As a consumer, you have options. Where you choose to go for the products and services you need matters a great deal when it comes to your overall satisfaction. People want much more than just adequate results. They want to know they solved their problem and got their money’s worth in the process. If you’re looking for help with a writing project, everything from screenwriting to memoir, you need to know what the best ghostwriting companies offer their clients.
Ghostwriting is a service. Hiring a ghostwriter is not dissimilar to something more everyday like car repair, home maintenance, or massage – these are services where you can choose who you work with. Do you prefer your local mechanic? Or do you place your trust in a bigger company, like Jiffy Lube? There are valid answers and reasons for each, none of which are right or wrong.
It’s up to you. Before making this important choice, I think it’s important to understand the advantages (and disadvantages) of working with a large or small ghostwriting company.
Let’s take a look:
The Advantages Of A Big Ghostwriting Company
When I talk about a “big” ghostwriting company, what I’m really describing is someone that outsources their writing to subcontractors. If you do a Google search for keywords like “ghostwriter” or “ghostwriting” you’ll find these companies (a whole lot of them, in fact).
There are advantages to working with these sorts of companies. For years, while I was still cutting my teeth as a novice ghostwriter, I subcontracted with a number of high-profile ghostwriting companies. As an up and coming writer, it was a great experience because they connected me with a client (usually after an interview process), managed the money, and when the time to start came, let me do my work.
For the client, the ability to choose from an array of ghostwriters can seem, on the surface, appealing. After one call (and usually a down payment) you’re given a few writers to interview and from those, you can make a decision on the overall fit.
I also believe that using the ghostwriting company as a middle-man when it comes to money (instead of writer to client) can be an advantage. Why do I think this? It keeps the business and creative aspects of the business separate.
Another advantage, one we’ll also examine later, is that the on-line reviews for these larger companies are going to be robust. One look at the Google Business accounts for these providers and you’ll see dozens, if not hundreds, of customer reviews. There is a lot of uncertainty out there and, for a lot of clients, nervous about getting ripped off, these reviews are the kind of proof they’re looking for.
What The Best Ghostwriting Companies Offer Their Clients – Smaller Companies
When it comes to the services I need in my life, I like working with the little guys. Why? I believe that smaller companies, sole proprietors, have a lot more on the line when it comes to their business. It’s their name on the sign, which means that everything that goes out the door has their name on it. There is no middle man, no big company to help shoulder that load.
I’m not saying writers working with larger companies aren’t professional. But I know when it’s my name on the line, I work a lot harder.
When you go onto a small ghostwriter’s site, reading their material, you get a sense of who they are. There is no middle person. You can rest assured that if you identify with their values, or like the way they describe their work style, that’s what you’re going to get in the end.
I also think that the best ghostwriting companies offer their clients, in addition to high level writing skills, a necessary measure of flexibility. In a subcontractor situation, where you’re working for both the client and the company, a writer has less room to operate. They’re beholden to the contract terms and, if anything needs to change, there are usually hoops to jump through.
At the top of the list of what the best ghostwriting companies offer is, of course, quality results. Every single one of the intangibles I’ve described here go out the door if the product you receive at the end of the contract isn’t top notch. How do you know whether you’re going to get the best ghostwritten work? You interview the writer thoroughly. You investigate their reputation. Who they are matters. When you work with a large ghostwriting company, sure, you get a choice of who they offer, but that doesn’t mean the options are a high quality.
What happens if they offer you three B-rate writers? You end up with a B-rate product. With the costs of things so high these days, can you really afford that risk?
OK, OK…. Now For The Disadvantages
I’ve worked for big ghostwriting companies before. Some offered really good experiences. Others, unfortunately, were not quite as reputable and it showed.
I’m not going to divulge who I’m talking about, but let’s just say, if my experiences have been checkered with poor results, it stands to reason that their clients would feel the same way.
I have found that the best ghostwriting companies offer their clients one intangible above all others. What is that? Transparency. Without that, everything else comes into question.
What do I mean by transparency? If you pay a large ghostwriting company a professional rate, let’s say you agree on $1.00 a word for a book, coming out to $50,000, do you know how much of that actually goes to the writer? The cost of all of those project and ad managers come out of your fees.
In my experience, if a ghostwriter gets 50% of that overall fee they’re lucky. I’ve worked in situations where I got less than 10% of that professional fee.
Why? I was hungry. I was just starting out. These days, I would politely turn that down and walk away from the project without hesitation.
What did the client see? They saw the full project outlay and, of course, expected results that measured up to their top dollar price tag. I don’t mind saying, lucky for them I brought professionalism to those projects, not letting the low rate affect what I gave them.
Can I say that about every one of my peers? Unfortunately, I cannot. For the most part, people work up or down to their rate of pay. We see it in all fields, everything from mechanics to teachers.
The best ghostwriting companies, I have found, are transparent about what you’re paying for. They pay their writers fairly for the work.