Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Ghostwriter

What’s the essential characteristic of a ghost? Invisibility. Well, that’s exactly what a ghostwriter is . . . invisible.

The ghostwriter is a powerful tool for people who have a story in them, but who can’t seem to get their ideas into posts, article content, or books. He is also a valuable tool for writers who don’t have the time to writer their own content, and for other people who don’t have the skill. He is also a essential tool for marketers and business owners who don’t have the time, or possibly the skill, to write their own articles or other needed marketing content.

Moving quietly behind the scenes, the ghostwriter can lift you up and help you create what you may not have the time, energy, or skill to do yourself. He can help turn dreams into reality.

Do you need to drive traffic to your site? Do you need an e-book written for a free giveaway? Do you want to create an e-book to offer for sale? No problem. Does your story need a makeover? Do you have an outline, but don’t know where to go from there? No problem. Fiction, nonfiction? Short story, long story? White pages? No problem.

Writing for others, he writes stories, articles, blogs, and a host of other forms of content. He is a modest guy and doesn’t need recognition for his feat. The individual who hires him gets all the credit for the finished product; the ghostwriter gets paid for his services.

The individual or company requesting the content may provide an idea, an outline, or he may need a piece rewritten; the ghostwriter does his homework and accomplishes what is requested.

It should be noted that in some instances ghostwriters do receive some recognition or credit; this is something the requester and writer decide upon. The cost of the project may be less if credit is given. But, most often the ghostwriter remains anonymous.

In other instances the ghostwriter may reduce his fee for a percentage of the profits from the finished product.

Is Ghostwriting Popular?

According to the article, “What is a Ghostwriter?” by Gary McLaren, “Statistics are hard to come by since many people don't want to reveal that their book is ghosted. Some industry estimates suggest that up to fifty percent of all non-fiction books are ghostwritten.”

Interestingly, what’s becoming very popular for ghostwriters is article writing. Marketers know the importance of posting valuable and well written content on their websites, on a regular basis. In these cases, the ghostwriter needs to know about SEO and keyword optimization.

A couple of famous ghostwriters are:

Barbara Feinman ghostwrote It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us by Hillary Clinton.

H.P. Lovecraft was a ghostwriter for Harry Houdini.

A.E. Hotchner ghostwrote the autobiographies for Doris Day and Sophie Loren

Obviously, it may be difficult for a ghostwriter to obtain testimonials from clients, so when looking for a ghostwriter, you should ask for samples of his writing.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. You can find out more about writing for children and her services at: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children.

Check out the DIY Page while you're there!

And, get a copy of Walking Through Walls (a middle-grade fantasy adventure set in 16th century China. Honored with the Children’s Literary Classics Silver Award.


anthony stemke said...

Fascinating post, ghostwriting must be a nice income booster.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hey, Tony,

It can be if you can find clients! :)

Unknown said...

This is an intriguing possibility for talented writers who need to work on the side to support their real writing career.

McKenzie McCann said...

Ghostwriting just would not work for me. It would drive me insane to let someone else take the credit for my work. I'd go ballistic.

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