Think Hiring a Ghostwriter Is "Cheating"? Think Again!

Here's a question for you: 

Do you want to be a writer ... or do you want to be an author? 

Believe it or not, the two are not the same. 

Writers write because writing is their thing. It's their preferred mode of communication. Words are their passion. They constantly strive to express their vision in new ways on the page, and have a love of words that goes beyond the norm. 

Authors are people who have books to share. Their books serve their visions in amazing ways, and help people all around the world. 

Many authors are writers. But (and I'm about to let you in on a bit of a trade secret here): You don't HAVE to be a writer to become an author. 


Let me explain.

Writing is a skill set—and, just like any skill,  it needs to be practiced and perfected over time. I'm a firm believer that anyone, regardless of background, education, or current skill level, can become a good writer (in fact, my Cover to Cover course is all about teaching budding writers how to create an amazing book from start to finish, including self-editing and revision phases). However, learning to write well takes time, energy, persistence, and dedication. And, more than anything, it takes consistent and regular practice

If you're a high-powered influencer who's rocking the world on a daily basis, devoting hundreds of hours to perfecting the craft of writing may simply not be the best use of your time. You need to be spending your days doing what you do best—changing the lives of your clients and audience—not learning an entirely new skill set. 

This is where a ghostwriter comes in. 

A ghostwriter is someone who takes the ideas, stories, materials, and vision of an author and creates a book that delivers real impact for readers. While you are doing your amazing work, a ghostwriter can be rocking their own passion by creating your book behind the scenes! 

Now, hiring a ghostwriter isn't for everyone, and here's why:

  • It's not cheap. (Think mid-five figures and up for an average-length book.) Why is it so expensive? Well, you're hiring someone to write a book for you! Not only are you commanding six months or more of someone's time, you're paying for the contents of your ghostwriter's brain, and all their years of expertise. This person is creating content on your behalf that s/he can never use again, and (depending on your contract) may not even be able to take credit for. So, yup. It's pricey.

  • You still need to participate to some degree. Although your ghostwriter will be doing the actual writing, the information s/he works from will likely come from a combination of interviews with you, transcripts of your events, and any teaching materials you already use. So, be prepared to clear some space in your schedule to talk in-depth about what you do and how you do it!

  • The end product will be a combination of your speaking voice and your ghostwriter's writing. As I've explored in depth in my course and elsewhere, speaking voice and writing voice are not the same. A great ghostwriter will take your words, tone, and style and transpose them seamlessly onto the page, but there may still be some minor differences. If you're concerned about whether your ghostwriter's writing style will mesh with your own, don't be afraid to ask for samples!

If you care more about sharing your message in a big way than learning to write a fabulous book, hiring a ghostwriter can be an incredibly smart move. Lots of famous authors have done it, and it's common practice at the top level of the self-help industry. So if you've been wondering how your favorite influencer has the time and skills to do what they do and write great books ... well, now you know! 

Bryna Haynes is a word alchemist, book strategist, and the founder and President of The Heart of Writing. She's also the chief editor for Inspired Living Publishing and the best-selling author of the multiple-award-winning book, The Art of Inspiration: An Editor's Guide to Writing Powerful, Effective Inspirational and Personal Development Books. In over a decade as a book coach, editor, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant, she has helped hundreds of authors find their authentic voices and create powerful, memorable, successful works. She lives outside of Providence, RI, with her husband, Matthew, their Moonbeam, Áine, and their Little Star, Aelyn.




Bryna Rene Haynes