Author Topic: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!  (Read 703 times)

Ellie Drake

The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« on: November 04, 2018, 01:46:56 PM »
Um... hi. *waves*

So, my name is Ellie and I'm a ghostwriter.

I've posted my story elsewhere in a forum that shall not be named. For posterity's sake, I'll post it here too. I know it's more about my journey into writing for myself, but I promise it's a helpful insight to what I'm trying to do here.

***

So I started up with a pen name that flopped.

So I stopped publishing. Took all those books down. I read everything I could get my hands on. I took reviews to heart and found my problem areas. I got better at writingÖ and tried again.

Another pen name. Another flop.

I had issues. Big ones, still. So I did the same thing. Took everything down. Found my issues. Started reading, researching, learning. And tried again.

Another pen name. BOOM! It took off like a rocket. I hit the lottery. I hit top 100 with several books. Started bringing in 30k a month. Things were incredibleÖ for six months.

Then it died.

I got lucky and my writing *still* wasnít up to standard. It wasnít bad, but it wasnít deserving of the success it got. So I stopped writing and publishing again. I had a new approach to bettering myself; ghostwriting. I found jobs that would guide me to better understand the craft. I learned to research my genre expectations, keywords, tropes, and how to stand out in a good way.

Now Iíve got several pre-written books. Iím ready to launch my (hopefully final!) pen name. Iíve got good books. Well written. Edited. Well received. Pretty covers.

But Iím terrified. Terrified Iíll fail again.

Iím even more terrified Iíll succeed.

All along, Iíve been the thing that destroys my chances. Why would this time be any different?

Anyway, if you read all the way through, thank you. Iím not sure what Iím looking for. Advice? Thoughts and prayers? Someone to agree with me that Iíve had my chance and blew it, itís time to quit? Or maybe someone whoís been there, done that and can tell me itís an uphill battle that Ė with a little courage Ė Iíll be able to win.

TLDR; Iíve made all the mistakes. I might be making another one. Iíll show myself out.

***

Okay. So that's the tip of the iceberg. An oversimplification. But ghosting is a huge part of what helped me better myself. It helped me get feedback in real time from clients more knowledgeable than me about my chosen genre. (Romance - I'm a sucker for a good love story.)

But I've created this thread with the hope of shedding light on how ghosting works, why *I* do it ( I can't speak for anyone else.) and what it really takes.

The biggest misconception I see is that ghostwriters... well... suck. That we're talentless hacks that can't cut it as real writers. That might be right. Or half right. I'm not good at marketing. At all. I've done AMS and my book currently sits at *checks numbers* 1,827 impressions, 1 click, 0 sales. Pity party for one. I'm busy researching, re-writing the next books based on beta feedback, and working on my ghosting. I'm a busy lady that's obsessed with learning everything I can. I don't want to be the best, but I want to be good.

So, do ghostwriters suck? Are we all talentless hacks?

Sure, some suck. But that's true of every profession, right? In order to make money as a ghostwriter it has to be good enough to sell. Nobody is going to pay me money for something they don't think they can make money on. And I do make money on it. I'm currently contracted for seven different jobs. The bulk are romance novels between 20k and 35k. One is an ongoing copywriting job in which I create ad copies and write blurbs.

Now, the second thing I get asked is why? Why do I sell work when I could publish it and make money that way? It's a marathon, not a race.

True. A very good point. However, I work from home and am the breadwinner for my household. I can't quit work and rely on royalties. Here's where I talk numbers. I charge .04 per word (so a 20k novel would be $800). I write about 5-10k a day. (Or $200 - $400 per day.) My first book (under this pen name, of course) hasn't made more than $10 yet. So for the nearsighted people like me, that feels like a huge loss when I could have sold that novel for $1,280. Will it make more than that in its lifetime? Perhaps. But I'm the kind of thinker that would rather take the guaranteed paycheck over the 'possible' paycheck.

Another good question: why not have my name as co-author for recognition and royalties?

In my experience, the people I write for have more than one ghost writer and/or their readers don't know the work is ghost written.
That second one is huge. Authors are afraid if it comes out that they didn't write the work, readers would feel betrayed - and for good reason, I suppose.

Another that I touched on today in response to another thread is - if you've written best selling work, where's your proof?

