Authors, Why Limit Yourself to Local Ghostwriters?

Authors, Why Limit Yourself to Local Ghostwriters?

With professional ghostwriters located across the globe, why restrict your pool of candidates solely to your zip code?

At least once a month, the Association of Ghostwriters receives a query from an aspiring author in search of writing help who wants to work with someone “local.” For some folks, local is within a one-mile radius, for others local is the major metropolitan area in which they reside.

While I understand the desire to be able to sit down face-to-face and meet with a professional who will be responsible for telling their tale or explaining their unique message, requiring that a ghostwriter live in close proximity means that your options will be severely limited. Severely. Meaning, there may not be an experienced ghostwriter anywhere near you.

And, perhaps more importantly, the best ghostwriter for the job may not live in your city, or your state, or even your country.

Sure, you can probably find a college student or part-time writer to assist you, but if those are your options – a less experienced writer on the next block or a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter a couple hundred miles away, the choice should be simple.

Go with the experienced ghost.

The truth is, thanks to technology, you really don’t need to live anywhere near your ghostwriter to be able to produce a top quality product. Whether you’re working on a series of blog posts, an industry white paper, or a book, it’s fairly easy to share background information and ideas via phone, video, and email. You don’t need to be sitting across the table to effectively convey your message.

Some clients are leery of such an arrangement, which I understand. You’ve never met the other person so you don’t know if they’re trustworthy, you may think. And yet, being able to shake their hand in person isn’t really going to reliably tell you whether they are trustworthy either.

Another factor to consider is cost. Requiring that a ghostwriter meet with you in person requires additional time and expense that you will be expected to pay. That can up the project cost by at least 25%, if not more, due to travel time and time out of the office. And yet, in many cases, it won’t impact the quality of the deliverable one iota.

The only exception I can imagine is if the client had a particularly personal story to share. Being able to witness the author’s emotions as they relay the details of the story could help the ghostwriter better understand their experience. I’m not saying a one-on-one meeting is critical to those types of stories, only that it’s possible a personal meeting might help the ghostwriter do his or her job better. But I’m also not convinced.

So if you’re an author on the hunt for a top ghostwriter to partner with in sharing your message, don’t limit your candidate pool based on geography if you want the best chance of a top quality book. Your best option is very likely not in your backyard.

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Marcia Layton Turner


  1. Karen Cioffi on October 7, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Marcia, great reasons why someone who wants a book or other content written doesn’t need to hire someone locally. I have clients from all over the world and we work together closely without even being on the same continent!

  2. Allen Smith on November 8, 2018 at 12:09 am

    In 14 years, I’ve never once met my clients in person. One was located in the UK. Another lived in Nigeria.That’s one of the nice things about being a writer today–technology has made the entire process easier and expanded the opportunities. I’m not sure if I would have survived as a writer in “the old days.” All those envelopes and wait time!

  3. Nancy Peske on December 28, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I’m with Karen and Allen. My ghostwriting clients have mostly been out of my area. When I did ghostwrite for local clients, I only met with them once or twice during the process. I actually find it more helpful to not be with them in person when interviewing them. It can be easier to get people to open up over the phone and develop a rapport that isn’t influenced by my being in their space or their feeling intimidated by a recording device. Thanks to technology, I can work with a client to find their comfort zone for getting the stories down and answering what can be some emotionally challenging questions.

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