Choosing a ghostwriter to help with your unique story can be a tricky business. You’re going to have a very close working relationship for many weeks, possibly months, and you don’t want to make the wrong choice and have to repeat the whole story to someone else. But how to choose? Here are five attributes that any ghostwriter worth their salt should have:

  1. Trustworthiness

You are telling your story to a complete stranger. There will be times when you might be relating things about yourself that you’ve never told anyone else. Therefore, you need someone who is trustworthy, dependable and reliable. Someone you can pour out your soul to in the knowledge that whatever is said goes no further, until you ready to submit your manuscript.

  • A listening ear.

Your ghostwriter needs to be a good writer – that much is obvious. But s/he also needs to be an even better listener. A ghost who is constantly talking over you, telling you all about themselves and their experiences, is someone you don’t need in your life. For once, this really is all about you! A calm, collected ghost who can listen attentively and guide you through often-complicated events or emotions is worth their weight in gold.

  • Great writing skills

Ignore the start of point 2. Your ghost doesn’t have to be a good writer. S/he needs to be a great writer – someone who can truly capture your voice on paper so that the world knows that you and you alone are the author of their story. When choosing a ghost, have a look at some of their writing samples. You’ll soon be able to tell whether they’re a good fit for your story.

  • A champion for your story

Your ghost doesn’t need to be an expert in your field in order to create a compelling story for you. But s/he does need to be a good advocate for you and your story. Like a great lawyer, the ghost’s job is to convince the reader to pick up your book and then be unable to put it down. At every stage, your ghost should be aiming for the review that reads: “This is the best book I’ve read in ages.”

  • A friend

This is an interesting one. While you and your ghost are working together, you’ll develop a relationship like no other you’re ever likely to have. It’s a friendship that’s probably not destined to last, but while it is ‘on’, it’s intense. So much is involved in the ghost/client relationship, and much is at stake. You’ll bond, you’ll argue, you’ll feel challenged, you’ll feel understood. If, after a week with a ghostwriter, you feel like you’ve had the most intense therapy session of your life, you know you’re on to a good thing!