Ghost writing sounds like cheating, but it isn’t. Hiring a ghostwriter for a book, speech or article is common practice and very acceptable; in fact, some experts say that up to 40% of all published books are ghostwritten. It may not be acknowledged as such, but ghostwriting is a standard practice for all sorts of writing. It’s really nothing more than freelance writing, a career at which many good writers excel.
For simplicity, the remainder of this article will refer to ghostwriting a book – but remember it’s not just about books. Just about anything that you need written can be ghostwritten. We ghost write a great deal of magazine articles, ezine content, newsletters, and website and internet articles – all of which the client is free to publish under their own name.
WHAT IS GHOSTWRITING?
Ghostwriting (sometimes written as ghost writing) is when a freelance writer is hired to write a book (or another project) for someone else and upon completion that other person gets credit as the author. While this sounds like cheating, it really isn’t because the ghost writer often (but not always) works with the author and uses the author’s own ideas and story.
Most of the time, for a large project such as a book, the ghostwriter will conduct a series of interviews with the author, which are recorded and transcribed. Depending on the type and size of the book to be written, these interviews may take place over the course of a few hours, a few days or a few weeks.
The ghostwriter then uses this information to write the book, conferring periodically throughout the writing process. Once the book or article is complete it becomes the property of the author and they own the copyright on the work. For short articles, we very often work to write projects with nothing more than titles to go on as a direction, and ghost write the entire thing with little or no reference to the client. It simply depends on how you want to work and how much input you want to have.
WHY HIRE A GHOSTWRITER?
You may have any number of reasons for hiring a ghost writer. Perhaps you don’t have the expertise to write a book, or maybe you don’t have the discipline it takes to work consistently and regularly on the project. Another common reason might be that you simply don’t have the knowledge and experience that it takes to structure a book so that it’s interesting and readable.
By far the most common reason for hiring a ghostwriter is that you just don’t have the time it takes to write. It’s not at all unusual to work 10, 11 or 12 hours a day at your regular job, which leaves very little time for you to spend on a writing project. Yet you still have the idea and the inspiration to capture something of yourself in written form, so you start looking for ways to make it happen.
WHAT KINDS OF BOOKS DO GHOSTWRITERS WRITE?
You might be surprised at just how many different kinds of books can be ghostwritten. A few examples include:
• Autobiographies and biographies • Stories of inspiration or accomplishment • Self-help and personal development • Business and entrepreneurial advice • Spiritual growth • Extraordinary stories of overcoming adversity or illness • How-to or instructional information • History and famous events • Memoirs • Current events • Novels and all forms of fiction
WHAT ABOUT COPYRIGHT AND ROYALTIES?
Understanding copyright issues is pretty easy when it comes to ghostwriting. Put simply, the ghostwriter agrees that the author owns the copyright (sometimes misspelled as copywright or copywrite) to the finished work, regardless of whether or not the ghost writer is acknowledged in the publication.
As far as royalties are concerned, these too are assigned to the client/author rather than the freelancer. Sometimes a freelance writer may be willing to negotiate a lower fee in exchange for a portion of the book royalties or even some form of acknowledgement on the book cover, but this is not always the most beneficial arrangement for the author or the freelancer.
HOW DO I FIND AN EXCEPTIONAL GHOSTWRITER?
A lot of people claim to be experienced ghostwriters, but very few of them are actually skilled in this type of writing. It takes an exceptional writer to successfully ghost write a book, but there are other important skills as well.
Your ghostwriter must have strong interviewing skills in order to effectively draw out your ideas and story concepts. He or she must understand how to structure a book so that it keeps the reader interested and engaged, and be able to write in a style that captures your personality rather than their own. You also must find someone who is unbiased and can be trusted to maintain confidentiality no matter what.
At Exquisitewriting we have access to ghostwriters literally from across the world, all of which have outstanding skills. Whatever your needs may be, we can help by matching you with one of our professional writers who will make your project shine.
HOW MUCH DOES A GHOSTWRITER COST?
The cost of hiring a ghostwriter will vary depending on the scope of your project and the experience of the freelance writer. As with most things, you’ll get what you pay for in the long run. Remember that your book reflects you and you want your readers to connect with the “real” you. The only way to do this is by investing in a professional ghostwriter who will work closely with you until the end product is exactly the way you want it.