What is a Ghostwriter and what do they do?
Ghostwriting is the process of someone writing or preparing materials that have supposedly been written by another person. The thinker that is attributed as its author may be described as a “fictional author”. It is a relatively common practice in literary and artistic fields.
The most common types of ghostwriting include literary ghostwriting, freelance journalism, and technical manuals. For many people in these professions, it can be an effective tool to gain credibility and notoriety within their respective fields while keeping their name private and avoid plagiarism scandals. In the field of literature, ghostwriting can be a lucrative profession as well. A writer who intends to publish a novel or nonfiction work in the future might hire someone to write it for him or her.
In journalism, a common use of ghostwriters is to write an article about a celebrity by interviewing that person. Using the celebrity’s name draws more attention to the article, and helps direct readership back to whatever product or service the celebrity is promoting at the time. The magazine or newspaper using the article can maintain the illusion that the celebrity wrote it by using phrases like “as told to” and “written by”.
Ghost writers are often used in technical writing. An author will use a ghostwriter to write a paper or manual, participate in interviews that make the author look intelligent (because people tend to associate more intelligence with eloquence than with silence), and then take credit for having written the paper. The practice is used by businesses, public relations firms, government agencies, educational institutions, and entertainment companies.
There are three types of ghostwriting
- Literary ghostwriting (also called in-house or edited ghostwriting) is writing of a text, other than scholarly work, by someone other than the primary writer for hire to the client. The term “literary” is usually used to distinguish it from “technical” and “academic” writing, which are sometimes also called “in-house. The author may be an employee of the client, or external to the client (i.e., either a professional writer who has been hired by the client, or an individual with sufficient knowledge and credentials to write on their own). While literary ghostwriting is most often done to produce a single text intended for publication in book form or by another medium capable of being published in hard copy, it can also be used to create several texts intended for publication individually.
- Freelance journalistic ghostwriting is done by someone who isn’t on the staff of a magazine or newspaper but manages to be published as if they were a regular contributor. In this circumstance, the ghostwriter will either get paid per piece submitted (usually with a guaranteed minimum), or on commission (meaning they get paid if their writing gets accepted).
- Technical and/or academic ghostwriters are hired by hiring authorities for academia to create scholarly work that looks like it was written by someone else.
What is a Ghostwriter to the general public?
To the general public, a ghostwriter is usually associated with a celebrity, such as:
Example: Oprah Winfrey’s ghostwriter, Marcia Ann Gillespie, or Stephen King’s ghostwriter, Tabitha King
A ghostwriter with a celebrity doesn’t necessarily mean that the celebrity needs to be famous. A well-known Hollywood personality might hire a writer to write a movie or book testimonial in order to gain credibility (and perhaps fame) for themselves.
What is a Ghostwriter to the publishing industry?
In the publishing industry, a ghostwriter (who is often also a “book doctor”) is someone hired to alter pre-existing work and bring it to publication level. This can include editing, rewriting, or rewriting portions of the work.
The idea behind a book doctor is that they possess sufficient skill that can help make a manuscript presentable for publication.
What is a Ghostwriter to the content marketing industry?
In the content marketing industry, a ghostwriter’s sole purpose is to create valuable content for businesses to use in their marketing efforts. This can include writing articles or blog posts, producing ebooks and email sequences, copywriting for landing pages, and more. While every ghostwriter’s experience will be different depending on the project they are working on (and the client they are working with), there are five things we believe any business using the services of a ghostwriter should keep in mind:
1) Choose your ghostwriter wisely. You want to get the best and most expert ghostwriter you can find.
2) Hire a ghostwriter with a proven track record. Once you’ve decided on someone, do some research to see what type of work he or she has done in the past. If their past projects are similar to yours, they will be able to provide quality work quickly and efficiently.
3) Become clear on what your ghostwriter’s job is going to be before they start writing on your behalf. Every project should have a set of “rules” that both the hiring company and ghostwriter agree on before any work commences.
4) Expect your ghostwriter to be a part of the process. Some companies try to keep their ghostwriters out of sight, as if they were working with a hired gun for hire. While this may make sense for some, most ghostwriters want to be included in the process, as it helps them produce higher quality work.
5) One ghostwriter isn’t always enough. Today, many companies are using ghostwriters in their marketing plans. They are often doing so in order to build content they can share with their clients. In order to keep costs down, some companies outsource their content creation needs, but instead of hiring an entire team to create all the content, they just hire a ghostwriter who can write on behalf of another person so that the company doesn’t have to spend as much money.
Ghostwriting has been around for quite some time and is unlikely to go away any time soon. The professional ghostwriter will continue to be a valuable asset to those in the content marketing industry as long as there is an ever-growing need for quality content.
Our services are offered through FindWritersOnline.com, the online platform we’ve built for ghostwriters so that they can easily find clients for their writing services all over the world. If you’d like to get started today as a client, simply fill out this short form or request your free consultation and one of our experienced client success managers will contact you within 24 hours.