This one is easy. Every client I've worked for, as I mentioned above, doesn't want anyone to know someone else wrote their book. So they have me sign an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement). As a prolific writer, I've had several best sellers under my own pen names and for clients as well. I've had clients give me bonuses (tips) when the books have hit best seller status. I doubt they'd lie to me about this. But no, I can't *prove* it without opening myself to legal troubles, not to mention getting my ghostwriting shut down in a blink.

So these are a couple of the questions I've had. I have the feeling a lot of people don't understand ghosting and I'm the type that prefers to share knowledge.

Post your questions and I'll gladly answer them! (If I can, of course. I'm not going to reveal any client names or anything of a sensitive nature.) Again, I can only speak for myself and give advice and answers based on my narrow scope of ghosting, so take it all with a grain of salt. Healthy skepticism is, well, healthy!

It bears repeating: I've got thick skin. You're not going to hurt my feelings. Fire away.  Grin


« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 02:41:40 PM by Ellie Drake »
 
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sFABi

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 04:32:06 PM »

I charge .04 per word (so a 20k novel would be $800). I write about 5-10k a day. (Or $200 - $400 per day.) My first book (under this pen name, of course) hasn't made more than $10 yet. So for the nearsighted people like me, that feels like a huge loss when I could have sold that novel for $1,280.


Thanks for posting this thread.

For me, this is the nub of your post. A clear one. I can well understand your attitude when you could hit that kind of income reliably every week. It's also the problem because I'm looking for a ghostwriter to write a book that is US-based, knows all the cities because this story meanders across the USA and who can write in the 'slight' paranormal. Location and genre are not my scenes, so I actually can't write it myself unless I relocate it to the UK. Trouble is the market isn't in UK-based books.

So, I either go to a writer who is successful in that genre, obviously good enough for my book (which is a bestseller, by the way :icon_rolleyes: ) and co-write it with them (I doubt either of us would survive that interaction) or find a ghostwriter who can meet my needs in the above and is identifiably successful. Which is where the problem comes in. Your NDA's and the desire to only write the words without knowing if they will sell or not hold you back from launching your own books. Which also explains my reticence in selecting a ghostwriter. We're both damned if we do, and damned if we don't.

This long-winded explanation leads me to my question. If you know me and I don't know you, how do successful ghostwriters get their business and what constitutes the normal process of working through such a project? What would you initially expect from me, and what 'should' I expect from you throughout the process.

If I know more about how the integral workings of a ghostwriting project I might be able to gauge my expectations better. Because, at the moment, the whole thing is looking like an expensive gamble on an unknown number of things. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to know.

Sorry if this post seems a little cheeky, but it's not something that seems to be out there.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

Ellie Drake

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 05:32:59 PM »

I charge .04 per word (so a 20k novel would be $800). I write about 5-10k a day. (Or $200 - $400 per day.) My first book (under this pen name, of course) hasn't made more than $10 yet. So for the nearsighted people like me, that feels like a huge loss when I could have sold that novel for $1,280.


Thanks for posting this thread.

For me, this is the nub of your post. A clear one. I can well understand your attitude when you could hit that kind of income reliably every week. It's also the problem because I'm looking for a ghostwriter to write a book that is US-based, knows all the cities because this story meanders across the USA and who can write in the 'slight' paranormal. Location and genre are not my scenes, so I actually can't write it myself unless I relocate it to the UK. Trouble is the market isn't in UK-based books.

So, I either go to a writer who is successful in that genre, obviously good enough for my book (which is a bestseller, by the way :icon_rolleyes: ) and co-write it with them (I doubt either of us would survive that interaction) or find a ghostwriter who can meet my needs in the above and is identifiably successful. Which is where the problem comes in. Your NDA's and the desire to only write the words without knowing if they will sell or not hold you back from launching your own books. Which also explains my reticence in selecting a ghostwriter. We're both damned if we do, and damned if we don't.

This long-winded explanation leads me to my question. If you know me and I don't know you, how do successful ghostwriters get their business and what constitutes the normal process of working through such a project? What would you initially expect from me, and what 'should' I expect from you throughout the process.

