Ghostwriter Should Have a Contract
Experienced ghostwriters will not work outside a contract or some kind of agreement. Contract is a way by which both the parties involved are protected from any dispute that might arise in future. These contracts generally are not negotiable.
In the absence of contract so many court cases are filed every year arising out of some kind of pretext or the other. Such type of disputes puts both the parties into confrontation and disputes which end up in a lawsuits. Therefore a contract is necessary when you are hiring a ghostwriter. In the event if you are not familiar with the language of the contract, you can let your attorney have a look at it. Ghostwriting contracts are nothing elaborate, they are worded simple and straight. However, you should ensure that the following important points are covered specifically.
Deliverables – these are the things that the ghostwriter is going to provide, which are the written materials. You can have provision for draft approvals or the materials being edited by some competent person.
Date of completion – the contract should include a specific time line for completion of the manuscript. There might be some delay in delivering the materials, but keeping in mind the launch date of your website a specific date should be mentioned in the contract.
Confidentiality – this is important because your customers should not know the identity of the ghostwriter. Since he is writing on your behalf, he should stay in the back ground and not reveal anything about it to anyone. You will be the only person knowing who the ghostwriter is. A clause in the contract, somewhat in the line of ‘non-disclosure’ clause should be there in the contract.
Payment – payment terms are rather important because many disputes arise in connection with payment. If any up-front payment is required it has to be mentioned, along with the mode of payment thereafter. Some ghostwriters prefer half the payment at the beginning of the project and the rest after the completion; while some ghostwriters might prefer some other type of payment. Whatever might be the mode of payment it should be mentioned clearly in the contract. The type of payment should also feature in the contract, like whether the ghostwriter will prefer payment in hard cash, or checks, or credit cards and so on.
Termination – during the progress of the work it might happen that some kind of misunderstanding crop up and it becomes necessary to terminate the contract. Or it may also happen that you find the ghostwriter not up to the mark and you need to change the ghostwriter. On the other hand the ghostwriter can also be dissatisfied with you and want to opt out of the project. Therefore, it is imperative that there should be some termination clause in the contract so that both can prefer to terminate the contract at any stage without heartburn. Some ghostwriters charge a fee for cancellation, which you might have to bear if you choose to terminate the contract premature.
So, before you hire a ghostwriter go through the contract carefully and then sign on the dotted line.