10 responses to “Q&A with ghostwriting expert Claudia Suzannne”

  1. Peter Barnes

    Great point about the growing demand for professional writers contracted behind the scenes. Business owners who lack the time, talent or inclination to write compelling marketing copy have made up a larger and larger percentage of my client base in the last two years.

    A quick question for Claudia or anyone else: What’s the best way to demonstrate experience with a certain type of project when your relevant samples were ghost written? For example, I recently completed my first white paper, but I don’t want to blow my client’s cover by submitting it as a writing sample to other prospective white paper clients.

    1. Claudia Suzanne


      That’s always been the question, right? I solve it by listing my credits in a table thusly:

      Year [tab] Project type/subject [tab] My contribution [tab] Status

      This way, if the book sold or made the bestseller list, I can list the publisher without listing the title or author’s name.

      I’ve been at this a long time, so my list is many pages, but you can do the same thing simply on your one-pager.

  2. Sandra Beckwith

    This was interesting — thanks! I’d just like to let readers know about the Association of Ghostwriters at http://associationofghostwriters.org/, where you can get a free report on suprising sources of ghostwriting income. I’m a member and find the steady stream of job leads and the monthly teleseminar and newsletter helpful.

    Sandra Beckwith

  3. Michele Kelly

    Michelle, you would have thought you had asked me to submit questions and then proceeded to present them to Ms. Suzanne one by one. Of all the blogs I have EVER read, this was the most insightful and definitely most relevant. I am nearly done ghostwriting my first book, a memoir for a business executive. I have loved every word, every moment, every bit of layering with my client, every agonizingly stark white blank page, every subconscious deep dive to nick the skin with words that resonated. I have done all this in a black hole, not having any exposure to how real ghostwriters charge or handle such projects. I can’t wait to read Ms. Suzanne’s book! Thank you for a great blog topic near to my heart.

  4. Karen Dodd

    I echo Michelle’s thoughts as I am about to go into my first ghost-writing project (yes, I just fell into it!). Thank you Michelle Rafter and Claudia for this perfectly timed advice.

    Question: did anyone struggle with their ego when it comes to the anonymity, when they first started? I’m working on my own novel and of course, still long to see my name on bookshelves:>)

    1. Claudia Suzanne

      Karen, ego is always an issue. A ghost must have not only a strong ego, but a strong sense of self so they can be dispassionate and objective about their clients’ work. Rule #3: “It’s not my book.” Never, never let your ego become so fragile that it interferes with your profession. If you wear both hats–author and ghost–as most of us do, you must have a strong enough sense of self to understand, accept, and value the separation and differences between the two endeavors.

  5. Stacey

    Great article!

    I’m tinkering with the idea of breaking into this industry now that I have more free time to do so.

    My question is this:

    Speaking of keeping the ego in check, have you ever ghostwritten for a client who went on to publish the work, only to have it get hideous reviews for whatever reason? If so, how has it impacted you for better or worse?

  6. Sandra

    I’ve been offered a position to be a ghost writer. I sent them a few sample of my work and love them. The thing is I don’t what I should charge for Romance novels. I’m an amateur writer. How much should I charge? Here is the breakdown

    Ghostwriting novel of up to 15,000 words

    Ghostwriting novel of up to 30,000 words

    Ghostwriting novel of up to 50,000 words

    Ghostwriting novel for 80,000 words

    Ghostwriting novel for 100,000 words

    Ghostwriting novel for 110-160,000 words.