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Saturday, February 16, 2008

What To Look Out For When Hiring a Ghostwriter

By Jo Han Mok

One option in creating an info product is to pay someone to create a product for you. There are tons of websites out there where you can easily find someone to do this. For many, having their name on a best seller is simply not as important as having a buck in their wallet. They're willing to forgo the name recognition, and often they do so for what seems like very little money.

These writers are known as "freelancer" or "ghost writers". Remember, though, that even if you end up hiring someone to create your product for you, you will still have to do the initial research to come up with the idea for your product. Only then can you hire someone to create it.

At many of the sites available online to find a ghostwriter, all you do is register as a member (usually for free) and you are allowed to post your project for freelance creators to see. The secret here is to make your product sound like it will be the next New York Times best seller. You want to stimulate interest among the freelancers so that they will bid against each other causing your cost to decrease. Again, you will want to be creative here.

Are there other ways that you can compensate a ghost writer other than by an up front fee? Perhaps a flat percentage of each copy sold? It would be unlikely that you would find someone who would do the work without any money paid up front, but you might be able to get the cost reduced if you can offer something on the back end as a result of sales.

When working with any of the freelance sites, make sure that you clearly define the terms of your contract in your offer. For example, don't forget to discuss the intellectual property rights to your product. You want to make sure that you are the owner of these rights. If you are not careful here, you could find your ghost writer trying to get a copyright on your product!

You want to make sure that you check references of those who bid on your project, though. Ask to see samples of their prior work. Of course, they usually can't tell you what products they have "ghostwritten" as this would violate their prior business arrangements. (Think about it, do you want them blabbing that they were the "brains" behind your product?)

So, respect them if they can't tell you. Simply ask them to see SOMETHING that they have done in the past and make sure that their work is up to your standard.

To get an idea of how to work with a ghost writer, go to any of the freelance sites and scroll through the projects that are already posted by category. This will also let you see approximately how much you should expect to spend for your project as well.

One other note about working with a ghostwriter. Make sure that you have a "Work For Hire" contract in writing. Either electronically or in hard copy. This is important so that you can prove that you own the copyright if this should ever become an issue. You can certainly find sample agreements in Google that you can use.

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Jo Han Mok is the author of the #1 international business bestseller, The E-Code. He shares his amazing blueprint for creating million dollar internet businesses at: