Infographic: Do I need a ghostwriter? How to tell if you need to hire a ghostwriter

Many authors hire ghostwriters. But how do you know if you should? This handy flow chart will help answer the question: “Should I hire a ghostwriter?”

Surprisingly, not everybody needs to hire a ghostwriter. Some people write their own books, screenplays and business materials.

But people come to ghostwriters for a variety of reasons. This flow chart will help you determine if you have one of the common reasons that people need to hire a ghostwriter.

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Flowchart - should I hire a ghostwriter?

* Click the image for a full-sized version.

You have an amazing idea for a book

This might be obvious, but the main reason people hire ghostwriters is because they have awesome ideas for books or screenplays. No idea, no need to hire someone to write it.

With that one great idea, an author can write the book in a variety of ways.

  • on her own
  • with a partner
  • through a ghostwriter

The best way is generally to write the book yourself. Your idea. You’re the author. Write the book.

But not everybody can write their book themselves, so they need to hire a ghostwriter.

You have an amazing business to promote

Authors are not the only people who hire ghostwriters. Entrepreneurs do, too.

They need press releases written.

They need speeches prepared.

They have reports and letters and all sorts of communications to write. And sometimes, it’s best to call in a professional – a ghostwriter.

You don’t have time to write your book or screenplay or business materials

You might have the best ideas for a book, whether it’s a novel, your life’s story or useful information to share. But where will you find the time to write?

Let’s face it, the people with the best ideas are usually the busiest people.

No worries, that’s what ghostwriters are for.

When you hire a ghostwriter, you are literally buying time. That book that might have gotten written someday, suddenly appears in your hands. Who needs a Tardis, anyway?

Busy people hire ghostwriters to get started.

Busy people hire ghostwriters to finish up.

We’ve seen plenty of both situations. Many people just can’t find the time to start writing. So we get them started.

Many others start writing in a flurry of motivation…only to get bogged down in real life and lost in other projects.

You might not be that good a writer

Your idea might be the best in the world, but that does not make you a writer. And not every writer has the best ideas. There is no reason that the writer and the author need be the same person.

It’s often better if they are not.

You have the great ideas, and a ghostwriter can help you find the right words.

You want your manuscript to be the best

You might write well, but do you write well enough?

Some people, especially busy people with great ideas, value excellence. Why write something themselves, if they can hire an expert to write it faster and better.

Unless the goal of your project is to learn to write better, outsourcing to a pro is the best way to get the best manuscript.

Being a great writer does not guarantee a best seller. But being a poor to middling writer pretty much guarantees that you won’t have a best seller.

Do you need to hire a ghostwriter? Everybody has their own reason to say, “I need a ghostwriter!” What’s yours?

About David Leonhardt

is President of The Happy Guy Marketing, a published author, a "Distinguished Toastmaster", a former consumer advocate, a social media addict and experienced with media relations and government reports.

Read more about David Leonhardt



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