If I know more about how the integral workings of a ghostwriting project I might be able to gauge my expectations better. Because, at the moment, the whole thing is looking like an expensive gamble on an unknown number of things. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to know.

Sorry if this post seems a little cheeky, but it's not something that seems to be out there.

Okay, you've got a lot going on here and it's late for me (12:32 AM here!) So I'm going to respond point by point as best I can.

-I feel for you Ė thatís something I hadnít considered. I do get a lot of requests from people outside the US looking for US based writers only. This sheds light on that for me, so thank you. But that doesnít help you. You *could* use things like google maps to learn about the cities in question, if you really need that kind of detail. Or you could try to fake it Ė which can be done also, if locations arenít the big deal here.

-The key to co-writing is to find someone thatís a good fit for you. Iíve done it, though I find it stressful, itís doable. You could try going into it with an open mind and a clear set of expectations. Let the other person know EXACTLY what you expect. Like anything else, communication is key! Donít expect the other person to know what you want Ė tell them!

Still, some people arenít well suited to handling that kind of working relationship and thereís nothing wrong with that.

As far as writing words without knowing if theyíll sell, Iíd like to expand on this. I NEVER give subpar work. I give my best every job. I have a lot of pride in my work and have no doubt the work can sell, given the client knows marketing better than I do. Of course, some books flop (thatís the nature of the beast, right?) but quality is not all it takes to sell. (I know that's not what you said and likely not what you intended, I just wanted to be very clear here.)

That said, if you go with a ghostwriter, ask them to write a trial for you in a world with your rules. It can be anything. This makes it hard for the cheaters to trick you. Itís easy to have a beautiful sample and hand over crap quality work. Iíve heard that complaint more times than I can count from clients over the years.

You could also consider a beta with knowledge of the places youíre writing to point out errors. Maybe a syntax editor? Research yourself, then get help making sure you got the details right. Just a thought. grint

-I work through Upwork. They have protections in place to make sure ghostwriters get paid. (And clients don't get ripped off.) There are other freelancer sites and Iíve gotten clients from facebook, writerís groups, etc. Upwork does charge fees on the front and back end, though. (They charge the client and the freelancer.)

You would want to:

1) Ask for samples!

2) Ask for a trial Ė (you might have to pay for this, but maybe at a lower rate. I half my cost for trials, generally, if theyíre 2k or less, but thatís freelancer based, not industry based. Discuss this with the potential ghost youíre talking to at the time.) This trial needs to be on your term, your rules. Make up a world, make clear cut rules, give them a character bio, all the details needed to make sure that what they write is written on the spot by them. Itís not fool-proof, but itís a good start. If they give you something you want/can use, move forward.

3) Make sure you have guidelines. No swearing. YA. No sex. No kissing. No romance side plots. No deviating from the agreed upon plot. No creative freedom on this project. Check in every 2k words written so I can make sure youíre on track and weíre still on the same page. If the ghost doesnít agree to your terms or wonít negotiate at least, leave. Itís a work contract, money for product. Make sure you get the product you want or you might pay for something you donít want. Every client has their specific rules and I follow them to a T Ė your ghost should too or theyíre not professional.

4) Set due dates that give you cushion (There are a lot of horror stories of ghosts not sticking to agreed upon deadlines Ė make sure you donít get yourself into, say, a preorder deadline that requires them to be on time.).

5) Skype or video chat your potential ghost! Just do it. Trust me. I do this all the time Ė itís peace of mind. And trust your gut.

6) When in doubt, ASK. I had a client burn me in reviews because I wrote book one in a series and they Ė without asking Ė set me up to write book two and expected it right away. Since I juggle clients, I do no more than one book per month per client. If theyíd have ASKED first, Iíd have worked with them and done the crunch to get it done. Since they DEMANDED it and decided to call me names when I told them I couldnít work within the un-agreed upon deadline, I refused and we gave each other mutual bad reviews. Communicate with your ghost! Weíve got lives too.

Honestly, that's the best advice I've got. Communicate, communicate, communicate. I can't read your mind, you can't read mine. Please don't expect your ghost to just know what you want.

