ghostwriter academy turn your passion into a profession

Ghostwriter Academy: Turn your passion into a profession


I’ve been an author since 2004. But for the first 8 years, it was always a side-hustle. After all, with a wife and 3 kids, I didn’t think I could make a living as a full-time writer. Then in 2012, my friend Scott asked me if I could help him fulfill his dream of writing a book. After chatting further, he said he needed a ghostwriter.

I didn’t know the first thing about ghostwriting, and I certainly never planned on becoming one. All I knew is my friend needed help, and so I jumped in headfirst.

Besides helping Scott write a compelling book, that same year I also left my day job. If you guessed those two events are related, you’re right. In a way, you could say that ghostwriting helped me turn my dream into a full-time gig. 


That first gig turned into a second and then a third. Initially, I was surprised at how lucrative ghostwriting can be. The rates below are considered the “industry standard.”

  • $10,000 to $20,000: just getting started with ghostwriting
  • $20,000 to $30,000: mid-level ghostwriter
  • $30,000 to $50,000: veteran ghostwriter
  • $50,000: celebrity ghostwriter or really busy

The Professional Writer’s Association of Canada provides clear guidelines for ghostwriters: $10,000 to $50,000 flat fee entire advance + 50% of royalties. And even if you’re not Canadian, The Writer’s Union of Canada establishes a great baseline for ghostwriters everywhere: For a book of 60,000 to 90,000 words, the Union recommends a total minimum fee of $40,000.

Naturally, this variance is based upon several factors including: experience, competence, length of manuscript, deadline of project, etc.


Many Traditional Publishing Houses admit that about 70% of their books were written by ghostwriters. Even crazier, nearly 99% of all books published by artists, celebrities, and politicians were ghostwritten. Throughout history, there may have been a stigma with ghostwriting in some circles. But today it’s much different. Many ghostwriters are proudly displayed on the front cover or in the acknowledgments.

Ghostwriters play a significant role by helping clients tell their story. As a result, thousands of people are impacted. Ghostwriters are valuable because:

  1. They produce a better book. 
  2. They save their clients time.
  3. They save their clients money.


Today, I don’t ghostwrite any longer because my current business focus doesn’t offer me the bandwidth. After all, in 2014 I started a publishing company: Author Academy Elite. We’ve published hundreds and hundreds of books from authors around the world.

I’ve had a vision to train up a guild of ghostwriters. Until now, I haven’t had the margin to do so. But within the last year, after turning down several potential books inside Author Academy Elite due to a lack of ghostwriters, I realized we couldn’t delay any longer.

I knew that many writers, editors, and ghostwriters would join Ghostwriter Academy and start their own businesses or level up their current ones. This is all part of the plan. Whether you get your gigs on your own or through The Guild, I believe in abundance. After all, if 82% of the population wants to write a book, then the world needs high quality ghostwriters defined by clarity, competence, and confidence.


1. Ghostwriter Guidebook:

An 86-page interactive guidebook chock-full of resources. This is the proven process I used to go pro.

2. Video Modules:

Benefit from 7 Masterclass modules comprised of 29 videos, each designed to be clear, concise, and direct. Leverage these “forever access” tools and tactics in your own ghostwriting business.

3. Curated Content:

The ghostwriting industry has shifted over the last few years, and you need to cash in on these changes. Dive into this curated content via hand-selected articles and websites.

4. Contracts and Checklists:

Turning your passion into a profession means looking professional. Utilize these contracts and checklists within your own ghostwriting gigs.

5. Global Community:

Much of the business world runs on relationships. Enjoy lifetime membership to our global community of generous collaborators.

6.  Ghostwriter Certification:

Upon completion of the modules, you will receive a professional level certification, declaring you as a successful graduate of Ghostwriter Academy.

Ghostwriter Academy

What are others saying?

* * * * *
Ghostwriter Academy is a Must for Anyone Passionate about Writing

The Ghostwriter Academy is a must for anyone passionate about writing. Created and designed by Kary Oberbrunner using his signature teaching style, this solid, up-to-date course will walk you through the process of becoming a highly qualified and sought-after ghostwriter. The modules act as your own private teacher, and the guidebook is packed with value. —Nanette O’Neal, author of A Doorway Back to Forever book series and founder of Beyond the Doorway mastermind program.

