Hammett Ghostwriting Services (HGS)

Frequently Asked Questions



Who owns the work?
How long will it take to write my book?
Is this your full-time job?
Is it safe to share my ideas with a ghostwriter?
Do you provide references?
How does the process of ghostwriting work?
Do you work for royalties?
How many clients do you work for at any given time?
How do you select clients?
Do you act as literary agent or market the book?
Do you handle screenplays?
Can you guarantee publication?
Do you do all necessary research when writing nonfiction?
Do you sign non-competition clauses?
Do you handle theses or dissertations?

You are the sole owner ... Who owns the work?

The client is the sole owner of the work and all subsidiary rights. Complete confidentiality is ensured.

How long will it take to write my book?

The length and complexity of projects vary, but the average time for completing a manuscript is four to five months.

Is this your full-time job?

Yes. I am a professional writer who has helped many people get into print. I am not a moonlighter.

Is it safe to share my ideas with a ghostwriter?

Your work is automatically copyrighted with the U.S. Copyright Office without formal registration. I handle queries no differently than agents and editors who require a description of your project.

Do you provide references?

Yes. While most clients prefer anonymity, I do provide the names and contact info for prior clients willing to share details of the work we did together.

How does the process of ghostwriting work?

I discuss your ideas with you and/or look at your notes or rough draft before beginning. If necessary, I conduct weekly telephone interviews to gather information or discuss different organizational options. I then forward material in installments.

Do you work for royalties?

No. It can take a year or more to find an agent who then must spend several months trying to sell your book. Once a book is sold to a publisher, the company must re-edit the work, print it, promote it, and distribute it. The entire process can take two to four years. The publisher must also recoup the initial expenses of paper, ink, and printing before you will receive payment.

... one client at a time ... How many clients do you work for at any given time?

My focus is on one client at a time to maximize that client's chance of success. Writing a book is a labor-intensive endeavor that usually entails planning, composition, interviews, revision, proofreading, and occasionally research.

How do you select clients?

I choose those clients whose projects mesh with my interests and skills. The ideal client respects my professional time, realizing that I cannot engage in protracted negotiations over several weeks or months.

Do you act as literary agent or market the book?

I am not a literary agent, and any ghostwriter who claims to be an agent should be approached cautiously. I do advise clients on submissions and the selection of possible agents at no charge, but it is the client's responsibility to submit and/or market the book.I do advise clients on submissions ...

Do you handle screenplays?

I have no experience with screenplays, and writing them is not a service I offer.

Can you guarantee publication?

Getting published is tough, and no one – not even those ghostwriting firms with glitzy advertisements – can promise that your book will be published, although some come very close to doing so.

Do you do all necessary research when writing nonfiction?

No. I research a client's topic if necessary, but this is to augment his or her source materials. For nonfiction, it is the client's responsibility to present me with the bulk of research necessary to construct a book.

Do you sign non-competition clauses?

I receive thousands of queries, and, like agents and editors, I do not have the time to sign such redundant agreements. As mentioned above, your work is already copyright- protected. Additionally, I have a writing career under my own name, and it would be impossible to use your ideas in my work since I have my own niche market. The quickest way to be ignored in the literary marketplace is to imply that publishing professionals might steal your ideas.

Do you handle theses or dissertations?

No. I believe it is a student's responsibility to do his or her own work.