You can ask for non- NDA covered work, some ghosts have it! I highly recommend, if you have the money to do so, set up your first chapter for the book you want written. Set it up as a trial with the world built. Have all info ready and a chapter outline of what you'd like it to be. Then get multiple ghosts that seem to fit your qualifications and ask them to write the samples for you. (If you do it at a lower rate than you're going to pay for the work, say that up front! I've turned down jobs that have too little info in the job description or were for super low rates). Have each ghost write the specified scene. The one that hits closest gets the job.

ALSO! Check and see what the ghost's policy is on revisions. Some ghosts do no revisions, some do extensive revisions, some fall in the middle. This is a way that skirts the co-authoring thing. You can get chunks of work (2k, 5k, whatever) Read them, give feedback to influence the story moving forward, etc. They write the whole story, but you have heavy influence. Again, communicate this expectation with your ghost to make sure they know that's what you'll be doing. This goes for editing. Some ghosts give clean first drafts, some don't. Make a list of your expectations, expand on it, then find a professional to work with you to achieve your vision.

I didn't find anything cheeky about this post. It was well communicated and very well mannered. Thank you for being civil. Believe it or not, I'm not kidding when I say some people don't take kindly to ghosts.  Grin


I hope I cleared some things up for you. If I missed anything or if you need/want clarification or have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 04:35:14 AM by Ellie Drake »
 
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sFABi

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 05:46:52 PM »
Thanks, Ellie,

That gives me a lot to chew on and is the best description I've received on how to go about this 'when' I've got some candidates. As soon as I have time I'll take this post and use it to work out my strategy for the book in question. I hope you get lots more questions from others because I'm certain I'm missing loads of information.  Grin
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 
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Ellie Drake

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 01:26:00 AM »
Thanks, Ellie,

That gives me a lot to chew on and is the best description I've received on how to go about this 'when' I've got some candidates. As soon as I have time I'll take this post and use it to work out my strategy for the book in question. I hope you get lots more questions from others because I'm certain I'm missing loads of information.  Grin

Likewise, I'm sure there is a ton of helpful information that I simply take for granted and won't know is helpful until someone asks. Best of luck to you and don't hesitate to ask me questions when you get to that point too!
 

Astrid Torquay

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 10:31:58 AM »
Thanks for starting this.

Your reasoning makes a lot of sense: to get ca $1000 for a manuscript guaranteed is nice, and then you let it go. I've been toying with the idea of trying fiction ghostwriting, but I haven't been sure where to start or if I'd hate it.

I made a nice living for years as a freelance copyeditor and non-fiction writer, often doing work that would never have my name on it, but I didn't care: I did the best job I could, they paid me, I got on with my life. But I had to not care about the work (I mean, I did my best, but I wasn't emotionally attached to it.)

So my questions are:

1. How would I get started? Just put my profile up on Upwork? Other places I could start? Should I prepare some samples of the genres I can work in?

2. Is 0.04 a word a rate I can expect to get when I'm starting out? (Given that I am a professional writer/editor, used to earning $250-400 a day as a freelancer, just with no experience fiction ghostwriting)

3. The process you describe above, of checking in with the ghost every so often -- should I expect that? I'm not good at that kind of process; I like to write the whole thing, and then rewrite, but maybe I need to learn to get over that.

4. How do you maintain efficiency as a ghostwriter? For example, would I need to train myself to write to a strict outline, and clean up as I go?

I might have other questions, but I've already loaded you with a lot.

 
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Astrid Torquay

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2018, 10:34:42 AM »
Eep. I do have more questions:

What policy on revisions do you recommend?
What do you expect in a client brief? (which would help avoid the need for revisions based on misunderstanding)
 
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Crystal

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2018, 04:29:41 AM »
This is very interesting. Thanks for posting.
 
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Ellie Drake

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2018, 04:58:32 AM »
Thanks for starting this.

Your reasoning makes a lot of sense: to get ca $1000 for a manuscript guaranteed is nice, and then you let it go. I've been toying with the idea of trying fiction ghostwriting, but I haven't been sure where to start or if I'd hate it.

I made a nice living for years as a freelance copyeditor and non-fiction writer, often doing work that would never have my name on it, but I didn't care: I did the best job I could, they paid me, I got on with my life. But I had to not care about the work (I mean, I did my best, but I wasn't emotionally attached to it.)

So my questions are:

1. How would I get started? Just put my profile up on Upwork? Other places I could start? Should I prepare some samples of the genres I can work in?

