Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ghost Writing Op

I know some of you have asked how one breaks into ghost writing, and when I spotted this ad over at Absolute Write I thought it was worth linking to for that purpose. The guy is very upfront about what he and his company do, and while the pay isn't great this is a staff position, which probably means steady work. If you're looking for an opportunity to find out what ghost writing is all about, and experience what it's like to write on demand, this may be a good place to start.

Some suggestions when you're applying for any writer for hire position:

Be honest about your experience, and avoid padding your writing resume because a) it's wrong, b) most clients see a lot of that so they can usually spot it and c) there is nothing wrong with being a beginner -- everyone has to start somewhere. My experience actually works against me in some cases, so it's not always about how much you've published.

Writing for hire means you always bring your A game to the assignment. Don't try to be a ghost writer because you're bored or you're too lazy to go out and get a day job. Think of it this way: you're competing with writers like me for this job (and hey, maybe you are competing directly with me.)

The three most important aspects of any ghost writing job are pay, client personality, and type of project. If anything seems off with those three things, you should probably walk away from the job. I just had this happen to me last month, when I applied to a client who was offering a decent rate. Once the client contacted me he immediately cut the rate by a third. The client claimed that was what all the new hires were paid, but it was not an auspicious beginning. As we discussed the project it also became immediately clear that the client's personality did not mesh well with mine. I didn't wait for the third strike but politely withdrew my pitch.

Don't take jobs you will hate because you like the money. There are terrific clients offering very decent rates, but if what they want you to write makes your stomach turn, you should move on. There are plenty of other fish in the ghost writer sea, and you should always at least like what you do, or you're not going to want to do it for long.

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