How To Become A Ghostwriter And Make $100,000+ Each Year


Do you need to study the way to turn out to be a ghostwriter for books?

Ghostwriters write books and content material for others, however their names aren’t publicly shared or credited because the to become a ghostwriter for books

If you wish to learn to turn out to be a ghostwriter for books and discover ghostwriting jobs for novices, that is the article for you.

Discovering a ghostwriting job is a dream for a lot of and having the ability to generate income writing from residence is usually a nice profession alternative.

At this time, I’ve an informative interview about the way to turn out to be a ghostwriter with Alex Cody Foster. He has ghostwritten eight #1 Amazon Bestsellers, wrote for one of many U.Ok’s most profitable thriller writers, and labored as John McAfee’s ghostwriter for six months, which is profiled in a Netflix documentary.

Alex lately created Ghostwriting University, an internet course on the way to turn out to be a ghostwriter. This course teaches college students the way to turn out to be a ghostwriter for books, and each step within the ghostwriting course of is included — the way to discover ghostwriting shoppers; preliminary consumer calls; interviews; define; first draft; closing draft; and totally printed e-book.

Alex additionally has a free mini course the place you may study newbie tips about the way to turn out to be a ghostwriter and what that you must get began.

Are you questioning questions equivalent to:

  • What’s the typical ghostwriter’s wage?
  • Do you want a level to be a ghostwriter?
  • Can anybody be a ghostwriter?
  • How do I begin a profession in ghostwriting?
  • Is ghostwriting moral?

At this time’s interview will aid you learn to turn out to be a ghostwriter and maybe even introduce you to a brand new solution to generate income from residence.

Associated content material:

Learn how to turn out to be a ghostwriter for books


1. Please give us a bit of background on your self and the way you turned a ghostwriter.

That is what I gave a consumer lately once they requested for a one-pager on why I could be the proper author for the job. I feel it’s additionally relevant right here:

“You possibly can’t give away every part you bought, child. Then you definitely received nothing left to provide.”

A homeless man advised me this after I was nineteen, residing on the streets of Los Angeles. I had tried to provide him my final hundred {dollars}. Within the intervening two years, I traveled the world, skilled exceptional tales firsthand, and have become a full-time ghostwriter. I by no means forgot what he advised me, nor the innate humanity of a person with nothing refusing what was extra money than he’d had in a very long time.

What I need to give to the world, I spotted, are tales. And I advised that individual story lately—his story, mine, and John McAfee’s in a e-book referred to as The Man Who Hacked the World. I’ve been writing tales all my life, ever since I used to be eight years outdated and wrote my first “e-book”; a single-spaced 33-page treatise on Jack the Ripper. By the point I used to be eighteen, I’d written a full-length e-book. At 22, I’d written seven. Now I’m 30 years outdated, and I’ve written books throughout the spectrum of the human expertise, at all times with a singular voice and in a approach that engages the reader from starting to finish.

I don’t possess a standard schooling, nor do I conduct ghostwriting in a standard method. Mockingly, it’s this very apply that has carved out a profitable profession from the bedrock of a tough and unforgiving business. I’ve written eight #1 Amazon bestsellers, been featured in what was the #1 Netflix movie on the planet the day after it premiered, and haven’t needed to promote in seven years.

Now, I’m co-author with JD Barker—James Patterson’s personal co-author—on a brand new fiction collection, and certain can be hanging up my ghostwriting hat in 2023, dedicating all my time to instructing others the way to replicate what I’ve finished, and to writing books underneath my very own title.

I’m certain I’m not the most effective ghostwriter on the market, though there is no such thing as a definable measurement in artistry. What I can say is I work more durable and extra passionately than any author I do know (apart from JD Barker), and it exhibits within the work.

Telling tales isn’t a job for me. It’s a lifestyle.


2. What’s a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a hidden writer; we write books for folks, however our names don’t go on the books.

It’s been estimated that 80% of nonfiction books are written by folks like me. You possibly can wager your backside greenback that just about each celeb memoir was penned by a ghost.