2. Is 0.04 a word a rate I can expect to get when I'm starting out? (Given that I am a professional writer/editor, used to earning $250-400 a day as a freelancer, just with no experience fiction ghostwriting)

3. The process you describe above, of checking in with the ghost every so often -- should I expect that? I'm not good at that kind of process; I like to write the whole thing, and then rewrite, but maybe I need to learn to get over that.

4. How do you maintain efficiency as a ghostwriter? For example, would I need to train myself to write to a strict outline, and clean up as I go?

I might have other questions, but I've already loaded you with a lot.

Hi Astrid!

Okay, here goes! This is a ton of information, but I know I'm missing things. So please bear with me!  Grin

1. Upwork is one good place. Be aware that they charge steep fees Ė 20% for the first $500 billed with the client.
10% for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000.
5% for lifetime billings with the client that exceed $10,000.
(They encourage long term work, but this is something to be aware of.)
Yes on samples. Make sure they're specific to the genres you want to write. Be aware that even with samples, a lot of clients will ask you for trials. Make sure your sample quality will match your trial quality. (So don't have a heavily edited sample that doesn't reflect your actual ability.)

2  .04 is not typical. Iím top rated (meaning I have a ton of good feedback and have Ďprovení myself as a trustworthy and talented ghost.) and there are still low ballers. Expect to start out at .01 per word with .025 per word being at the high end. People donít like to pay a lot and with people all over the world freelancing, itís easy to find people willing to work for pennies. (I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, let me be clear.)
So set yourself apart. Show that you do exceptional work, work with clients to get them exactly what they want so they give you reviews that reflect your skill and professionalism. (Included an actual job screencap but removed identifying info to protect the potential client. Needless to say, that offer wasn't for me, so I politely declined.)

3 The way each job works depends on the client and the freelancer. Iím vocal with some clients that like that. Some that Iíve worked with for years give me a target word count and set me free. With those, I donít check in, I hand in the work when itís completed Ė thatís what that client wants. My concern with communication is that you need to tell the client if youíre going to miss a deadline (Protip Ė donít miss deadlines.) but if something comes up, let the client know. Communicate before you accept a job. Let them know how you work and ask if they can work with that. Most clients are very forgiving if they know what to expect so let them know what to expect.

4 Iím not going to tell you how to write.  Grin I will tell you what works for me, though. Iím an outliner. I use a modified, simplified version of Libby Hawkerís method and it keeps me moving quick. If youíre a pantser and that works for you, then do that.
Honestly, if youíve got concerns on efficiency, I would recommend taking on one job, seeing how it goes, and refine your process/thinking/plans from there. The BIGGEST mistake I see new peeps make is that they dive in head first, take on six different jobs, then find out that theyíre bad at compartmentalizing and multitasking when it comes to writing. Start slow. Then take on more. Because once you have bad reviews and canceled jobs, itís hard to come back from that.

There are copywriting jobs of other kinds as well Ė there are calls for people to write blurbs/hooks/loglines, outlines, plots, etc. There are also requests for article writing, nonfiction writing, and all kinds of other things. I'd HIGHLY recommend either sticking to what you know or heavily researching the genre you'd like to write in and make sure you know your stuff. Especially if you want a higher paying job. You need to know the ins and outs, the tropes, and the things to avoid.

What policy on revisions do you recommend?
Thatís all down to you. Just communicate it before accepting a job. I offer revisions based on clients. But, because I write up a detailed outline (and stick to it!) there are generally no surprises. The client knows what theyíre going to get and I very rarely get revision requests. Since theyíre so rare for me, I usually just do whatever Iím asked. Note that revisions are unpaid (thatís standard.)

What do you expect in a client brief? (which would help avoid the need for revisions based on misunderstanding)
Again, it varies with the client. Iíve got some that I know so well, I know what they want and what they donít want and can feel out the grey areas well.
Some clients give me a full plot outline to work from, some only give me a one line premise (Example: Bad boy billionaireís dog is hit by heroineís car that her boyfriend was driving.), some give me tropes to hit only (Example: Alpha male, sham wedding, secret baby.), some give me nothing and wait to see what I hand them. Itís a grab bag, really, so you need to set your parameters and expectations. I have a proposal (rťsumť?) I send to clients requesting interviews. (I can send that to you in a message if youíd like me to, but I donít want to drop it on this public thread viewable to anyone.)

