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BlogUnderstanding Publishing

Posted on May 23, 2024

The 6 Best Ghostwriting Companies to Write Your Book

Do you have a book idea but lack the time or patience to write it yourself? One solution is to hire a ghostwriter — a trusted author who can write the book on your behalf while you retain the credit.

Hiring a ghostwriting agency is a major decision, both in terms of financial investment and the impact it can have on your project. In this post, we share some of the best ghostwriting services available while also providing tips to help you steer clear of the less reputable players that unfortunately exist in this market.

The 6 best ghostwriting services

The core mission of ghostwriting companies is to provide authors with their ideal writing partner: a ghostwriter who can masterfully capture the author's unique voice and storytelling style. Whether you need assistance fine-tuning an existing draft or writing a book from scratch, here are the best services on the market. 

1. Reedsy

⏳ Founded in: 2014 
📚 Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction
💰 Price: Starts at $3,500 for Fiction, $6,500 for Nonfiction

Reedsy is a curated online marketplace that connects authors with the finest publishing professionals around the globe. All the ghostwriters on Reedsy undergo a rigorous vetting process, guaranteeing they have extensive hands-on experience ghostwriting and publishing books. Among their ranks, you'll find Pulitzer Prize finalists, co-authors of literary giants like James Patterson, and the masterminds behind NYT bestsellers like the Indiana Jones novels.



Find a ghost you can trust

Your mission? A fantastic book. Find the perfect writer to complete it on Reedsy.

Process & Pricing

Reedsy stands out with its transparent approach to ghostwriting services. On its platform, you can browse over 180 professionals from around the world, reviewing their qualifications, past projects, and client feedback. When you've identified a few ideal candidates, you can request quotes from multiple writers simultaneously until you find the right offer. 

The final quote will depend on your book's genre, the scope of the project, the professional's experience, and other factors. For biographies and memoirs, you're looking to spend between $12,000 and $42,000; for fiction projects, it's somewhere between $3,500 to $16,000. For more detailed information, read our guide to the cost of hiring a ghostwriter at Reedsy.

🛡️ Reedsy has a TrustPilot score of 4.6 out of 5 from 659 reviews.

2. Gotham Ghostwriters

⏳ Founded in: 2008 
📚 Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction
💰 Price: Starts at $30,000 

Gotham Ghostwriters, established by Dan Gerstein in 2008, is one of the oldest online ghostwriting agencies. They claim to have a network of over four thousand editorial specialists, many of whom have ghostwritten books published by several Big Five publishers. Due to confidentiality agreements, they can't mention the titles they've helped publish, though they describe some of them on their site. They are based in New York City, and in early 2024, they hosted Gathering of The Ghosts, a convention of professional ghostwriters. 

Process & Pricing

To find a trusted writing partner in their network, you'll need to submit a short form and wait to hear back from them via email. From there, Gotham's team will pair you with a ghostwriting partner whose style aligns with your vision.

When it comes to pricing, they offer three distinct service tiers — Basic, Mid Market, and Elite — which start at a $30,000 minimum investment and go up to $300,000 if you want access to their most accomplished ghostwriters. 

3. Kevin Anderson & Associates

⏳ Founded in: 2007 
📚 Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction
💰 Price: Starts at $50,000

Kevin Anderson & Associates is a longstanding ghostwriting company that has contributed to notable nonfiction titles, like Arianna Huffington's The Sleep Revolution and Brené Brown's Daring Greatly, as well as various fiction books. Their team boasts many bestselling writers and former editors from Big Five publishers, bringing a wealth of industry expertise to their projects.  

Process & Pricing

Like other companies, your first step is to discuss your project with an author strategist over phone or email. Based on this conversation, they'll present you with a few writers who they think could capture your voice and write your manuscript, and you get to choose who you feel is the best fit. 

Three pricing packages are available — Premium, Executive, and Black Card — and can include add-on services like editing, beta reading, and positioning services. The minimum investment starts at $50,000 but can easily exceed $250,000 if you wish to collaborate with one of their New York Times #1 bestselling ghosts.


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4. The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)

⏳ Founded in: 1970
📚 Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction
💰 Price: Starts at $5,280 or $5,920 for Fiction or Nonfiction projects of 80,000 words

The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting independent editorial professionals. Its members include writers, indexers, proofreaders, and, of course, ghostwriters. Besides fostering collaboration between authors and freelancers, they also offer educational resources and host networking events.

Process & Pricing 

To hire a ghostwriter through the EFA platform, you can search their Member Directory. After narrowing down your search based on genre, language, or geographic location, you can browse through a list of potential ghostwriter candidates. 