* * * * *
Easy to Understand, Cutting Edge, and Actionable

Kary Oberbrunner is an expert in the fields of writing, publishing, and marketing, and I’m excited that he has bundled his wisdom and experience into this fantastic course. In Ghostwriter Academy, you will learn why the world needs ghostwriters, how the ghostwriting business works, and where to find customers. Kary’s teaching is easy to understand, cutting-edge, and actionable. If you dream of turning your passion for writing into a profession, you need to take this course. —Abigail Young, CEO of Stressless Edits

 Ghostwriter Academy


Module 1: Your Creation Story

PAST: You are your business, so stop hiding your story. As the adage goes, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. Until you learn and leverage your creation story, you’ll feel stuck and stagnant. “Sticky” brands have sticky stories. Package your past struggle with your present solution so you can design a new future for your eventual clients.

PRESENT: The truth is that until you see yourself as a ghostwriter, no one else will either. It starts with an internal identity. Soon after, it seeps into an external reality. Ghostwriter Academy is designed to help you turn your passion into a profession. Whether ghostwriting is your side-hustle or your main gig, fortifying your WHY will help you clarify your WAY.

FUTURE: You’ve probably heard that envisioning your future and goal achievement are interrelated. Sometimes it’s called beginning with the end in mind. Other times, it’s called moonshot thinking. If you want to turn your passion into a profession, then you need to fill in some blanks. What new reality do you want to create?

Module 2:  Why

TIME: Before you can develop a thriving business, you must understand why the world needs ghostwriters. Simply put, ghostwriters save their clients time. Many clients are too busy to take time away from their careers, businesses, and lives to write a book.

SKILL: Ghostwriters bring a unique skillset to their clients. Many clients think they can write, until they try. Not everyone can write, nor should they try. About 99% of politicians, celebrities, and musicians use ghostwriters to write their books. Many traditional publishers state that around 70% of all their books are written by collaborators and ghostwriters.

MONEY: Ghostwriters bring value to their clients because they save them time, and everybody knows that time is money. Many clients would lose money by spending their limited time trying to write a book.

Module 3:  What

GHOSTS: Most nonfiction books solve problems—even oftentimes memoirs. In other words, they offer solutions. A framework is a solution broken down into simple steps. All three books I ghostwrote contain frameworks. It’s an effective way to write because it helps your reader see and feel an intentional beginning, middle, and end.

GIGS: It’s important to know the different terms that apply to “writers for hire.” Most clients who need help don’t know the correct terminology. They may think they need a copyeditor when they truly need a developmental editor—or even a ghostwriter who collaborates with them. Clarity comes once you know how the gigs differ and where you fit in.

GUILDS: A guild is an association of artisans or merchants who oversee the practice of their craft in a particular town. Guilds were first organized in the late Roman Empire and rose in popularity during the Medieval period. Naturally, guilds benefit their members if managed properly. Discover which guilds are helpful, which are harmful, and most importantly why.

Module 4:  How

RATES: Many ghostwriters simply don’t know what to charge. The rate for ghostwriters varies quite a bit. This variance is based upon several factors including: experience, competence, length of manuscript, deadline of project, etc. Learning the formula will help you charge with confidence.

RULES: Without the proper guidelines you could make a big mistake. The right rules protect you and your client. Get forever access to the proper intake forms, release forms, and sample contracts to help you turn your passion into a profession.

RISKS: Savvy business owners mitigate risks by taking the proper precautions. By completing our checklist, you’ll set yourself up for success.

Module 5:  When

CONSULTATION: Too many ghostwriters don’t set clear expectations or boundaries with their clients. As a result, they end up working for far less than their worth. By integrating our system, you’ll end up creating value for your clients while getting paid.

COLLABORATION: Most of us with something to say or sell would benefit if we had a bigger platform. We try partnering with top leaders, hoping to give our message the exposure it needs. Why do some people break through while most are blown off? Discover how to change the pattern by following nine steps for gaining favor with influencers.

CREATION: You’ll need to find your own voice as you write your client’s story. Think of this process as a delicate dance. How do you maintain your own freedom, while respecting their message? In this module you’ll discover a model and a metaphor to help you achieve both.

