be an Expert on Your Subject Matter & Audience. No matter what type of book you want to write, it’s important for the writer to have mastery over the topic at hand. 

This usually means having degrees or training in that area, but it also includes experience and understanding of how people interact with each other on this topic (i.e., if someone has been writing about weight loss forever, she’ll understand why dieting doesn’t work). 

And finally, they need to know how their audience thinks so they can tailor their message accordingly!

They Must Write in Your Voice: It’s not enough for them just knowing those things above; they also need to be able to take your ideas and express them using YOUR vernacular style (the way YOU would say them), if possible! 

If they don’t do this well enough then customers may see right through them which defeats any chance of success because then no one believes what was written was anything but fiction!

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Edit The Book Yourself

Proofreading. You should proofread your work before you submit it to an editor or publisher, and then again after you get the first edit back from them.

Revisions. A good ghostwriter will provide you with a detailed list of revisions to make in your manuscript, but it’s up to you how many changes should be made. 

Remember that those edits might not always be easy some authors have trouble accepting edits from any source, even if they’re professionals in their fields. 

If this happens with your project, try explaining why some changes are necessary and see if that helps move things along smoothly; if not, then ask yourself if this is really worth doing as quickly as possible (or at all).

Focus On Marketability

If you’re like me, you’re eager to get your book out into the world. But before launching a book into the wild, it’s important that you do some research on its marketability.

You’ve got to know your audience and understand the market for what you’re writing about. Who is going to buy this book? Who will read this book? If it’s fiction or nonfiction (or both), what genre does it fit into? 

Who are some of the other bestselling authors in that genre and how do they compare with yours? What topics are also trending right now within that genre? How can you make sure yours stands out from all the rest?

Then there’s marketing: How can I create an author platform so people are aware of my product before they even look at it? And once they’ve decided they want my product (i.e., ordered my book), how do I make sure they keep coming back for more and tell their friends about me too?

Focus On Your Audience, Not Yourself

As a ghostwriter, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of your own experience and forget that you’re writing for an audience. It’s also easy to forget that you’re not the only one who will read your book.

Your readers might be seeking the same thing or have very different needs than what you want out of the text. Remember: if they don’t find what they need, they won’t buy another one from you!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what your audience wants (and likes). Don’t worry about whether or not it sounds silly; just try asking them straight up! 

Most people are happy when someone asks their opinion on something, especially when that person is asking for help crafting something specifically for them.

Ghostwriting is a skill that can help you write faster, earn more, and lead a fulfilling life. Explore the benefits of ghostwriting in our article on Ghostwriting: The Secret to Writing Faster, Getting Paid More, Enjoying Life to see how it could be a game-changer for you.

Think About All Of Your Options Before Choosing To Write A Book

Before you commit to writing a book, think about all of your options. What are the pros and cons of each option? As a ghostwriter, for example, you might consider self-publishing (which can be done with or without a traditional publisher). 

If you want to go the traditional route, what are the costs associated with that? How will this affect your royalties from sales? What kind of marketing support will be offered by your publisher?

If you choose to self-publish, how will this affect how much time and work it takes on your end: do they have their own in-house designers and editors who can help make sure everything is ready once printed? 

Or do they just print whatever files you send them and then leave it up to YOU do all the design work needed afterwards?

Consider asking yourself these questions when deciding whether or not to write a book: what are my goals/objectives; what resources am I willing and able provide; who is my target audience; etc…

Understand It Takes Time To Write A Good Book

It is not a good idea to rush the process of writing a book. If you think that all that’s needed is to sit down and write, you will have an unpleasant surprise on your hands. Writing a book takes time and patience, as well as other important skills.

Here are some important things for ghostwriters to keep in mind:

  • Write whenever you can, even if it’s just one sentence or paragraph at a time
  • Don’t try to juggle multiple projects at once; do one thing at a time
  • Don’t give up! You will get there eventually!

Don’t Wait Too Long To Find A Ghostwriter

As a ghostwriter, it’s often best to find your clients sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more time you waste (and money) and the less time you have for writing.

The first mistake many writers make is not finding a ghostwriter at all and leaving their manuscript unfinished. 

Often times this happens because they don’t know where to look or how to find someone who will write their book for them. If this sounds like something that may be happening in your life, don’t worry! We’ve got tips on how to find a great ghostwriter for your next project.

Ghostwriters Are Writers Not Magicians, So Expect Hard Work And Effort From Them

Ghostwriters are writers, not magicians. If you’re looking for a professional writer who will make your story’s characters come alive and convey its messages with ease, then ghostwriting is for you. 

However, if you expect your ghostwriter to be able to do magic, then this isn’t the right gig for them either.

Don’t assume that since they are a professional writer they can write whatever they want without any guidance or input from you (the client). It’s important that you work together with them on the story. 

This can be done using Google Docs or another collaboration tool like Basecamp or Slack so that anyone involved in the project can see what changes have been made and when they were made.

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Read The Contract Carefully Before Signing It

As a ghostwriter, you’re likely to be asked to sign a contract. The terms of this agreement should be carefully considered and understood before you sign on the dotted line. Here are some tips for making sure that your contracts are fair, reasonable and legally binding:

Read over the contract carefully. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re agreeing to do in exchange for payment or other compensation. If there are any areas with which you have reservations, seek clarification from the client before signing anything.

Don’t feel pressured into signing something that doesn’t sit well with you just because it’s been offered by someone else (even if they’re a friend). 

