3 Sources for Ghostwriting Work
Last month, I told you all about why I decided to become a ghostwriter and how I schedule my time in order to manage multiple projects at once. I bet you’re wondering just how do I get ghostwriting assignments anyway? Like most ghostwriters I know, my first ghostwrite was a complete surprise.
Ghostwrite?: A Writer in Need of Support
Nope, not me. At the time, I already had more than I could handle as the editor of a weekly paper. But the subject came up during one of my interviews.
“Have you ever thought of writing a book?” my subject asked me as I was packing up my reporter gear.
“Sure,” I told him. “But who has the time?”
“Yeah, I have the same problem,” he admitted. “I’ve been wanting to write a book about all this stuff [he was referring to the topic of our interview] for a long time, maybe teach other people how to do it.”
“You should,” I encouraged him. He was a great speaker on the topic and his approach would help entire communities.
“I don’t write quite the way I speak,” he said. “Wish I could hire you to write it.” And a ghostwriter was born.
One of the most effective ways of gaining ghostwriting clients when I was working more traditional day jobs was through my existing business and personal connections.
Unfortunately, traditional day jobs don’t work for me so I haven’t had many of them. Not working, not working out of the house, or having limited contact with others through the course of your job can significantly reduce the number of business and personal connections you may have. LinkedIn helps build your connections, but when you let your friends know what you do, your business can grow a great deal. Among my connections, I offer a 5% referral bonus whenever I sign a new client a friend has referred to me. This makes it a win-win-win for all of us. Someone who has had a story burning to be told gets a chance to get it out in the world through a trusted connection, a friend who has already seen my writing and feels comfortable recommending my services gets a bit of extra cash for doing nothing more than helping out a few friends, and I get an exciting new client to work with without spending a lot of time marketing.
Believe it or not, there are agents who will help a ghostwriter out. Once they become familiar with your work and comfortable with your professionalism, these agents and publishers will refer clients to you, generally authors who have approached them with a great idea but poor execution. There are several advantages to this type of situation since you don’t have to search for clients and you already know the idea will sell. You’re a ghostwriter so you’re paid up front but there might be room in the contract for a percentage of the royalties. That’s always fun. As you might guess, though, building these relationships can take some time.
I have been quite fortunate in my career so far that I haven’t yet had the need to take out ads to fill my working hours. However, many ghostwriters I know have had success going this route. Choose a publication that caters to your target audience and run a basic ad offering your services.
Those are just a few of the ways you can find ghostwriting jobs. Next week, I’ll share a few more ideas I have about where to find ghostwriting clients. Would you like me to provide some links to get you started?