The Ghostwriting Process


Every ghostwriting project is unique. Yet every ghostwriting project has a lot in common with the others. In general, this is how I work.


1. Initial Assessment

We start with where we are. I ask a lot of questions, some of which are:

  • What do you want to accomplish? How will you know you’ve done it?
  • How do you envision the final product? How do you see the content, the media, the design?
  • Who’s your audience? How do you see your ideas attracting them and serving them?
  • What do you want that audience to know, to believe, to feel, to do, after reading your work?
  • What source material do we have to work from? Previous drafts, a book proposal, articles, interviews?
  • What’s your preferred style of working? Do you have any pet peeves I would do well to be aware of?
  • What’s your timeline? Your budget?


2. Proposal

I submit a proposal with a working definition of the project, its scope, responsibilities, timeline (including target dates for each project step) plus an estimate. I charge $90 per hour.


3. The Project

The author talks.

I listen, research and write.

Author and publisher go about their lives while I’m toiling away. I submit the drafts we’ve agreed on. I get their feedback, revise as needed, and—idea by idea, page by page—we build something extraordinary.

The author gets the credit (after all, whose ideas are these?) and I get the satisfaction of bringing these great thoughts into the world—and, of course, a paycheck.


© 2015 Joan Oliver Goldsmith. All rights reserved.