Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostwriters!
Yup, your welcome 🙂
You will now have that theme song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
Hopefully you wont bust that verse out while stuck in line or in an elevator because that would be awkward…for you.
Anyway, last Wednesday I posted “48 Celebrities Who Wrote Fiction” and I wondered how many of those Author/Celebrities actually wrote the book and how many went the route of a ghost writer.
So I thought, let’s take a moment to talk about Ghostwriting.
What is a Ghostwriter?
A Ghostwriter is a writer who is paid generously to writes books, articles, stories, reports or other texts that are officially credited to another person. Another term for Ghostwriting is “ghosting” (just in case you didn’t know).
Who seeks out Ghostwriters?
Everyone. Well, not everyone literally but more people then you realize and in more areas then you even thought possible.
- Literature (People looking for guidance in writing a book or who have no writing ability of their own)
- Music ( Someone who not only writes the words of a song but the melody as well and gives it to someone else for the credit)
- Film (Someone who needs help turning a film idea into an actual script or revamping a script that is lacking)
- Fine and Commercial art (Such as comic books art and vanity artwork)
- Social Media (Someone who manages/posts tweets and other social media things under someone else’s name because that person does not have the time to do it on their own)
- Academic (For Entrance essays, term papers, thesis and dissertations)
- Websites/blogs (for the information on the home pages, writing articles/content for their blogs, and being fake commentors)
- Professional Business People (Looking to turn their knowledge into “How-To Books”)
- Politicians (usually in the form of “Correspondence Officers” who reply to all the politician’s correspondences)
- Medical (pharmaceutical companies pay ghostwriters to produce papers and then pay other scientists or physicians to attach their names to these papers before they are published in medical or scientific journal)
- Celebrities/Political People (to produce Memoirs of their lives)
Depending on the cases, a Ghostwriter will either come in from the beginning and complete the piece of work in it’s entirety or they will be brought in during the editing phase to edit and then fix anything that needs fixing.
Why Would Someone want to use a Ghostwriter?
The reason’s vary with each individual but a lot of them look for the help of a ghostwriter because they:
- Don’t have the time to write the content
- Don’t have the talent to write the material
- Can’t keep up with the demand vs. supply
- Have the idea but lack the knowledge to see it completed
Ghostwriters To The Rescue!
Where Can I Find A Ghostwriter?
…just to name a few…
Do a Google search “Professional Ghostwriter in ________ (add whatever field you need one in)”
Post an Ad
….again, just to name a few….
*While you can certainly find a great ghostwriter going this route, it’s risky (in my opinion).
You could also find ghostwriters by doing some research of your own. Look into works that reflect what you want to accomplish and dig deeper to see if there was a ghostwriter involved in that project of project just like it.
How Do You Hire A Ghost Writer?
- Jot down some names and check them out. Go to their websites, see if you can find some of their work.
- When you’ve narrowed your list of possible candidates down to three, contact them personally and see what their current rates are, if they would be available to work on your project and how long they thing think it might take them.
- Ideally, all 3 of your picks would be available. If that is the case ask them if they would be willing to complete a small assignment that pertains to what you are looking for. Give them set guidelines and a time limit. If they agree and complete the task, you will be able to see which one of the candidates performed the task the best, within the best time frame. Whoever that is should be the one you go with and if things go south then you know who to contact next.
Also, Check out this great article that covers it in full detail: What To Look For In A Ghostwriter by Melinda Copp
Here is great Blog about ghostwriting (their last post was September 2013 but they have 27 articles to browse through): Book Ghostwriting Blog
How Much Does A Ghostwriter Charge?
There are a few ways a ghostwriter charges for their work. *Please keep in mind that these are examples and not numbers set in stone*
- Hourly: $65-250/hr
- Per Word: $0.25-$3/word
- Per Project/Book : $15,000 – $150,000 (for celebrities its MUCH higher)
*I have heard that some freelance ghostwriters will charge per page but I have no idea what that means really. Each page can have a different word count depending on layout and font style so charging per page seems like a logistical nightmare to me. I tried doing some quick research about it online and came up empty.
10 Years ago no one outside of publishers and literary agents even knew “ghostwriting” existed.
It’s said that the book, “The Ghost” by Robert Harris brought the topic to the public’s attention. The movie “The Ghost Writer” starring Ewan McGegor and Pierce Brosnan is reported to be based off of that book.
But honestly ghosting in one form or another has been around for a very long time.
- Mozart….. No I’m not saying his musical works were done by someone else but he was known to write music for the wealthy who then claimed it as their own.
- Charlie Chaplin used David Raksin to orchestrated the music in his films and sometimes his scripts.
- Harry Houdini used H.P. Lovecraft to ghostwrite some sci-fi stories for him in sci-fi magazines in the 1920’s.
Did you know that Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Sweet Valley High and Goosebumps were written by teams of ghostwriters who worked off a “Series Bible” or template to produce each book? I had no idea!
Here is an interestesting article from Amy Boesky (A ghostwriter for the Sweet Valley High Series): The Ghost Writes Back
Check out 10 Works You Didn’t Know Were Ghostwritten by Cory Dudak. It’s an interesting slide show of 10 well known people who have ghostwritten or employed ghostwriters in various fields (film, music, books).
Does anyone remember the movie Alex & Emma? While not quite a ghostwriting story it is a movie that touches on what a relationship between a ghostwriter and their client could be like (in a highly romanticized atmosphere lol) This article just made me think of it. Incase you’ve never heard of the movie, it’s a:
romantic comedy about an author whose writer’s block and gambling debts have landed him in a jam. In order get loan sharks off his back, he must finish his novel in 30 days or wind up dead. To help him complete his manuscript he hires stenographer Emma. As Alex begins to dictate his tale of a romantic love triangle to the charming yet somewhat opinionated stenographer, Emma challenges his ideas at every turn. Her unsolicited yet intriguing input begins to inadvertently influence Alex and his story and soon real life begins to imitate art.
I wonder if my husband will surrender control of the TV long enough for me to watch it again…. hmm….
where I explore: