How to Find the Right Children's Book Ghostwriter

Children’s books may feature simple storylines and morals, but writing one is actually a complex project involving several distinct skill sets.

You not only have to come up with a great story, but you also have to make sure the illustrations are on point and that the book has the right structure, length, and vocabulary for your target age group. It's a lot for one person to handle, which is why many people choose to hire a children's book ghostwriter. 

A children's book ghostwriter is someone who writes children's books for a living. They are usually experienced in writing for a younger audience and have a good understanding of what kids like to read.  Ghostwriters work in exchange for an agreed-upon fee, while you retain all credit and royalties.

If you're thinking about hiring a children's book ghostwriter, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are some tips for finding the right ghostwriter for your book.

Create a Project Description

In order to connect with the most suitable ghostwriters for your project and set the stage for a strong collaboration, you’ll need to be able to describe your vision as concretely as possible. Before even beginning your search, create a project description you can share with prospective ghostwriters.

Firstly, define your target age group.  Generally, books written for children aged 3 to 5 are very different thematically and stylistically from books geared at 6- to 8-year-olds. 

Think about what you want readers to take away from your story. Is this book about teaching a lesson, assuaging a fear, or simply engaging children’s imaginations? Is the tone witty, silly, matter-of-fact, or poetic?

In addition, your project description should explain the book’s structure and format. This includes the general storyline and key plot points, but you should also be able to envision how the book will be laid out. For example, is this a chapter book with small, occasional illustrations? Or a highly visual book with only a few lines of text per page?

You should also specify the length of the book. Most children’s books are between 500 and 1,000 words, but some may be shorter or longer depending on the age group and type of book. 

Finally, note any specific themes or topics you want the book to include. For example, if you’re looking for a ghostwriter to create a book about a child with a disability, you’ll want to be sure to mention this in your project description. This will help you attract the attention of writers who have an interest in, or experience with, your subject matter.

Not all ghostwriters are created equal. When you're looking for a children's book ghostwriter, you want to make sure you find someone who has experience writing for the age group you're targeting. You also want to make sure they're familiar with the style of book you're looking for. 

The best way to find a children's book ghostwriter is to ask around. Talk to other authors, illustrators, and publishers. Get recommendations from people you trust.

Alternatively, working through an agency can save you a great deal of time and effort with your search–you’ll be able to trust that the candidates you’re reviewing are legitimate writers, and the agency staff will consider your profile and requirements when shortlisting potential matches.

Once you've found a few candidates, take a look at their websites and read any available sample chapters or books. This will give you a good idea of their writing styles and whether or not they're a good fit for your project. 

Make Sure You're on the Same Page

Working on a book with someone else calls for fluid communication, openness, and trust. Even if a certain candidate looks like a perfect fit on paper, you won’t know how well you click until you’ve had a few conversations. Make sure you’ve met any prospective ghostwriters in person (or at least over a video call) before making any decisions.

You’ll also need to make sure your ghostwriter has a clear understanding of your expectations–first and foremost, what they will and will not be doing. For example, some children’s book ghostwriters will only write the text of the book while others will also handle the illustrations. 

Think about the kind of collaboration you want. Will your ghostwriter simply write out your text based on your own ideas and research, and deliver you a manuscript at the end? Or do you want them to collaborate on research and ideation?

The scope of work will help you determine what kind of ghostwriter you need. If you have a clear idea of the book you want to write and just need someone to help you get it down on paper, you can probably find a lower-cost freelance writer. 

If you want someone to be a true collaborator, you’ll want to look for a ghostwriter who has experience in writing children’s books and who is comfortable working with you to shape the book’s content.

You should also have a discussion about the length of the book and what kind of deadline you're working with. This will help ensure that the ghostwriter is able to deliver the finished product on time.

Finally, make sure that the scope of work you’re asking of your ghostwriter fits within your budget. Ghostwriters may charge by hour or by project. In the former case, you’ll need to make clear how many hours you expect certain aspects of the job to take (don’t forget to factor in time for communication and revisions).

In summary

Working with ghostwriters is a common solution amongst authors who lack the time or expertise to carry out their vision on their own.

Working with a children’s book ghostwriter can help you hone your ideas, keep you free to handle other priorities, and provide an outside perspective. 

Just make sure you put thought and effort into finding a ghostwriter whose experience, communication style, and mindset make them a true asset to your project. 

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