Q. Why do they call it “ghostwriting”?

A. A “ghost” is invisible, so think “invisible writer”. I do the work, you get the credit, and no one else knows I was involved.

Q: Why would I hire a ghostwriter?

A: You’d hire a ghostwriter if you have a message you want to share with the world in written form, but you don’t have the time, skill, and/or patience to write it yourself. That’s why you see so many leaders hiring ghostwriters. Ever wonder how that high profile politician somehow still has time to pen a memoir even during an election year? Ever been curious about how the busy tech CEO is able to run multiple projects and still come out with his how-to book? Now you know!

You’d also hire a writer to “ghost” your work (as opposed to co-authoring it with you) if you truly want your readers to focus on you, your name, your story, and your brand.

Q: If a ghostwriter writes my book, does that mean they own my ideas?

A: No. Ghostwriters sign a Service Agreement that acknowledges that the author is the owner of the intellectual property. The ghostwriter simply brings out the best version of the author’s ideas into the book.

Q. Isn’t ghostwriting a bad thing? That’s what I’ve heard.

A. No, though depending on the context, it can be. Hiring someone to write your college thesis project for you, for example, is considered academic dishonesty and can get you kicked out of school. For this reason and other ethical considerations, I don’t provide academic ghostwriting.

I also don’t ghostwrite creative works, such as novels and screenplays, because unlike non-fiction books, where I rely entirely on my client’s words and expertise in their field, I tend to inject my own ideas and notions into fiction stories. Instead, I prefer to openly have my name on fiction projects, either as a consultant in the acknowledgements or as a co-author with my name on the cover alongside the main author’s own.

There are also different fields that are not my lane where ghostwriting is frowned upon, such as hip hop songwriting, where the standard for authenticity in your lyrics is very high. I won’t touch those. (You also don’t want to see me battle: it’s just…no).

That’s about it, though. For busy professionals looking to write non-fiction books, biographies and memoirs, blogs, email lists, and social media posts, ghostwriters are not only legitimate, but essential.

Q. Who hires ghostwriters?

A. Everyone can, from the retiree who wants to pen their memoirs but doesn’t have the writing skill to the presidential candidate who’s got no time to sit down in front of a computer.

Q. Who have you worked with?

A. Without violating my NDAs, I can give you some examples. I have helped write one inspirational biography for a female empowerment coach, a creative non-fiction memoir about one local celebrity’s first job experience, a how-to book in the area of relationships and dating by a six-figure C-Suite level expert in the field, to name just a few.

Q. How do you ghostwrite books?

A. My process is simple.

First, we outline the book, defining all of the chapters an topics you want to cover, and lay them out in logical order.

Next, we sit for a recorded interview for a few hours. You talk out your content with me and I ask you questions in real time to help tease out as much as we can about each topic.

After that, I adapt the interview into the book, after which I would also include any other materials that you have (e.g, references, citations, appendixes, etc..).

Though I also provide a line edit after completion, I always strongly suggest that my clients hire their own editor, ideally someone with no prior involvement in the project. That way, they will have fresh eyes and catch mistakes and oversights neither of us were able to see.

Q. How long does it take you to ghostwrite a book?

A. Depends on the book, but my process typically takes 8-12 weeks.

Q. How much do you charge?

A. It varies by project. Please see My Services page for more details.

Q: What if you ghostwrite it for me up front for free and I split the sales from it 50/50 with you?

A: Nope, sorry, not a chance. There’s no benefit for me to take on that kind of arrangement, because it puts me at the mercy of your selling abilities. There are many indie authors who have pallets of unsold books sitting in their garages because when the time came to sell and market them, the process proved to be a lot harder than they thought it would be. It’s too big a financial risk and a lot of time and work for me to work with no up front payment.

Q. I’m just a person who wants to write a little book. I don’t have a business. I don’t want to sell it. I just need one copy. Can you help me?

A. I have a book service for that. Please see My Services page for more details.

Q. What’s co-authoring? How is it different than ghostwriting?

A. If you’re looking to shave a few thousand off your up front fee, if you’re okay with having my name alongside yours on the cover, and if you’re willing to give me a percentage of your future sales, I can co-author the book with you.

Here’s the trick: as far as my clients are concerned, it’s the exact same as my ghostwriting. We still outline everything, we still have a recorded interview, and I still adapt the recording into your book over 8-12 weeks.

Each co-author project is custom-rated. Please contact me directly at jody@jodyaberdeen.com to inquire about rates and projects.

Q. How do you decide which clients or projects to take on?

A. All of my clients are ready to start now. that’s the common factor of all my work to date. We found each other, agreed on the scope, signed the service agreement, made the deposit, and got to work within a couple of weeks.

The projects themselves have to excite me. They can be on any variety of topics, different industries and fields, even ones outside my own expertise and experience (I’m a quick study), but as long as I can wake up in the morning and feel just as excited and happy as you are to write the book, that’s what matters most. It can look different from one project to another.

Again, if you’re ready to start and the project’s exciting, it doesn’t matter what you do. That said, I have a fondness for personal development, biography, coaching books, and creative non-fiction (like Eat, Pray, Love).

Q. Are you taking on new book projects now?

A. Email me at jody@jodyaberdeen.com to check my availability.