Our job is to inform the tales of people that don’t have the time or maybe the talent to do it themselves.


3. How a lot can a ghostwriter earn? How a lot ought to a newbie ghostwriter cost?

My first e-book ghostwriting contract, which I obtained at 22, was $8,000 for 4 months.

Two grand a month for a broke and beforehand homeless child appeared like a mountain of money in these days. However what I spotted as I turned extra profitable over time is that ghostwriting books requires a ton of labor. The time required is equal to the hours spent by a contractor to construct a house. And when you consider it, that’s type of what ghostwriting is, however as an alternative of residence constructing, it’s world-building.

I now not cost eight grand a e-book. I might make extra working a minimal wage job.

My charges are $100,000 to $250,000+ per e-book, and as an alternative of getting to juggle a dozen completely different tasks every year, I get to cherry-pick a small handful of those I’m actually captivated with.

A brand-new ghostwriter—supplied they’ve written a great e-book and are a talented author—can cost $15,000 per e-book. In all probability even $20,000.

Nevertheless it’s necessary that you simply construct a portfolio of fine books which you could share with potential shoppers (be certain this clause is in your NDA and ghostwriting contract!). If the brand new ghost has not written a e-book earlier than however has written blogs, brief tales, and many others., they will’t actually cost these numbers proper out of the gates as a result of they lack the requisite expertise.

Writing lengthy kind content material is waaaaay completely different than brief kind (construction, arcs, pacing, and many others.), so it could be necessary for the ghost to begin increase their e-book writing expertise straight away. The higher you write, the extra money you make.


4. Can anybody be a ghostwriter? What abilities do ghostwriters want? 

Ghostwriting isn’t for everybody. It’s exhausting work, and whereas it may be very profitable, it’s not a get-rich-quick kind of job. 

Being knowledgeable author is a dream for lots of people. It typically evokes emotions of a sluggish tempo, sitting with a laptop computer in a quaint cafe, making the massive bucks.

Whereas typically that could be the case, there are a number of occasions whenever you’re touring midway internationally (like I do) to satisfy along with your consumer and interview them.

It takes a number of psychological brainpower to transform an interview session right into a full-blown e-book. And if you happen to simply throw this dialog into e-book format, it’ll flop, and it’s not possible you’ll discover referrals from shoppers till you get higher. 

Right here is my checklist of 10 indicators you might not be a great match for ghostwriting. 

Have a look at this checklist not as discouragement from a problem, however as a part of your roadmap to success. 

1. You’re not an incredible listener. Listening is talent #1 in terms of ghostwriting. When you’re somebody who’s at all times speaking and never totally listening to others, this could be a giant problem for you. You want to have the ability to silence your interior ideas (and ego) and totally hear what the interviewee is saying. 

Oftentimes, shoppers will gloss over the actually necessary particulars of the story. You want to have the ability to pull these out and understand what was truly stated. 

2. You’re simply in it for the cash. Whereas ghostwriting could be extraordinarily profitable, it received’t be at first. So if you happen to’re trying to come into this enterprise and instantly be making six-figures, you would possibly need to look elsewhere for some passive earnings alternatives you are able to do from a tropical seashore. 

3. You’re not keen to sharpen your online business abilities. Ghostwriting is a enterprise, by means of and thru. When you’re not keen to get higher at optimizing your ghostwriting enterprise in each approach – on prime of writing – you’re going to fall flat as quickly as you get began. 

4. You don’t interview nicely. In case you have by no means interviewed anybody earlier than, this enterprise can be difficult at first. However so long as you’re keen to study and get higher at these abilities, you may flip out to be an unbelievable ghostwriter. 

5. You possibly can’t put aside your ego and private associations. Ghostwriting is all about folks. And no two persons are the identical. So in case your political or spiritual associations cloud your judgment and make it tough for you to put aside your ego, it’s best to discover one other business to work in. Being unbiased as a ghostwriter is necessary in ensuring the story you write authentically represents that individual’s expertise. 

