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What Is Ghostwriting?

Updated on July 6, 2012
Ghostwriters can be scary...
Ghostwriters can be scary...

Ghostwriting... not a horror story!

If you've never heard of the term 'ghostwriter' or 'ghostwriting' before, then you're probably thinking that the job description of a ghostwriter is perhaps somebody who writes spooky stories for a living?

This article is going to give an overview as to what ghostwriting is and what the job description of a ghostwriter entails.

So what is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter in the simplest form of its definition is a writer who offers their pen for hire. No, not their physical pen, but their writing skills.

A ghostwriter is paid to write content without having the end result accredited to themselves.

So really, any kind of writing job which involves handing over the rights to the content without credit on completion is classed as ghostwriting.

However...

A ghostwriter is more commonly called so when their writing involves novels, stories and other such books.

Who would hire a ghostwriter?

People hire ghostwriters for all sorts of different reasons:

  • A ghostwriter can be hired as professional assistance in helping an individual plan/write/polish their book
  • Celebrities will often use a ghostwriter to write their biographies, or any book brought out under their name

As a general rule, a person looking to hire a ghostwriter is somebody who perhaps isn't as in-tune with their pen as they'd like to be and would like their name on a piece of published work but doesn't feel they have either the time or ability to complete it themselves.

Isn't that cheating?

You might think so on the surface, but it's a practice used by hundreds of celebrities and thousands of individuals.

If the ghostwriter is happy to sell on all rights (and often royalties) to the book or document and write it with complete anonymity, then providing the 'author' - or the person who takes the credit for it - is happy to pay the fee, then everyone's a winner.

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