Once you find a potential candidate, you can reach out via their contact information and discuss your project and their rates. Since you'll be moving off-platform and can't manage all your inquiries in one place, this process can be a little clunky and time-consuming. While the EFA provides hourly rates for ghostwriters working on full-length nonfiction and fiction projects, it does not show the average total cost clients can expect to pay for such projects.

5. Association of Ghostwriters

⏳ Founded in: 2010
📚 Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction
💰 Price: No data provided

Founded by author and ghostwriter Marcia Layton Turner, this membership-based association gathers several ghostwriters, with experience in writing anything from books to articles, speeches, social media content and more. Some of the most famous titles ghostwritten by professionals in their network include Tom Golisano's Built, Not Born and Melissa Butterworth's CLUES

Process & Pricing 

Similar to the EFA, you can browse ghostwriters' profiles in their Member Directory. After reviewing potential candidates, you can reach out to them directly via email or by submitting a form detailing your project requirements. As no average rate is indicated, you'll have to discuss pricing with each freelancer.

6. StoryTerrace

⏳ Founded in: 2014 
📚 Genre: Nonfiction
💰 Price: Starts at $19,000 for Memoirs or $21,000 for Business books

StoryTerrace was founded by Rutger Bruining with the vision of empowering anyone to share their life story by publishing it as a book. The company boasts a team of over 600 vetted writers, ranging from junior to senior and premium levels, with experience at media companies, magazines, and publishing houses. They have helped authors write books about business, spirituality, self-help, and wellness 一 you can read various samples of their work on their website.

Process & Pricing

After a short preliminary quiz, you can choose from a selection of compatible writers from their network and they'll conduct some interviews to extract your stories. Once you're satisfied with the manuscript, StoryTerrace will finalize the design, printing, and delivery of your book. (While this is convenient for some, it can be limiting for authors who want more control over their book's cover design and distribution.)

Their main offering is a short hardcover book, which can include up to 40 photos and range from 7,500 to 20,000 words. However, they also provide full-length ghostwriting packages for memoirs and business books, with prices starting at $19,000.

Want to give writing a go yourself? Check out this blog post on how to write a memoir, or this course about how to write a business book.

Honorable mention: Scribe Media is another notable ghostwriting company. Their portfolio boasts several successful nonfiction titles like Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins and The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. However, in May 2023, the company temporarily ceased operations and terminated the employment of around 90 employees, which left many authors concerned about the status of their projects and investments. The company eventually changed management and remains operative, though this is something to be aware of.  

How to avoid ghostwriting scams

Unfortunately, the ghostwriting industry is ripe for scams: many bad actors prey on people's aspirations to become published authors — taking advantage of the significant financial investments associated with hiring a ghost. Behind a veneer of professionalism, they'll gladly take your money only to deliver AI-generated content, offer no meaningful support, and, worst of all, refuse to issue refunds.

To avoid becoming one of their victims, maintain a critical eye and thoroughly vet any ghostwriting service before committing resources to them. Importantly, seek out third-party reviews 一 not just testimonials on company websites but also independent sources like Trustpilot, Google reviews, and discussions on social media platforms like Reddit. 

Besides using trustworthy services like those listed in this post, here are some other precautions you can take.

Evaluate their portfolio. When possible, evaluate the ghostwriter's profile and portfolio. While non-disclosure agreements may prevent them from revealing certain projects, they should typically be able to prove their involvement in at least some works or provide a reference who can vouch for their skills. Moreover, many ghostwriters have published books under their own names, which you can easily review.

Screengrab of a ghostwriter's portfolio on Reedsy's marketplace
Example of Tim Smedley's portfolio, ghostwriter on Reedsy.

Talk with them on a call. Before confirming your commitment to a ghostwriter or agency, you'll want to have a call with the writer. This serves two purposes: ensuring they are competent professionals and testing your chemistry (this is important as you'll be working closely together). Where possible, it's even better to meet in person!

Request a writing sample.

As author and ghostwriter Tom Bromley suggests, you can ask for a writing sample after the initial meeting. This could be a couple of pages or a full sample chapter, and it will help you gauge how well they can capture your voice and style.

Ghostwriting is a legitimate way to bring your personal stories to life and share them with the world. However, finding the right ghostwriter or company requires due diligence and committing to an ethical partnership built on trust and integrity. If you're after advice for how to plot a novel yourself, check out this advice from NTY bestselling author Caroline Leavitt! We hope this post helped you identify some of the best companies on the market and make an informed decision for your next project.


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