How to write an eBook with a ghostwriter feature image

Many businesses use eBooks as a residual form of income, but how do you write an eBook when you’re already swamped with your business? Ghostwriting eBooks is something we frequently do for our clients, but it often leaves a lot of questions.

While most of us know what a ghostwriter is, there might be some uncertainty over how they operate. We’re here to clear things up!

In this article, we’ll explain the steps involved in writing an eBook and the contributions required from each side to make it a resounding success when partnering with a professional writer.

How to Write an eBook [Before The Writing Begins]

Before the first word is committed to page, there are several points to discuss with your prospective ghostwriter. These include:

The Audience

One of the most important aspects of the eBook writing process is establishing the audience you want to reach. Perhaps you wish to appeal to a broad demographic, but eBooks are most successful when they target a specific audience. Narrowing this down helps the ghostwriter tailor the words, expressions, and format they use to deliver your message.

The Key Point of the Book

Once you know who you’re creating a book for, it’s time to discuss what it’s actually going to be about. What do you want readers to take away from the book? What’s your core message?

It can be helpful to break this task down into smaller chunks. Let’s say your ghostwritten book will be about marketing strategies in your sector. That’s the overarching theme, but there will be several sub-categories to discuss throughout the book. Sharing these with your ghostwriter ensures that everything you want to capture will be included.

The Narrative Voice

Now, onto the details. How would you like your book to be written? Will it be in the first, second, or third person? Are you looking for a corporate tone, or something more conversational? This might seem like a lot of questions, but your ghostwriter wants to get all of these components correct, to avoid costly (and time-consuming) changes later on.

The Knowledge

Often, the motivation to develop an eBook is to impart your knowledge on a new audience, and your expertise is incredibly valuable. So it’s a good idea to bullet point some key facts and information that they can draw on to replicate your ‘know-how’ and create copy that is full of value.

Word Count

There’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to the length of your eBook. It will depend on your subject matter, the audience you’re targeting, and how much information you wish to share. Don’t feel like you have to recreate War and Peace; a snappy, 10,000-word eBook can be just as useful as an oversized tome! 

Note: Even a rough idea can be helpful for a ghostwriter to gauge how in-depth to go with each chapter. Conciseness is great, but sometimes you can’t get all the depth and value in a shortened word count.

The Legal Bit

Before your ghostwriter gets to work, you’ll need to arrange a contract. This will detail responsibilities, timelines, liability, ownership, and the agreed fee, and offers protection to both sides.  

How to Write an eBook [Our Process]

Once the groundwork has been completed, your project will move forward to the writing stage. This has several phases, and each ghostwriter will work a little differently. For us, this is the general process we deal with:

1. Research Phase

During this phase, you will provide any relevant research, case studies, and/or preferred resources, and your ghostwriter will use them as a solid foundation on which to build the book.  

At the conclusion of this phase, you will receive an outline of the book, including chapter titles, the key points of each chapter, and approximate word counts. You’re welcome to provide feedback and request any necessary tweaks to the proposed structure and word count allocation.

2. First Draft

In the next stage, your ghostwriter will go away and complete the core writing. The first draft will usually come in at around 80% of the requested word count. There’s no need to be alarmed! It simply allows scope for expansion, adjustment, and incorporation of any new ideas that often crop up during the first review.

You will receive a copy of the first draft to read and review. This is an excellent opportunity to assess whether the tone and content is in line with what you imagined. You can make adjustments to the content and iron out any underlying issues here, although the finer points of grammar will be double-checked later in the process.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, remove, or switch around, this is the best time to request it. Your ghostwriter should be open to any changes you’d like to make, and will always maintain an open and honest dialogue.

Fresh eyes are valuable at this stage, so we’d recommend sharing the first draft with friends or colleagues. Their impartial feedback is appreciated!

3. Second Draft & Copy Editing

Depending on the length of the book and the outcome of the first draft , you’ll have two options. You might enter a second round of drafting and review – which will be similar to the process outlined above – or you’ll move straight on to copy editing.

Copy editing involves getting down to the nitty gritty and finalising the small details. This phase will be a lot more in depth, representing the final chance to make adjustments to the copy.

That said, changes should not be extensive. Instead, your ghostwriter will focus on sentence restructuring, minor reformatting, and checks of accuracy and consistency. At this point, the book will have reached the word count, and you will have a clear idea of how it will look at publication.

4. Proofing

This is the final stage of the process and is focused on finessing the copy to guarantee the best quality. There is a primary focus on spelling and grammatical accuracy, and no substantial adjustments are made to the content.

Once this round is complete, you will receive the final document and the project will be complete!

Copy Editing vs Proofreading: Which Costs More and Why?

Now you know how to write an eBook with the help of a ghostwriter! If it’s time to get started on your own, and bring your story to life, drop us an email HERE and we can talk about how we can easily get this done for you.