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28th August 2020

What Is A Ghost Writer?

Ghostwriting is a process where you write something that will be credited to someone else. In this scenario, you are referred to as a ghostwriter. Sometimes, ghostwriters may complete an entire writing project by themselves, while other times they may act as a partial ghostwriter, working alongside a public author. Either way, their name doesn’t appear in the byline. Consequently, a ghostwriter tries his/her best to divert the attention away from their style of writing by bringing the client’s vision to life.

Ghostwriters will adapt their writing style to fit each client's needs. That said, they can and do guide the client on any style issues when necessary. You could compare them to a guardian angel who always provides you with content writing services when you’re struggling to write a book or a blog post. 

However, there’s a lot more to ghostwriting that you should know about. Let’s dive into the specifics. 

Ghost Writing vs Co-Authoring

It should be mentioned that ghostwriting is not at all similar to co-authoring a book. The primary reason is that co-authors get public acknowledgement. For example, Stephen King and Peter Straub famously co-wrote The Talisman, and both received author credit. A ghostwriter would do much the same work and get paid for it, but that is it – the named author would take sole credit in this scenario. Often it’s done to keep the author’s reputation intact, while other times it’s merely for simplicity’s sake. 

Types of Ghost Writing 

There are three main categories of ghostwriting. We’ve outlined them below:

1. Fiction Novels

There are three main reasons that authors and publishers might turn to ghost writers for their novels.

  • Carrying on the Author’s Legacy

In most cases, ghost writers continue the legacy of an author after their passing by continuing to write under their name. 

  • Driving Sales with a Celebrity’s Name

A novel written by a celebrity is highly likely to lead to big sales. Since time is of the essence, publishers commission ghost writers to get the novel out as soon as possible. 

  • Keeping Up with Increasing Demand

This is primarily the case with children’s books when content is consumed rapidly. The original author provides the ghost writers with a set of guidelines that covers the story’s elements, and the ghost writer must produce the novel by following it. 

2. Non-fiction Books

A ghost writer’s work is integral to the production of non-fiction books – from filling in gaps left by the original authors, to writing the whole project single-handedly. Different genres of non-fiction books include:

  • Business

A major plus point for growing businesses is when the owners publicly establish that they are well-versed in the relevant field. This is achieved by writing a book – a business book. This is where the copywriting services of ghost writers are often used. This is because running a business doesn’t necessarily require having the required writing expertise to put your successful methods into words.

  • Memoirs and Autobiographies

Ghostwriters are always in demand for writing memoirs and autobiographies since they offer a much-needed touch of objectivity that readers will appreciate. The best-known examples are celebrity memoirs since they rarely have enough time (or the required writing skills) to do it.  

  • Lifestyle

Celebrities tend to have an impact on audiences and that influences their choices. Would you rather buy a cookbook written by Padma Lakshmi or by Jimmy Whatshisname? Celebrity books are easy to market so ghostwriters will come to the rescue yet again. Even though memoirs can be entirely ghostwritten, lifestyle books tend to involve collaboration. 

3. Short-Form Content

Short-form content includes articles with a standard word count of 1,200 words or less. The following are the most common short-form projects that ghostwriters are often hired to complete.

  • Book Proposals

Even though an author might be able to pen an amazing book, the same can’t be said about the proposal. In this case, ghostwriters come in handy, particularly when they have a long history of working with publishers and know exactly what acquisition editors want to read.

  • Speeches

Just because someone is a great speaker, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re a great writer as well. Even if they are, they might be too busy to write their own speeches. Time for a ghostwriter! 

  • Articles and Blogs

For most public figures, maintaining a blog can be a challenging task owing to their busy schedules. Yet, they still seem to keep it running smoothly. If you notice this, then there’s a good chance that they have help. These people usually have a team of ghostwriters dedicated to researching and creating posts on subjects that would pique the particular audience’s interest.

Is Ghost Writing Ethical?

There’s a fine line when it comes to ghostwriting. Here are two scenarios:

  1. Someone who’s travelled the world wants to write a book about some of the amazing sights they’ve seen. However, they struggle with stringing together sentences well. To resolve this, they opt for an experienced ghostwriter to help them produce a well-written book. This is perfectly ethical.
  2. A person wants to start a new business that they have no prior knowledge about and they hire a ghost writer to establish themselves under false pretences. This is deceptive and misleading – and unethical.

How Much Money Do Ghost Writers Make?

A ghost writer’s fee depends on the following variables: 

  • The level of involvement required of the ghostwriter. For example, are they just required to tie up some loose ends or will they take charge of the whole project? 
  • The overall word count of the project.  
  • The work history of the ghostwriter. If they’re still in the early stages of their career, they will charge less.

Do You Need a Ghost Writer?

As you've probably gathered from this article, becoming a professional ghostwriter requires a great deal of hard work and dedication. That’s something that our copywriting agency excels at. If you require top-quality content, WooContent is the right choice!

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