Ghostwriting Agreement Sample

[DISCLAIMER: The Ghostwriting Agreement as given below is just a sample and is NOT a legal document. You must consult your lawyer to formulate your own agreement. Persons using the below do so at their own risk(s).]






This Ghostwriting Agreement (“Agreement”) is entered into on this ________ day of month, year, at place, country, by the AUTHOR; and on this ________ day of month, year, at place, country, by the GHOSTWRITER; and both parties do hereby agree to all the described and given below:

1. GOAL:

1.1 The AUTHOR is entrusting the GHOSTWRITER to ghostwrite, edit, and format, a nonfictional/fictional account of the AUTHOR’s experiences as an autobiographical memoir/fictional story (hereafter referred as “manuscript”) of a total of 00,0000–000,0000 words.

1.2 The AUTHOR may subsequently publish the manuscript via any traditional publisher. To aid the efforts of the AUTHOR in getting the book published, the GHOSTWRITER will write the book in a single Word file suitable for publishing. Additionally, the GHOSTWRITER will draft a ‘Book Proposal’ containing (i) a forwarding letter stating why the AUTHOR is the best person to write the book and why the book will interest a publisher; (ii) a one-page synopsis of the book; and (iii) the first ten pages of the manuscript shall be attached.

1.4 The AUTHOR may self-publish the book as a paperback or as an e-book. In the event the AUTHOR self-publishes the manuscript, the GHOSTWRITER will guide the AUTHOR on the self-publishing platforms by formatting the manuscript as per the requirements of the publisher and may convert the manuscript suitable for ebook publication.


2.1 All communications between the AUTHOR and the GHOSTWRITER shall take place via personal meetings/phone/internet/email/ or other mutually agreed ways.

2.3 All payments shall be effected via agreed payment method as detailed in Section 9.

2.4. Both parties agree that in the rare occurrence of any dispute, it shall be resolved as given in Section 11.

3. COST:

Both the Parties agree that the AUTHOR shall pay the GHOSTWRITER for writing, editing, and formatting a manuscript of a total of 00,0000–000,0000 words, at a total cost of amount in words (amount in figures), payable as given in Section 9.


4.1 The manuscript will be written and delivered in a Word document in a 6” x 9” book size or the size specified by the AUTHOR, with Garamond 11pt font, single spaced or as per the specifications provided by the AUTHOR. It shall follow all the formatting requirements so that it may be published as a paperback and/or ebook. The fully formatted manuscript, edited and proofread, shall be considered as a finished manuscript that may be given as an internal file to any book publisher for printing.

4.2 The content of the manuscript shall be based on the material (hereafter referred as “material”) as provided by the AUTHOR to the GHOSTWRITER.

4.3 Materials may consist of personal notes/ diaries/ audio or video tapes/ medical and/or legal documents, scanned or otherwise. For any and all materials provided by the AUTHOR, the AUTHOR is wholly and solely responsible in obtaining the respective publication permissions/ consents/ approvals,, etc. from the respective individuals/institutions/organizations/companies. The GHOSTWRITER shall not obtain any permissions/consents/approvals, etc., and shall accept all materials provided by the AUTHOR, on good faith and complete trust, without any questions/verification/modification of the provided material.

4.4 The AUTHOR shall provide to the GHOSTWRITER, all materials necessary for the writing of the manuscript at the earliest, so that the GHOSTWRITER may study them in its entirety.

4.5 The manuscript will be written in first person/second person/third person active or passive voice, as required by the AUTHOR. Words like “I”, “Me”, “Myself”, and likewise words, wherever applicable, may be used if the AUTHOR requires. Real names of living and/or deceased individuals, along with real names of institutions/entities/organizations/companies, private and/or government, may be used, if the AUTHOR requires. For the usage of all names, addresses, and other personal details of real and/or fictional characters, the AUTHOR is wholly and fully responsible.

