Ghostwriting Myth #5: “Clients want me to sign an NDA.”

“How am I supposed to get more clients when I can’t tell people that I even have clients?! Confidentiality agreements suck!!1!”

So a freelance copywriter turned pro ghostwriter asked me.

If you’re like most ghostwriters, you have no friggin’ clue what to say if an aspiring author asks you:

“Who are some people you’ve ghostwritten for? Can I see their books?”


I don’t want you to get stuck in that situation. The good news is, you don’t have to be.

Take me, for example. I’ve ghostwritten 40+ books since 2011 for everyone from A-list celebrities and household name entrepreneurs to the great-grandmas who want to tell posterity what it was like to grow up during the war.

Yes, I do have a ton of confidentiality agreements in place.

But—but—but—Joshua!!1! You said it’s a myth that ghostwriters have to sign NDAs!!1!

True. But I don’t have such agreements in place with all authors. Thankfully, working with a ghostwriter to finish your book is fast losing its stigma. Many authors—even the famous ones—aren’t so bashful about who they hire to write for them.

That gives you—and me—an opening. So let me tell you how I approach the question of NDAs, confidentiality, and proof of previous clients.

First, put yourself in your future client’s shoes. What do they want from the ghostwriter they hire? The no-holds-barred, no-secrets-kept dossier of your previous work?

Nope. All they want is assurance that you, their ghostwriter, know what the heck you’re doing—and that you’ll do whatever it takes to make their literary dreams come true.

That’s why when I talk to new aspiring authors, I share results of previous projects. Not simply the names of authors I don’t have confidentiality agreements with. Results.

What does “sharing results” look like? A couple different things. First of all, I create “Author Success Story” case study videos about authors whose books established the author’s authority, created new opportunities for their business, and produced return on investment.

(f you want a copy of one of my Author Success Stories to look at, reply to this email, and we’ll set up a call to go over it together.)

Doesn’t matter if my prospects have heard of my previous authors or not. In fact, lack of name recognition can be a blessing! 

Think about it—if you hear about a little-known author who made $1,000,000 from book sales and author upsells, what does that make you believe is possible?

I can make my money back—and then some—if I work with this ghostwriter.

Powerful psychology of persuasion right there.

I also make sure every potential author client knows the “how.” That is, how I wrote emotionally compelling manuscripts for previous clients and how I strategized their book launch to make as much money as possible from the book.

Why should you get this message across to clients? Because knowing how you got someone else results shows you didn’t make a lucky guess. There’s nothing worse than hiring a one-hit wonder ghostwriter whose work isn’t worth its weight in cassette tapes!

In short, big money ghostwriting clients want assurance from you that you know what you’re doing. If you’re able to avoid signing an NDA for even just two or three clients (totally doable), then do your darndest to make their projects “a gold standard” that every new client can look up to. 

The result?

From now on, aspiring authors will trust you.

From now on, aspiring authors will believe you can write like you say you can.

And from now on, aspiring authors will be happy to write you big money checks.

All because you’re going to help them create a profitable asset, not an ego-boosting expense.

And if any author presses you on signing a confidentiality agreement you don’t want to sign, use this handy-dandy little script:

The way that I work with many authors is to have an NDA in place which safeguards any and all confidential information you share during the project. I often do not keep our relationship itself confidential; this is common practice amongst ghostwriters in business and related genres, whose companies thrive via word of mouth marketing as the book is widely shared, read, and enjoyed. Some of my authors mention me in the Acknowledgements section of the book itself, others leave my name out—that’s your prerogative.

In tomorrow’s email, we work our way back to dropservicing

I’m going to show you how to build a team of trusted professionals to support your authors’ dreams, justify 10X higher ghostwriting writes, and produce profitable books that get your authors telling everyone they know about you.

Because my clients send me testimonial videos to publish on my website and YouTube channel, I’ve literally automated word of mouth marketing. It’s 24/7/365 lead generation for me, and I didn’t have to do a darn thing.

Except give my authors a book that made money from day one.

In tomorrow’s email, I’ll show you how I do it.

And how I charge $35,000 to $100,000 for book projects while “good” ghostwriters get a few hundred bucks on Upwork.

Don’t miss the fun.

Cheers and beers,

Joshua Lisec

” The World’s Only Award-Winning, Celebrity-Recommended #1 International Bestselling Certified Professional Ghostwriter “

P.S. Are you a ghostwriter? Click here to book your complimentary session where you’ll learn the Big Money Ghostwriting Roadmap to 10X your rates today.