6. It takes you years to write down a e-book. When you’re somebody who has been writing a novel for the final ten years, this won’t be the job for you. Not solely will your shoppers not be thrilled a couple of actually lengthy timeline, however you aren’t going to make sufficient cash to outlive. The finest ghostwriters make $250k+ per e-book, so taking greater than a yr goes to make that cash go fast. Whilst you don’t want to have the ability to write 3+ books per yr, time is cash in terms of ghostwriting. 

7. Writing doesn’t come straightforward for you. Ghostwriting books takes a number of… nicely, writing. When you’re not an incredible author, that you must enhance upon that talent earlier than you even take into account monetizing it. Follow till you have a great quantity of talent, however don’t try to turn out to be “good” earlier than getting began. 

8. The uncertainty of freelance work makes you uneasy. Working as a freelancer is… completely different. You received’t be getting medical insurance. You received’t be assured cost on time, each time (however I’ve strategies for serving to take care of this within the course). You generally received’t know the place your subsequent paycheck is coming from. However the extra time you spend optimizing the enterprise, the likelier these uncertainties will fade with time.

9. It’s exhausting so that you can join and empathize with others. This goes hand in hand with leaving your preconceived notions on the door. You will want to attach with individuals who share completely different beliefs and have had very completely different life experiences (in spite of everything, that’s typically what makes a memoir or novel so compelling!).

10. You’re not okay along with your title not being on the quilt. Right here we go along with that ego bit once more. The primary rule of being a ghostwriter is that you simply by no means publicly get credit score on your work. This is without doubt one of the causes you typically receives a commission greater than an writer who writes their very own e-book.


how to become a ghostwriter for books

5. Who hires ghostwriters? Do celebrities rent ghostwriters?

Businesspeople, entrepreneurs, well being coaches, public audio system, politicians, memoirists, and you bought it — celebrities.

These are the ‘white whales’ I check with within the course (I additionally display the way to catch them).


6. Do you want a level to be a ghostwriter?

Undoubtedly not. I don’t have a level; in reality, I barely graduated highschool.

What you want is writing efficacy, a willingness to work more durable than all of your colleagues, and the need and fervour to inform exceptional tales.

It’s humorous, I’ve misplaced potential gigs as a result of I’ve no conventional schooling or MFA. A blue blood kind nearly choked after I stated each “shit” and “I don’t have a level” in the identical sentence. I’m only a common man. I make errors; I’m fallible.

My factor isn’t pretending to be somebody I’m not—and it’s that very factor that retains bringing within the huge shoppers. I feel a number of my shoppers discover it refreshing that I don’t have a standard schooling, as a result of I’m subsequently capable of inform tales in a way that hasn’t been closely influenced by the works of others. Actually, I’m drawing largely from my very own expertise as a human being who has at all times been keenly within the tales of individuals from all walks of life.

You don’t want a level to be a ghost; you want the information.


7. How do I begin a profession in ghostwriting? 

Following on the heels of the final query, before everything, you want the information of the way to turn out to be one, and also you received’t discover that information in any college textbook. It’s type of esoteric, actually. There’s no set roadmap.

For me, some random man discovered my writing on some random discussion board on the web, and he was so impressed, he employed me to write down his memoir although I used to be barely sufficiently old to be trusted serving his French fries. Then I labored more durable than I ever had in my life to construct a enterprise doing the one factor I used to be truly good at.

There are issues you are able to do to get on the trail of ghostwriting. A mentor could be useful; if I had one at 22, I’d have saved myself a ton of time, cash, and complications. That’s what I present in my ghostwriting course—it’s six hours of content material protecting every part one must know to turn out to be not only a ghostwriter, however a profitable ghostwriter. It’s definitely a cheat code. However let’s discuss what you possibly can be doing proper now.