If there’s something missing from their offer that would make it more equitable for both parties (or if there are other circumstances that give rise to concern), don’t hesitate to ask questions until everything is clear between both parties expectations.*

Ghostwriters Can Be Hired For Different Levels Of Involvement, So Decide What You Want First

Deciding what level of involvement you want with your ghostwriter is the first step in making sure that your collaboration goes smoothly. 

Although most ghostwriters will be involved in the writing process, it’s possible to hire one who isn’t and to do all of the writing yourself. Here are two examples:

Ghostwriter who is involved in the writing process: The author provides their idea(s) and outlines, but needs help developing them into a finished product. The ghostwriter edits every draft or even drafts an entire outline for authors to use as a starting point for their own work.

Ghostwriter who is not involved in the writing process: The author provides their idea(s) and outlines, but does not need any kind of editing or input from others during this phase at all.

They can write in their time frame with no pressure from external factors like deadlines or other commitments (like family or work).

Don’t Rush Your Manuscript Or You’ll Get A Bad Finished Product That Won’t Sell Well

As a ghostwriter, you’ll likely be asked to complete all of the above tasks in as little time as possible. 

This is because your clients are hungry for results and want their book out there as soon as possible. It’s also because they don’t know how long it takes to produce a quality book that will sell well.

But we need to educate our clients on this important point: If you rush the manuscript, editing, proofreading, formatting, and cover design, or if you fail to market the book properly it will not sell well!

So when someone asks you “How quickly can I get my book?” say “It depends on what kind of product we’re making.” Explain that there are no shortcuts when it comes to creating a high-quality manuscript that readers will enjoy reading over and over again.

Remember That A Poorly Written Manuscript Too Often Equals A Bad Finished Product That Won’t Sell Well

This is just one of the many reasons why it’s important to choose a good ghostwriter. A poor manuscript is not magically turned into something great by simply adding some money and publishing it. 

A good ghostwriter will give you a great manuscript; one who isn’t as talented may give you an adequate manuscript that needs to be reworked before it can be sold. 

You will want to hire someone who has experience in your genre or at least has written in similar styles before a writer who specializes in romance will probably write differently from someone who writes thrillers, for example. 

An experienced writer should be able to provide more insight into what works and what doesn’t than an amateur might have been able to offer while writing their first book!

Choose A Ghostwriter Who Is Experienced In The Type Of Book You Want To Write

If you want to write a memoir, it’s important that your ghostwriter has experience writing memoirs. If you want to write fiction, they should be experienced in writing fiction. If they’ve published books on the topic themselves, even better! 

When it comes to nonfiction and fiction writers, experience matters more than anything else when finding an experienced ghostwriter–because there are so many different styles of writing within each genre that it’s impossible for one person to claim expertise in all of them.

If you’re looking to work with the best ghostwriting clients, don’t miss our guide on What Are the Best Ghostwriting Clients to Work For? for valuable insights on finding rewarding and fulfilling ghostwriting opportunities.

Choose A Ghostwriter Who Is Experienced In The Subject Matter

Many people think that they can write about anything because they know everything there is about their subject matter (or at least enough). 

This isn’t true–even experts who have dedicated their lives studying something often don’t know enough facts or details about what they’re talking about for their words alone to make an interesting book full of useful information.

For readers who don’t already have some background knowledge about whatever subject matter applies here.* Choose a Ghostwriter Who is Experienced in Writing Books Within Your Desired Genre

There are many different genres within self-help: how-to guides on specific topics like fitness or parenting; 

Inspirational stories; memoirs; advice manuals based off personal experiences rather than research data (e.g., self-published success stories from authors who have achieved financial independence); etcetera… A good way.


We hope this article has helped you think about the types of mistakes that you might be making as a Ghostwriter. Remember, this is a business and while your first instinct may be to keep things simple, that doesn’t always work out so well in the long run. 

If you want to succeed as a Ghostwriter, then you need to make sure that you’re doing everything right from start to finish from finding clients who are willing to pay what they owe on time (or making sure they have enough money saved up before hiring).

Through post-production editing with an experienced editor who knows what kind of book will sell well in today’s market. Take these tips into consideration when planning your next project with us!

Further Reading

7 Big Mistakes I Made in Ghostwriting: Learn from the author’s personal experiences to avoid common pitfalls in the world of ghostwriting.

How to Avoid Common Ghostwriting Mistakes: Discover practical tips and strategies to steer clear of typical ghostwriting errors for successful projects.

Avoid Ghostwriting: Tips for Busy Researchers: Researchers can find useful advice on avoiding ghostwriting and maintaining the integrity of their academic work.


What are some common ghostwriting mistakes to avoid?

Ghostwriters should be mindful of plagiarism, improper client communication, and overlooking contract details.

How can I enhance the quality of my ghostwriting projects?

Improving research skills, adhering to style guides, and seeking feedback from clients can elevate the quality of ghostwriting work.

Is ghostwriting legal and ethical?

Ghostwriting is a legitimate service, but it is crucial to maintain ethical standards and disclose ghostwritten content when required.

How can busy researchers prevent unintentional ghostwriting?

Researchers should credit contributors appropriately, collaborate transparently, and be actively involved in the writing process to prevent unintentional ghostwriting.

What steps can I take to become a successful ghostwriter?

Building a diverse portfolio, networking with potential clients, and continuously honing writing skills are essential for a successful ghostwriting career.