Okay, here's hoping I didn't miss anything! I hope this helps and if you've got more questions, feel free to ask away.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 05:04:37 AM by Ellie Drake »
 
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Astrid Torquay

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2018, 08:43:39 PM »
Very valuable info. Thank you! (I also bought a copy of your book as part of my research.)

I would love to see your proposal/resume -- I learn best by example. I think I've changed my settings so you can message me, or email me at gmail, astridtorquay.

I'm not expecting it to be as lucrative as past freelance editing and writing I've done, but I admit I don't want to write a 10000 word story for $40. But your approach of using it as a way to improve craft also appeals, and I know from past experience that it takes time to build up a freelance business.

What I'll probably do is practice first -- write a few contemporary romance novellas until I feel comfortable doing it, or determine it's definitely not for me. Which ties in nicely to something else I want to try, which is to learn to write fiction less complex than the 100K novels I'm doing now.

I'm familiar with contemporary romance, although I don't read it much these days, but not with shorter pieces, so I'm starting my research there (and yours too, of course!) I'm using Amazon's top 100 for romance shorts as a guide. I'm guessing some of the work there is ghostwritten.

Thanks again.
 
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Ellie Drake

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 04:09:35 AM »
Very valuable info. Thank you! (I also bought a copy of your book as part of my research.)

I would love to see your proposal/resume -- I learn best by example. I think I've changed my settings so you can message me, or email me at gmail, astridtorquay.

I'm not expecting it to be as lucrative as past freelance editing and writing I've done, but I admit I don't want to write a 10000 word story for $40. But your approach of using it as a way to improve craft also appeals, and I know from past experience that it takes time to build up a freelance business.

What I'll probably do is practice first -- write a few contemporary romance novellas until I feel comfortable doing it, or determine it's definitely not for me. Which ties in nicely to something else I want to try, which is to learn to write fiction less complex than the 100K novels I'm doing now.

I'm familiar with contemporary romance, although I don't read it much these days, but not with shorter pieces, so I'm starting my research there (and yours too, of course!) I'm using Amazon's top 100 for romance shorts as a guide. I'm guessing some of the work there is ghostwritten.

Thanks again.

Thank you - I hope it doesn't disappoint.  Grin

I've got the option to message you, so I'll send that right over.

It can be lucrative, I just caution you not to expect too much too quickly. There are well paying jobs, there are decent paying jobs, and there are a few $40 for 10k jobs. That one is honestly the outlier. Generally I see jobs between .012 per word to .02 per word. You can always bid up or give your rate per word, just know you're likely not the only one putting in bids on jobs. Make sure you've got the writing chops to back up your cost. I've successfully bid up from .02 to .04 on jobs and had clients willing to pay more than they originally wanted to because they liked my style. If you write a clean draft (that doesn't need a ton of editing) then you're already well ahead of the game. And yes having it as a way to get real time feedback and opinions can be very beneficial.

That's a good idea! 100k is tough, and that kind of complexity can be exhausting. The shorter romances might be good palate cleansers, also, to help prevent burnout with those longer projects.

Most of my clients ask for work between 20k and 40k, so it means really honing in on the plot, focusing on the H/h, and writing tight to the plot. There are calls for all sub genres (I noticed a huge surge of requests for historical romance too, if that's your jam - I'm not knowledgeable enough to tackle that one) including reverse harem, paranormal, you name it. So you can likely find your favorite niche to write in also, or have plenty of work if you like several sub genres. I really box myself in with the work I take, so I know I'm limiting my earning potential - but I'm comfortable, too, and not stressing about what genre I'm writing today.

Something else that may be just me - I find it very hard to justify working on my own books now. I'm not sure if it's my personality type, or if it's something about the way my mind assesses risk vs reward - I'm not sure, but I wanted to put that out there as a potential caution for you. Don't get me wrong, I love my story lines, I love my characters, but given the option of turning work in before a deadline or working on my own work, I generally go with turning work in well before its due.

