Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about ghostwriting?
Find the answers below, or submit a new question
How many published authors use a ghostwriter?
No one knows for sure, because it’s the policy of many ghostwriters (including here at POV Ghostwriting) to remain anonymous. But the short answer is: Lots.
It’s reasonable to assume that any celebrity, politician, actor, musician, athlete, business leader, pop culture figure, or otherwise notable person who’s not a professional writer wrote their book with the help of a ghostwriter or co-writer. This happens for all the reasons we’ve talked about here—time, energy, expertise, resources, and the need for a professional product despite a lack of professional training.
In the realm of fiction, ghostwriters are most prominent in genre titles: sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and romance. Again, it’s hard to know exact numbers, but we know a number of wildly successful books and series have been ghostwritten, including works by Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Michael Crichton, the Nancy Drew series, and even The Three Musketeers.
If I use a ghostwriter, is it really *my* book?
Absolutely! Using a ghostwriter is not cheating on your homework. Your book is your baby: You brought it into the world. Even if someone else generates the text, it's the product of your ideas, your story, your words, and your direction. And of course, you always have final editorial say.
Suppose you have a great concept for a tattoo—something unique, striking, and perfectly you. Would you have any doubts about hiring a tattoo artist to ink it on for you? Does asking someone else to apply it make the tattoo itself any less meaningful, less original, or less yours? Or have you correctly realized that you're not a tattoo artist yourself, and you may well regret it if you don't trust a professional to execute your vision?
Does my ghostwriter's name appear anywhere in the book or the copyright?
So no one will ever know that a ghostwriter helped with my book?
That's the idea (hence the term "ghost"). We take your confidentiality seriously. If we need to engage third parties on your behalf to complete the book—interview subjects, specialized researchers, or a proofreader—we first get 1) your written authorization, and 2) a signed non-disclosure agreement from the third party.
How long will it take to write my book?
Most nonfiction takes 6–9 months and most memoir and fiction takes 9–12 months, but we're always willing to work with you on scheduling to fit your needs.
How do you determine the project fee?
We only settle on a project fee after you and your ghostwriter have:
Gone through your notes or in-progress manuscript (if applicable)—ideally with a Readiness Review
Determined how much research and writing needs to be done, and how complex those tasks may be
Discussed your vision and goals for the book
Outlined a rough schedule and deadlines for the project
After we've agreed on a fee, we both sign a contract that clearly stipulates the project terms, conditions, expectations, deadlines, and deliverables for both of us.
For more about schedules and pricing, see Services & Rates.
Why does POV Ghostwriting use a flat fee?
Writing a book is a massive, sprawling endeavor. It doesn't happen Monday–Friday, 9–5, and a ghostwriter is never "off the clock" when writing your book. Billing creative projects by the hour gets messy and even contentious, and also doesn't allow for flexibility when changes are necessary. A flat-fee structure lets everyone take their eyes off the time sheet, values quality over page count, and produces the best possible book.
Do you offer payment plans for full manuscript projects?
Yes. Projects are billed in monthly installments, with the first payment due when the contract is signed. Payment is accepted via PayPal (bank account or credit card) or secure wire transfer.
What about my future earnings?
All earnings from your book are 100% yours. POV Certified Ghostwriting holds no copyright or intellectual property rights to your work at any time during or after our engagement, and does not collect any payment for publishing advances, future sales, copyrights, international rights, film rights, audio rights, reprints, or any other means of revenue. Even if your book makes you a multimillionaire, we don't collect a penny beyond our project fee.
Instead of a project fee, will you write my book for a percentage of the royalties and profits after I sell the book?
Unfortunately, no. Publishing outcomes are unpredictable—whether your book makes money depends on lots of factors, including your willingness to market and promote yourself—and beyond that, not every author has the same financial goals. Some want books they can sell at speaking engagements for little or no direct profit, but huge publicity or networking value. Others want to top bestseller lists and use their novel as the hook to land a 10-episode Netflix deal. Both these outcomes (and countless others) are possible, and our clients have been happy selling their books to traditional publishers and self-publishing alike. But like other professionals, ghostwriters are paid for the time and expertise they use to produce an object of value, and can't reasonably pin our livelihoods to outcomes over which we have no control.
Can't I find cheaper ghostwriters elsewhere?
Most definitely! Craigslist and other freelance sites are teeming with people who will happily write your book for $10,000 or less—but keep in mind that if you pay bargain basement prices, you'll get a bargain basement book. These "ghostwriters," who often charge by the hour, page, or word, are usually well-meaning but inexperienced writers trying to break into the business or make some quick cash, and because they don't have the training, experience, investment, or skill to charge professional rates, they also probably can't deliver the quality they promise. The money you save using a cheap writer will probably be spent later on, when you hire another writer or editor to fix your manuscript.
Think of it this way: If you expect to pay $X for a house but then find someone who promises to sell you a house that's just as good for 20% of X, no strings attached... you'd have some questions. You should have those same questions when deciding who to trust with your book manuscript.