Module 6:  Where

INWARD: Most ghostwriters struggle getting gigs because of one fatal flaw. Discover how to secure more ghostwriting gigs than you can handle. This strategy enabled me to get all my gigs without even asking.

OUTWARD: Each of us have limited time and so we must make our time count. Looking in the wrong places for gigs will drain your energy and creativity. Isn’t it time you learned how to look and who to look for? We’ll show you where to find quality leads when looking outward.

DOWNWARD: Anyone with something to say or sell needs a bigger platform. As a ghostwriter, this works to your advantage. There’s no better platform than a well written, published, and marketed book.  With 82% of the population aspiring to be authors, if you know the right steps, you can land the right gigs.

Module 7:  Your Career Story

PAST: Many times, we can see everybody else’s gifts and talents, but not our own. Yet—if we take a moment to list all of our experiences, skills, and hobbies—we’ll often be surprised by the assets we can bring to our potential clients.

PRESENT: When I was trying to go pro with my passion, I had a choice. I could wait until I got clients before I gave myself a title, or I could give myself a title and then get clients. Some people ignorantly label this a “fake-it-till-you-make-it” tactic. I disagree. There was no pretending for me. Rather, I made an internal commitment before I experienced external validation.

FUTURE: You’ve grown into a new person. Your role as a ghostwriter will literally change people’s lives. You serve as the bridge between authors and their audiences, and without your skills their stories would remain untold.

Bonus Module: The Guild

This special invitation is only for our Ghostwriter Academy graduates. These certified ghostwriters are the only ones qualified to join The Guild.

Ghostwriter Academy

About the instructor

Kary OberbrunnerKARY OBERBRUNNER is Igniting Souls. Through his writing, speaking, and coaching, he helps individuals and organizations clarify

who they are, why they are here, and where they should invest their time and energy.

Kary struggled finding his own distinct voice and passion. As a young man, he suffered from severe stuttering, depression, and self-injury. Today a transformed man, Kary invests his time in helping others experience unhackability in work and life.

Kary’s writing career spans 15 years and counting. He is a 6-time traditionally published non-fiction author (The Journey Towards RelevanceCalledThe Fine LineYour Secret NameThe Deeper PathDay Job to Dream Job) as well as a fiction author (Elixir Project). He has ghostwritten three books, published over 400 books through his publishing company, Author Academy Elite (AAE), and has trained over 60,000 authors through online education.

Kary is also the founder of Ghostwriter Academy and The Guild. He has negotiated publishing deals and gained the title Master-Level Marketer due to his ability to turn books into 6-figure businesses through his 18 Streams of Income© model.

He is the founder of Redeem the Day, which serves the business community, and Igniting Souls, which serves the nonprofit community. He and his wife, Kelly, are blessed with three amazing children and live outside Columbus, Ohio.

I’ll show you how to level up your business…

Besides teaching you the skill of ghostwriting, I’ll also show you the business side of ghostwriting, too—including lead generation, marketing, contracts, collaboration, and much more. Over the last 15 years, I’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs – in nearly every industry – start, scale, and level up their businesses.

Ghostwriter Academy

Check out the Flip Book & Podcast

If you have more questions scroll through the flip book and listen to the podcast. 


Ghostwriter Academy Flip Book

In today’s podcast I share the entire backstory behind Ghostwriter Academy. (Listen to this episode via itunes, audioboom, or stitcher)


About The Author

Kary Oberbrunner

KARY OBERBRUNNER is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best-Selling Author and CEO of Igniting Souls Publishing Agency, a global company that runs on EOS. Its core focus is helping people write, publish, and market their books the right way and turn them into 18 streams of income. He’s an award-winning author of ten books, a screenwriter, and he’s been featured in Entrepreneur, CBS, Fox News, Yahoo, and many other major media outlets. As a young man, he suffered from severe stuttering, depression, and self-injury. Today a transformed man, Kary ignites souls. As an international speaker, he loves topics that capture his heart and mind such as: leadership, personal growth, human performance, blockchain technology, and entrepreneurship. As a futurist and host of the Blockchain Life podcast, he often consults on marketing, branding, IP, and NFTs. He has several earned degrees including a Bachelor of Arts, Masters in Divinity, and Doctorate in Transformational Leadership. He lives in Ohio with his family.

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