4.6 The manuscript shall have a working title as “Some working title” and this title may be changed later by the AUTHOR, with or without the consultation of the GHOSTWRITER.

4.7 The page outline of the manuscript may be as given below, which is an academic format given as an example. Any item(s) may be selected/deleted to create the format as required by the AUTHOR.

half title i
series ii
full title iii
copyright iv
dedication v
blank vi
table of contents vii
blank viii
list of illustrations ix
blank x
list of tables xi
blank xii
foreword xiii
blank xiv
preface xv
blank xvi
acknowledgments xvii
blank xviii
list of abbreviations xix
blank xx
introduction/chapter one 1
appendix(es) (odd page#)
notes (if at the end of book) (odd page#)
glossary (odd page#)
bibliography (odd page#)
list of contributors (odd page#)
index(es) (odd page#)

a) The illustrations contain the scanned images of documents/ drawings, wherever necessary. They are enumerated by words “Fig.# or Figure#”, at the bottom of the illustration.
b) The tables contain data given in a tabulated form, wherever necessary. They are enumerated by words “Table#”, at the top of the table.
c) The appendix(es) contains all the scanned documents/ drawings/ other documents, supporting the content of the manuscript.
d) The glossary contains the important terms used in the book, along with their respective definitions.
e) The bibliography contains the references in APA/MLA/Turabian/Chicago style.
f) The index contains all the important words, phrases, and proper nouns, along with the page numbers where they appear in the book. Cross-referencing a word/name/concept in several chapters by using the words “See also” under specific index entries, may also be done.

4.8 The manuscript shall consist of a total of 00,0000–000,0000 words, inclusive of the front matter, chapters, appendix(es), glossary, bibliography, etc.

4.9 For nonfiction, no third party material shall be used by the GHOSTWRITER, as she/he will write the manuscript based wholly on the material provided by the AUTHOR. For fiction, the GHOSTWRITER assumes full responsibility that any third party material used has been done so after taking due permissions/consents from the respective third parties.

4.10. For book publication, publishers usually need two files, namely, interior file and cover file. The finished manuscript is the interior file. The cover file is a full color graphics file, which is usually created by some graphic artist. The GHOSTWRITER shall provide the completed manuscript, which is the interior file. The GHOSTWRITER will not provide the cover file. The GHOSTWRITER may employ some cover designer to design the cover file, with the approval of the AUTHOR.


5.1 Both the Parties agree that all ownership, copyright, and royalty rights, title and interest and all intellectual property rights in the manuscript and its all or any subsequent physical or electronic formats, now or ever in future, shall be the sole and exclusive property of the AUTHOR, including:

(i) All materials, including but not limited to Word files, PowerPoint Presentations, tapes, and completed manuscript, the completed Book and/or other product resulting from the manuscript;

(ii) All materials forming the content of the subject matter of the manuscript or its any other physical or electronic format, provided by AUTHOR;

(iii) Any ideas, works, documentation or notes conceived related to the manuscript;

(iv) All writings related to or associated with the manuscript; and

(v) All AUTHOR’S work/ product related to the manuscript.

5.2 To the extent that ownership of the items stated above does not automatically vest in the AUTHOR, the GHOSTWRITER hereby agrees to grant to the AUTHOR an exclusive, irrevocable, royalty free license to use, copy and modify any elements of the manuscript specifically created for the AUTHOR as part of the services for ghostwriting the manuscript. The GHOSTWRITER assigns the full title rights to the AUTHOR, who may change the title anytime, and any and all of the copyrights, other intellectual property rights, and any other data or material used or subsisting in the manuscript, whether finished or unfinished.


6.1 Credit for the Work will be in the name of the AUTHOR, and designees, and will be the only credit on the manuscript in any physical or electronic format, now or ever in future.

6.2 The GHOSTWRITER shall have absolutely NO Credit for the Work, whatsoever in any form or way. The name of the GHOSTWRITER and designees shall not come anywhere in the manuscript or in any physical or electronic format, now or ever in future.


