I have potential ghostwriting clients approach me all the time about books they think will reap a big profit. I’m honest. In today’s world, books do not make a lot of money on their own, but they can make money in a peripheral way. You see, even if you write a New York Times best-seller, it’s quite possible you might only make enough to keep you alive while you write your next book. Sure, Stephen King is real. David Baldacci is real. Danielle Steel is real. There are authors who make money on their books, but aspiring to be one of them is kind of like saying you’re going to be George Clooney when you grow up. You can become an actor, but to rise to the level of the best of the best, you have to be one in a million. So, does writing always have to be done for passion, not profit? No, not exactly.
The best ghostwriting clients are writing for passion.
That’s the truth. But that doesn’t mean a book can’t be useful, financially. Most of my clients typically have a business or a public persona of some kind that will benefit from the ghostwritten book. If you’re a recipe influencer or a math tutor or a boutique owner who manufactures unique scented candles, or whatever specialty area you have, a ghostwritten book can make a big difference toward promoting the thing that makes you money—that’s how a book written for passion can help you make a profit–not directly in book sales revenue, but indirectly, by boosting your reputation as a personality or business owner in your own right.
The main thing to keep in mind, though—whether you’re hiring a ghostwriter to pen a book or writing one yourself—is that you will be happiest if you’re an author writing for passion, not profit. You might even be a profitable writer when writing for passion, not profit. But if you write only for the idea that you’ll make a profit directly on book sales … well, writing is an art form, and, as such, success is based on very subjective things. Saying you want to write a book to make a lot of money is like saying you’re going to go to Julliard and become a musician purely because you think there’s profit in it. There are a lot easier and more reliable ways to make a profit rather than pursuing the arts. I hate to sound like your dad, but there you have it.
You can make a profit from a ghostwritten book, but typically because your book helps promote your business itself, not just from book sales alone.
That said, whether you’re writing a book yourself or having it ghostwritten, it’s either a lot of work or a lot of money, so I hope you have a passion for your topic. That passion is what will make all the effort worthwhile, profit or no.