Remember that book you’ve been wanting to pen about your intrepid adventure through the Andes since 1996 still so regretfully shelved at the back of your mind? Or, how about that “how-to” guide on running a business? With a ghostwriter you can make that book inside your head a published reality!
But what exactly is a ghostwriter? A ghostwriter is, by vocational definition, a writer who writes texts that are wholly or mostly credited to another person. They become the “ghost” behind the accredited author. The different sorts and styles of texts include articles, short stories, books and business or technical reports.
Politicians, business executives and celebrities are cited by Wikipedia as being the most likely to hire a ghostwriter to pen magazine articles, autobiographies, speeches and the like. Their reasons for hiring a writing professional vary from a complete absence of time or actual writing skills. Even some of the most famous rock stars hire music ghostwriters – with Mozart being one of the most legendary of musical ghostwriters, composing magnificent ditties to make rich patrons look good!
With the arrival of the of the social media phenomenon, ghostwriters are used more now than ever before. Facebook and Twitter, for example, require constant creation of content and maintenance of ‘conversation’ with a business’s followers and clients. This generates and continues to feed interest and loyalty to their brand. Ghost-blogging requires two things from a ghostwriter. The first is to accurately research and write content – with regular, topical posts based on the client’s social media strategy. The other function is to create and maintain conversation by posting comments on the blog, often posing as different people, using pseudonyms and characterisation.
The credited author hires his ghostwriter to either edit his rough draft of a mostly completed manuscript, or to actually undertake the entire project from the research to writing to styling. A ghostwriter will be in constant communication with his client to ensure he is accurately on track and meeting his client’s needs and expectations.
Depending on the credited author’s personal or business-based motivation, the ghostwriter is sometimes acknowledged as either a co-author or editor. On the other hand, a ghostwriter may have to sign a strict anonymity clause which will form part of the contract. Every detail of what is discussed and agreed upon must be reflected in print. The agreement should also include the conditions of payment.
And finally? Your dream book will at last be set free out into the world – without the stress and drama so often part and parcel of the book-writing journey.
Updated on January 5th, 2014