The GHOSTWRITER acknowledges and agrees that all information provided by AUTHOR related to the manuscript, including without limitation, its materials, content, writings, work product, audio tapes or files, notes and diagrams, is of great value to AUTHOR and represents his/her life work. Accordingly, GHOSTWRITER agrees not to divulge to anyone, either during, or after the term of this Agreement, any Confidential Information obtained or developed by AUTHOR while working on the manuscript. Upon the conclusion or expiration of this Agreement, GHOSTWRITER agrees to make no further use or utilization of any Confidential Information provided to him by AUTHOR; and additionally, the GHOSTWRITER agrees to delete and destroy all files and materials, physical, electronic or otherwise, pertaining to the manuscript, to prevent any accidental usage, now or ever in future. Upon successful completion of the Agreement, the GHOSTWRITER, now or ever in the future shall not keep any records, whatsoever, pertaining to this manuscript.


Both the Parties acknowledge and agree that the GHOSTWRITER will perform the services as an independent contractor. The GHOSTWRITER agrees that s/he is solely responsible for the payment of all taxes associated with fees associated with the writing of the manuscript. Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be deemed to constitute either party a partner, joint venturer or employee of the other party for any purpose.


The total payment of amount in words (amount in figures) shall be done as follows:

a) 60% advance
b) 40% upon completion of the manuscript.

Payment shall be made by Cash/Check/Bank Transfer/any other mutually agreed method.


Both parties agree that in the rare occasion of a dispute, they will resort to the –give contact details like name, address, phone of the mutually agreed dispute resolution authority–, whose decision shall be final and binding on both the parties.

11. PUBLISHING/MARKETING. The AUTHOR shall undertake all activities for publishing the manuscript including submissions to publishers, marketing, distribution, selling and publicity. The AUTHOR will own the manuscript including but not limited to its subsequent publication as a hardcover, paperback, ebook, audio book, movie, DVD, or any other physical or electronic format, including any publishing rights worldwide, copyrights, sale, marketing, distribution, royalty, and any other rights.


12.1 The GHOSTWRITER represents and warrants that he/she will perform the services associated with writing of the manuscript with reasonable care and skill; and the services and the manuscript provided by GHOSTWRITER to AUTHOR under this Agreement will not infringe or violate any intellectual property rights or any other right of any third party.

12.2 For nonfiction, the manuscript will be written based solely and wholly on the materials provided only by the AUTHOR. The AUTHOR represents and warrants that he/she has obtained all the necessary permissions/sanctions/consents/approvals for all the scanned or otherwise materials, medical, legal, or otherwise, prior to providing it to the GHOSTWRITER, so that it does not infringe or violate any intellectual property rights or any other right of any third party or parties.


In case of any dispute, if the mutually agreed dispute resolution authority as given in Section 10, finds any provision of this Agreement invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement shall be interpreted so as best to effect the intent of the parties.


14.1 This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the Parties relating to the writing of the manuscript and supersedes all prior proposals, agreements, representations, writings, negotiations or understandings with respect hereto.

14.2 This Agreement may not be amended for any reason without the prior written consent of and signed by both Parties.


The failure to exercise any right provided in this Agreement shall not be a waiver of prior or subsequent rights.


This Agreement may be terminated prematurely, for any reason, provided that at least – mention number of days- advance written notice of termination along with termination fee of -amount in words (amount in figures)- is given to the non-terminating party.


Both AUTHOR and GHOSTWRITER agree to set aside adequate time to discuss the manuscript, including constructive criticism, feedback and/or concerns or questions that directly relate to the manuscript.

Signed, sealed and delivered by both parties as follows:


Name [Author]:


Phone number:




Name [Ghostwriter]:


Phone number:



in the presences of the following witnesses


Name [Witness 1]:


Phone number:




Name [Witness 2]:


Phone number:



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