Ghostwriter vs. Book Coach: Which is Right for You

Ghostwriter vs. Book Coach: Which is Right for You

If you’re a first-time author, you’ll likely want guidance on the writing process. A book is a big project to go alone on, especially if you’ve never written one before. And if you’ve been working on a book for a year or more without making progress, it’s time to call in the experts. But how do you know who the right expert is?

At Grammar Factory, we know how weighty this choice can feel, and it’s easy to get bogged down in indecision. Your story is precious, and your publishing investment is too.

Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur seeking to solidify your brand or a visionary leader aiming to share your expertise, we want to help you make an informed choice. So let’s talk about what it’s like to work with a ghostwriter vs. a book coach, and how to know which option is right for you.

Ghostwriter vs. Book Coach: Three Key Differences

Ghostwriters and book coaches can both help you get to a finished manuscript. But their approaches, and your experience as an author, will be very different. There are three key differences between book coaches and ghostwriters; writing responsibility, publishing assistance, and pricing.

Writing Responsibility

When you work with a book coach, you’ll be doing the writing yourself. Book coaches help you develop an outline, hone your narrative, and get feedback on your writing. They’re also there to offer support and accountability during the writing process. Book coaches won’t do any writing for you, but they can help you speed up your process and produce a better book. Many book coaches also offer editing services, but you’ll need to write the manuscript yourself. 

When you work with a ghostwriter, they take over the responsibility of writing. Ghostwriters help you strategize your book, and you won’t need to do any drafting yourself. They translate your loose ideas into accessible content for your readers, but you’ll still want to edit your manuscript to be sure it fits your desires. When you work with a ghostwriter, you’ll spend much less time writing, and you’ll likely get a completed manuscript faster. 

Marie Hasty, a concierge ghostwriter for clinician leaders, says her clients come to her wanting the benefits of a book without the task of writing themselves. “Most of the people I work with are busy enough running their business, keeping a family, travelling, etc. So what I love is helping those people advance their careers without taking time away from those things. They get the prestige of publishing an industry-leading book without compromising what they love doing.” If that sounds like you, a ghostwriter might be the right fit. 

But what about once your manuscript is complete? Book coaches and ghostwriters offer differing levels of publishing guidance, so let’s talk about the support you can expect.

Publishing Assistance

Book coaches often provide publishing guidance along with writing support. Our approved book coaches will help you understand your publishing options to make the best choice for your book. A coach can help you navigate manuscript submission, formatting, cover design, and even marketing strategies. 

On the other hand, ghostwriters tend to offer less assistance in publishing. Their main job is writing your manuscript, and that job is done after editing. Some ghostwriters do have connections to publishers, but you shouldn’t expect publishing guidance unless they state it in their contracts. 

"A great coach can take your unique goals into account and advise you on the best publishing option for your project," says Scott MacMillan, President of Grammar Factory Publishing. "That might include introducing you to different types of publishers, advising on strategy, and guidance on approaching a publisher. If in doubt, a great book coach can help you navigate this aspect." 

That brings us to the third major difference between ghostwriters and book coaches: pricing.

Cost of  a Ghostwriter vs. Book Coach

There’s a big difference in pricing between book coaches and ghostwriters. Book coaches work on a limited project basis; for example, you might contract with a coach for six months and pay them monthly. Some book coaches offer group rates, but one-on-one support typically costs $1,500-5,000.

Ghostwriting rates are much higher because they’re doing most of the work for you. Professionals charge between $20,000-100,000 and up. Ghostwriting is time-consuming, and requires a depth of writing expertise and story-building skill. The more books and accolades a ghostwriter has contributed to, the higher their rates are. 

If you’re interested in a ghostwriter, expect to pay $20,000 or more per manuscript. Don’t fall for a ghostwriter who says they can get it done for less than that: more likely you’ll end up with a low-quality book that will make much more work for you. 

Now that we’ve gotten clear on the major ways ghostwriters and book coaches differ, let’s help you choose the right option for you.

Making Your Pick: Ghostwriter vs. Book Coach

If you’re still not sure whether you need a coach or ghostwriter, answer these questions:

1. Do I like writing?

If you enjoy writing and want to improve, a book coach is a great way to hone your skills. Working with a book coach can help you build writing skills to strengthen this book, and your next book as well. On the other hand, if you’re not interested in the challenge of writing, you’ll want to consider a ghostwriter. 

2. What's my timeframe?

Many of our authors have specific goals attached to their books. Writing your own book may mean that those goals take longer to achieve. A book coach can help you stick to a timeline, but if you work full-time and want a finished manuscript in just a few months, a ghostwriter might be a better fit. 

3. Do I want a Collaborator or a Mentor?

Everyone’s creative process is different, and it’s worth examining how you enjoy working with other people. A ghostwriter doesn't just channel your words to the page; they’re a collaborator in bringing your story to life. And inversely, your book coach will offer guidance and advice, but they won’t write the book for you. 

4. What's my Return on Investment?

There’s a big price difference between ghostwriters and book coaches. Our clients often work with ghostwriters because they’ll make money off their books from consulting, speaking, and referrals. But if there’s less expected ROI from your book, or if your business is in an earlier stage, a book coach is a more economical option. 

Both ghostwriters and book coaches contribute essential expertise to new authors. Your choice will come down to your budget, goals, and the level of guidance you’re looking for. If you want a quick look at pricing, timeframes, and expectations, we’ve made a chart to help you compare. 

Ghostwriter or Coach: Compare Them Side-By-Side


Book Coach


Writing Responsibility



Publishing Assistance

Generally, yes

Generally, no


$1,000-5,000 per month

$20,000-$100,000+ per manuscript


6 months - 1 year

4-6 months

Major Benefits

Writing Mentorship
Publishing Support
Improve Your Writing Skills

Completed Manuscript
Professional Results
Less Time & Energy for the Author

If you’ve been trying to decide between a ghostwriter and a book coach, I hope this guide has helped make the choice easier. The good news is that The Grammar Factory offers both coaching and ghostwriting, and we can help you make the right decision for your book. We’ve also got relationships with excellent third-party coaches and ghostwriters, so if we’re not a good fit, we can connect you with someone who is. If you’re looking for a partner in publishing, we’d love to help you bring your dream book to print. 

About Grammar Factory Publishing

Grammar Factory Publishing is Canada’s largest assisted self-publishing company exclusively helping entrepreneurs and small business owners to write and publish nonfiction books that build authority and grow their business.

Grammar Factory provides truly integrated services, including professional editing, publishing, and marketing, as well as collaborative ghostwriting, and coaching based on the international best-selling book Entrepreneur to Author by Scott A. MacMillan.