Oh! That's something else - make sure you're realistic with deadlines. I ask for a month per story even though I write 5k-10k every day. So I can finish a 30k book in 3-6 days, but I still ask a month no matter what. I like the deadline cushion in case I get sick, or something comes up, or whatever. Life happens, so try to give yourself breathing room. And I can promise you - most clients won't mind if you're early for a deadline, but if you're late... expect to be let go and given a review you don't want.

You're very welcome. I hope this helps and if you think of something else, let me know!
 
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sundaze

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Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2018, 11:50:48 PM »
Thanks, Ellie for these detailed replies. I'm in the process of finding someone to act as ghost for a string of projects--though I'd prefer to consider them a co-writer--and this information has been very helpful.
 

Ellie Drake

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 03:36:51 AM »
Thanks, Ellie for these detailed replies. I'm in the process of finding someone to act as ghost for a string of projects--though I'd prefer to consider them a co-writer--and this information has been very helpful.

I'm glad it's been helpful for you! If you come up with any questions, I hope you don't hesitate to ask. :) Wishing you the best of luck finding a co-writer!
 

munboy

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 02:11:27 AM »
How do you find ghostwriting gigs? I've tried a few freelance websites but keep getting rejected because "there's enough freelancers offering the same services as you."
 

Ellie Drake

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2018, 04:10:57 AM »
How do you find ghostwriting gigs? I've tried a few freelance websites but keep getting rejected because "there's enough freelancers offering the same services as you."

The bulk of my experience is with Upwork.

I've heard of that issue before and my advice is to add skills you have (I'm not promoting dishonesty here, promote skills you actually have) Can you write plots? Add it. Can you edit? Add that. Can you do graphic design? HTML? Add all potential applicable skills. There are a lot of jobs on Upwork. Once on the site, you can dig around and find the things you want to do. I've taken on jobs that I never considered at the start of my freelancing like plot writing, blurb and hook writing, etc. And limiting your job pool limits potential income. So make sure your not selling yourself short.

If the sites are still unavailable, here's a list. (*Disclaimer - this is not my blog, I don't know who runs it, it's just what seems like a helpful link.) I haven't vetted them, so please be careful and research. https://www.ryrob.com/freelance-jobs/#writing

I do know there are reddit threads dedicated to ghosts and clients, but I generally stay off reddit as I manage to find all the rabbit holes.

You could try to make a facebook page or group and offer ghostwriting services in writing groups - I've known people who've done this to some success. I've found jobs on facebook through writers groups, though never on purpose.

I know some ghosts post on kboards, but there's some issues there as a couple ghosts are giving us all bad names.

I hope this helps and best of luck!
 

munboy

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2018, 04:21:06 AM »
How do you find ghostwriting gigs? I've tried a few freelance websites but keep getting rejected because "there's enough freelancers offering the same services as you."

The bulk of my experience is with Upwork.

I've heard of that issue before and my advice is to add skills you have (I'm not promoting dishonesty here, promote skills you actually have) Can you write plots? Add it. Can you edit? Add that. Can you do graphic design? HTML? Add all potential applicable skills. There are a lot of jobs on Upwork. Once on the site, you can dig around and find the things you want to do. I've taken on jobs that I never considered at the start of my freelancing like plot writing, blurb and hook writing, etc. And limiting your job pool limits potential income. So make sure your not selling yourself short.

If the sites are still unavailable, here's a list. (*Disclaimer - this is not my blog, I don't know who runs it, it's just what seems like a helpful link.) I haven't vetted them, so please be careful and research. https://www.ryrob.com/freelance-jobs/#writing

I do know there are reddit threads dedicated to ghosts and clients, but I generally stay off reddit as I manage to find all the rabbit holes.

You could try to make a facebook page or group and offer ghostwriting services in writing groups - I've known people who've done this to some success. I've found jobs on facebook through writers groups, though never on purpose.

I know some ghosts post on kboards, but there's some issues there as a couple ghosts are giving us all bad names.

I hope this helps and best of luck!

Thanks a lot! When I get some free time, I'll keep trying.
 

Ellie Drake

Re: The 'How Ghosting Works' thread!
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2018, 05:11:25 AM »
Thanks a lot! When I get some free time, I'll keep trying.

Free time? What's that? :hehe

You're very welcome and best of luck!