One of the most difficult tasks for the person who is in need of the services of a high quality author is determining just who can do the work. Being capable is one thing, being available to do the work is another thing.
There are several things that you, the hiring party, can do to ensure that you find a capable and available author:
1. Does the author have experience? Importantly, is he or she able to write on the proposed topic? A good author will have samples of his or her work readily available for your perusal. Do not assume that all of the author’s work is posted online; sometimes “we” authors hold our best work back from the public due to fears of piracy or because of third party confidentiality.
2. If the author is to cover a topic outside of their areas of expertise are you willing to pay extra for the research the author may need to do in order to accomplish the task?
3. Is the author available to work on your project now or is he or she presently busy with other assignments? How tight is your deadline? Can you work with the author’s schedule or is your schedule not flexible? Would you consider using the same author at a future date for a different project if no agreement can be made to do the current project?
4. Does the author have references? Can you get a person’s name and phone number and contact them about their work?
5. How much does the author expect to be paid? Does the author list on his or her website a pricing structure? Can you get an ironclad estimate? What payment methods are expected?
6. Is the author writing as a ghostwriter or do you want the author to use his or her name and submit the articles to article directories for links back to your site?
As an author, before I accept any assignment I prefer to discuss over the telephone details of what the hiring party wants, what I can do for this person, and attempt to get a better feel for the job. I do not hard sell my work; if someone is interested in my capabilities then we move forward. If not, we both move on.