How to give feedback to your ghostwriter

Farming out writing to a ghostwriter can make the difference between ideas that remain stuck in your head and ideas that become persuasive prose.

This may involve some give-and-take between you and your ghostwriter. I have some suggestions to help.

1. Give feedback promptly

Ghostwriters can edit your drafts most effectively when your content is fresh in their minds. Take advantage of this by quickly commenting on drafts. Responding within one week is ideal. However, this may not be practical if you’re dealing with a very long document, vacation schedules, or other constraints. Work out a schedule with your ghostwriter.

2. Consolidate feedback in one document

So your ghostwriter can accurately absorb feedback from multiple sources on your end, combine all of that feedback in one document. That reduces the chance that your ghostwriter will overlook an important change while juggling multiple documents.

Combining feedback into one document also lets you see if people at your company disagree about any aspects of the document. That’s something you should sort out before responding to your ghostwriter.

3. Be specific

The more specific you make your feedback, the more likely your ghostwriter will meet your needs. For example, instead of writing that “We need more on topic X,” write “Please add the three main points from page 13 of our handbook,” list the main points you’d like the ghostwriter to add, or simply insert them yourself.

4. Use “Track Changes” and “comments”

Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes” and “Comments” features make it easy for your ghostwriter to see what you’ve changed and what you want them to change. This clarity helps them implement your wishes.

“Track Changes” also cues your ghostwriter that he or she should review new text for stylistic consistency and errors of grammar, punctuation, or usage. I often smooth out my clients’ additions.


Follow these tips and your ghostwriting revisions will go smoothly. I’ve tested and refined these tips through years of experience ghostwriting white papers and articles for leading investment and wealth management firms.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


2 replies
  1. Sue Bergin
    Sue Bergin says:

    Excellent post Susan. A dynamic i noticed is that once clients are satisfied with my version, it he piece sometimes takes on a life of its own in the design and final review process. Therefore, I also ask clients to share any compliance feedback and final versions. I find the changes made be clients in the eleventh hour quite insightful.

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