There's nothing unethical about hiring a ghost. It's common among celebrities, CEOs and media figures. Everybody's doing it. You want to be one of the cool kids, don't you?
“You know, I’ve always wanted to write a book.”
I hear that so often that it's become an inside joke between me and my wife. But it's true: people dream for years about writing a book. Some are top-flight professionals or entrepreneurs looking to brand themselves as experts in their fields. Some are speakers or coaches looking to increase their visibility and credibility. Some just have a life story that they’re dying to share. But most will never write their books because they lack the skill, knowledge and time.
That’s where I step in. As a ghostwriter, I learn about your ideas, story, vision and goals. I help you develop your book’s concept and structure. Then, using extensive interviews with you, your past writings and my own research, I write the book you’ve always wanted in a voice that reflects your vision, not mine. It’s my job to disappear so that you can shine.
One important thing to note: I'm not here to take dictation, but to make your ideas better so your final result is stellar. That means I might challenge your core concept, suggest key ideas that provoke and challenge, or take you somewhere that you're not entirely comfortable with. That's my job.
We talk. We get to know each other. I learn your story, goals, ideas and voice.
If we click, we sign a contract and get started.
We brainstorm about your book's structure, concept, content and audience. I suggest lots of ideas and give you a rough initial outline.
We refine and revise that outline until we have a blueprint for interviews.
We talk through your entire book over several days of in-person recorded interviews.
We very possibly kill a few bottles of beer or wine in the process.
I use the transcribed interviews to produce a first draft, adding research, interviews, stories, and some of my own ideas.
We revise, polish and voila—a finished manuscript ready for publication.
That process has helped me land books with major commercial and academic imprints like Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Random House, Wiley & Sons, Hay House, and MIT Press. It really works and makes the process easy and enjoyable for even the busiest aspiring author.
Who should hire a ghostwriter?
Corporate executives, entrepreneurs and businesspeople who want to tell the story of their company’s success or their own.
Healthcare professionals, attorneys, financial advisors and other professionals who want to elevate their status and/or establish a branded product or system they can turn into income.
Speakers, coaches and consultants who want to increase their bookings, turn their ideas into seminars and boost their fees.
Celebrities and athletes who want to leverage their visibility.
People with fascinating personal stories who want to become speakers, coaches, or media personalities.
Anyone who thinks their story can make a positive difference.
Q: How much does ghostwriting cost?
A: I charge $50,000 to $75,000 for a full-length nonfiction book. If the book has a publisher, I get 30% of the advance and 30% of the royalties instead.
Q: What genres have you written in?
A: A lot. Memoir, business, faith, technology, health, finance, advice, outdoor adventure, humor.
Q: How long does it take to write a book?
A: It varies, but 4-8 months is common.
Q: Do you get credit?
A: Sometimes I get a "with Tim Vandehey" credit. It depends on what we negotiate.
Q: Do you own any rights to my book?
A: No. Ghosting is "work for hire." I own nothing. The copyright belongs entirely to you.
Q: Do you help with finding an agent or publisher?
A: I can put out feelers in the publishing world, but I can't guarantee anything.
Q: Can you help with marketing?
A: I can offer a lot of advice, tips, and resources, yes. There are some companies offering valuable marketing services to authors...and a lot more that overpromise and just take your money. Ask me for advice before committing.