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i'm "ghostwriting" a book--the person gave me the outline and I've been asking questions about the topic in chapter 1 (this is non-fiction--kind of a "how i succeeded book).  

Now that we've interviewed, what do i do next?  just start writing?

Hello Phyllis!

If you are writing from an outline and questions, I would say you're doing more than ghostwriting! I'd call you the author!

The first thing you want to do when approached by this sort of a project is sit down with the...the...let's see, let's call them "the provider" - and work out all the details, i.e.:

  1. What will be the responsibilities of the provider? The writer?

  2. Who will have the last word on what goes into the book and what will be taken out? If you can't agree, what then?

  3. How long will you work on this project before calling it unworkable and abandoning it? If the provider isn't happy with your first 2-3 chapters, they should be able to call a halt, and the same for you.

  2. If it is called off by either party, how will you be compensated for the work done thus far?

  3. If you work well together and carry it through to the end, how will you be compensated? If it's published (within a reasonable length of time, perhaps 5 years)? If it's not?

  4. How often will you be expected to turn in work? Every week? Month? How long will the provider be allowed to answer the questions you present to them, assuming they are not too many? A week? Two weeks?

  5. Who will be responsible for supplies, research (if needed), copying if needed, any other expenses?

If you are thinking, "Wow, this is starting to read like a contract," you are right. It is a contract. You are contracting to provide services to the provider according to the terms of the contract. Both parties must sign at the end and date the agreement, and both parties are LEGALLY BOUND by its terms. That way, if the provider vanishes without paying you, you can sue them. (Be sure you know where they are at all times, and get their social security number if you can).

You can find a sample at Sorry, you will have to copy and paste, as this site does not support hyperlinks. After you download it, you can alter it as you want.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 245+ questions.

And good luck with your book!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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