Expect the Unexpected: 3 “Problems” You May Encounter with Your Ghostwriter

Posted on June 24, 2013


Any time you’re dealing with writing a book, you’re going to face obstacles and unexpected setbacks. One of the biggest aspects of writing is revising. It’s no different with ghostwriting, either. Even when you’re meeting and working with a ghostwriter to produce your work, you’re going to encounter surprises that might at first discourage or disappoint you. However, remember that these supposed “problems” are just a part of the writing process. Here are three instances that you may run into in your ghostwriting adventure. Instead of being taken by surprise with them, learn to embrace these circumstances so that when you do encounter them, you’re stress-free.Business People 14

1.      You’ll have to go back to the drawing board.

In fact, you should look at this as a good thing. Oftentimes when an author is writing a book—or any work, no matter how long or short—he will have to “go back to the beginning” and reorganize. Sometimes chapters need to be rearranged, or entire ideas need to be removed or added to the piece. As your work comes together and grows closer to being finished, it’s more likely that you will want to polish it. The little details start to fit together and your goals begin to make even more sense…and that’s when you may realize that some things that were working for you aren’t anymore. You may need more information; you may need less. You may only need to move a couple chapters around in your book. You may realize the change needs to take place first, or your ghostwriter may suggest it. Whatever happens, it’s bound to happen sooner or later, so don’t let this make you think you are a terrible planner or writer or that your ghostwriter is failing you.

2.      Ideas will strike at any moment.

Nothing will go exactly as planned. Of course, this goes without saying, especially after my last point. The main point here, however, is that you will continue to brainstorm and have new ideas as you meet with your ghostwriter to discuss your book, and even as you begin to write together or start to read over what your ghostwriter has written for you. It’s not unusual to find that discussing or spending a lot of time thinking about a particular set of ideas tends to beget more ideas. Some of these ideas will be great and book-worthy; others might be cool thoughts but off-topic from the main goal of your book. Don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated with these new ideas, since they can be gems that will only add to your work. At the same time, though, be sure to weed through these ideas with your ghostwriter when and if they do come along, because not all of them will be book-worthy.

3.      Your ideas might not be clear the first time.

Realize that the topics you discuss or the “light bulb” thoughts that strike you as you speak with your ghostwriter are occurring with the utmost clarity in your brain alone, at first. This can be frustrating as you attempt to get your ghostwriter on the same page. You have a certain “voice” or “tone” and a particular vision and goal for your book; they are not you and so have to be told and learn what you expect from them. You have to rely on your ability to explain your thoughts and ideas clearly. Even more so, you have to be patient. No matter how great of a speaker or storyteller you are, there are times when you and your ghostwriter just might not be on the same page right away. Take your time to explain your ideas and don’t be surprised when you spend a little extra time discussing a particular chapter than you thought you would. Your ghostwriter probably doesn’t have the same background and certainly doesn’t share your experiences and knowledge. That’s why it’s so important that you share your ideas with them.

Overall, producing a book involves a lot of trial and error. You have to brainstorm and plan, write, rewrite, edit, and polish—but it doesn’t always happen in exactly that order. You’ll find yourself brainstorming when you thought you were supposed to be rewriting and revising, and planning when you thought you were supposed to be writing. Surprises occur in the world of writing all the time, but if you learn to expect the unexpected, you’re less likely to let these momentary setbacks drag you down when you’re trying to focus on working with your ghostwriter and trusting them with your ideas. In fact, you may even be able to see these “problems” for what they are: a necessary part in the process of producing the best book you can possibly create.

Rachel Schade, Editor and Writer, Asta Publications


Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.


Posted in: Publishing