Do you Netflix and Chill? In all probability. Have you ever ever thought that the documentaries you see continually on the highest 10 checklist are veritable goldmines of ghostwriting content material? When you’ve written a e-book and have proficiency with the craft, and it doesn’t set you again an terrible lot of time or cash, why not attain out to one in all these real-life characters from a trending doc or collection asking if you happen to can write a e-book for shared cowl credit score and 50% of the proceeds (that is referred to as a ‘collaboration settlement’). In the event that they’re trending on Netflix, they may have a following, and meaning e-book gross sales and getting your title on the market, which implies branding.

Nonetheless, there’s no assure you’ll get their consideration, or that they’ll even learn your e mail, particularly if you happen to’re model new. Regardless, you will get your self a professionally designed web site, an promoting account, an LLC, after which begin looking. Sure, you should be the proactive one, looking out far and huge for ghostwriting gigs, as a result of they don’t at all times magically seem in your inbox; it takes time for that to occur—and the business is at the moment inundated with freelancers (that’s why Upwork stopped taking up new ones). That’s the place the esoteric half is available in. There’s no algorithm right here, however if you happen to hone your X Issue (the factor that units you aside from different freelancers), you’re a talented author, and also you’re keen to work exhausting, you may turn out to be a ghostwriter.


8. Does a ghostwriter personal copyright? 

Nope, authors personal the copyright.

Co-authors personal half the copyright, however ghosts are paid as contractors who don’t personal any portion of the e-book.


9. Do ghostwriters receives a commission upfront? 

Some ghosts I do know cost 50% up entrance and 50% on the finish. I don’t assume that’s moral, as a result of there’s no telling if the ghost will get hit by a bus or kidnapped by aliens earlier than that fifty% is earned out.

It’s higher to cost by benchmarks. I cost 20% up entrance, and the remaining that’s left over is paid as soon as a month, coinciding with a deliverable.


how to find ghostwriting gigs

10. Is ghostwriting moral?

It relies upon what your ethics are.

For me, my ego doesn’t necessitate that I’ve shared cowl credit score, however my model now does—if it’s a venture I’d wish to have my title on and can assist develop my enterprise, that’s.

For my part, extra ghosts must be acknowledged for his or her work and be capable of get shared cowl credit score, being that they wrote the whole e-book themselves. However the form of people that rent ghostwriters typically don’t need to share that credit score.

It’s akin to somebody displaying off their immaculate property for a photograph unfold in Higher Houses & Gardens, but it surely’s the contractors—the landscapers, gardeners, designers—that made that property a factor of magnificence. I don’t assume they thoughts that the proprietor is taking credit score for his or her work, although, as a result of they’ve been paid for that work. It’s a lot the identical with ghostwriting.

But when an writer outright lies, saying publicly they wrote the e-book themselves once they employed a ghost, I feel that’s unethical.


11. Do ghostwriters get recognition?

Finally, however they have to construct their model and turn out to be a sought-after author earlier than that may occur. My colleague, JD Barker, was a ghost for a few years earlier than he began writing underneath his personal title. Now he’s James Patterson’s co-author. That’s as a result of JD constructed his model to the purpose the place JP might endorse him.

I now have shoppers asking me to place my title on their books for that purpose.

When your title helps promote your shoppers’ books, that’s whenever you’ve “made it.” Additionally, generally it may be labored into the contract. You state you’ll be paid X quantity much less and in return have your title on the quilt. Or receives a commission X quantity, plus a small share of royalties and canopy credit score.


12. What are the steps to turn out to be a ghostwriter?

  1. Hone your writing talent
  2. Hone your interviewing methods
  3. Discover a mentor, take a course, and study every part you may about ghostwriting
  4. Lay the muse (website positioning, web site, promoting, optimize LinkedIn)
  5. Promote your providers, charging much less at first, and announce your X issue
  6. Hunt for tales throughout media—social media, streaming providers, newspapers, magazines
  7. Publish your individual e-book (historically if you happen to can; self-publish if you happen to can’t)


13. What different ideas do you’ve got for somebody who needs to turn out to be a ghostwriter?

To not be that man, however if you happen to signal as much as my free mini course, you’ll get some nice ideas and tips that can be useful even if you happen to don’t find yourself getting the course itself. I simply don’t need to paste all that right here as a result of it’s so much.


14. What can an individual study out of your course? Are you able to inform us about a number of the individuals who have efficiently taken your useful resource?

In a nutshell, they will study every part they should know to begin working towards a profitable ghostwriting profession, from a man who took the nontraditional path and made it work.

Listed here are three latest opinions from individuals who have taken the full course:

“This course is a totally complete and thrilling collection of insights into ghostwriting. Every lesson is informative and interesting, totally addressing each step and caveat of the ghostwriting course of. Alex Cody Foster’s distinctive perspective as a self-taught ghostwriter enlightens us to lots of the unstated and delicate dynamics of this profession. All my questions have been answered with cogency and wit, backed by his ten years of expertise. For anybody actually critical about making ghostwriting their profession, I extremely suggest this course. You’ll end with the arrogance and information to show your ardour right into a occupation.” – Molly Fitzpatrick, writer, ghostwriter, editor

“This is a wonderful course. Like many writers, I spent years in formal coaching: analyzing obscure eighteenth-century works, selecting up levels, studying books on writing. This isn’t like that. I’ve by no means taken a category that felt so sensible, so actionable, so achievable. Alex is a gifted storyteller who accompanies his sensible step-by-step method with nuggets from contained in the business. He builds a roadmap, a information for what to do and when, in case you are able to get a ghostwriting profession rolling. I discovered a lot of his recommendation broadly relevant throughout the publishing panorama and useful for any author who needs to learn to generate income doing what they love. I suck on the enterprise aspect of writing; it looks like a international planet. How do you write a compelling question letter? Who do you even contact? How do you go about getting your preliminary shoppers? These items was out of my wheelhouse, so I used to be intimidated to attempt. This course gave me the overview I wanted, the construction I can grasp my very own sensibilities on. I really feel empowered, assured, and psyched to be searching for tales. This course is the proper first step in case you are critical about ghostwriting.” – Trenton Kraczek, author

“When you’ve ever dreamed of constructing actual cash out of your writing, Ghostwriting College is all you want. Alex Cody Foster teaches you the way to do every part, from establishing your online business to discovering your superb consumer. You received’t discover a higher, extra inclusive on-line course anyplace. I’ve gone by means of it twice when most programs I purchase collect digital mud. Don’t sleep on this one. Enroll now!” – J. Thorn, founding father of The Writer Life

Please click here to learn more about Ghostwriting University.


Learn how to turn out to be a ghostwriter and discover ghostwriting gigs

I hope you loved right now’s interview on the way to turn out to be a ghostwriter for books with Alex Cody Foster.

You could possibly earn a full-time earnings with ghostwriting tasks and work at home. Discovering ghostwriting gigs could be an effective way to earn cash, plus ghostwriting tasks can can help you work at home and have a versatile schedule.

There are various completely different matters which you could write about as a ghostwriter, and it depends upon your experience, area of interest or style, and extra.

There are different varieties of ghostwriting as nicely, equivalent to writing weblog posts on an internet site, writing a visitor publish for a enterprise proprietor, social media posts (equivalent to on a platform like Fb or Twitter), copywriting, on-line content material, and extra.

As a ghostwriter, chances are you’ll be writing for athletes, actors, different public figures, or perhaps a small enterprise proprietor. Sure, you may even learn to turn out to be a star ghostwriter!

There are various various kinds of shoppers that rent ghostwriters, so your writing model and writing abilities (equivalent to having the ability to learn to write within the consumer’s voice) could differ from consumer to consumer.

If you wish to provide ghostwriting providers, there are a lot of methods to get began right now. This is usually a nice profession path for anybody who needs to place their creativity to work, earn an earnings, and work at home.

Are you interested by studying the way to turn out to be a ghostwriter?


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