The good folks at freelancewriting.com published this article a few months ago, complete with genuine author attribution. No ghost writing here, nosirree. But we know many writers who have ghostwritten their way into bigtime careers.
by Karen Cole
Ghostwriters are writers for hire who are paid but receive none of the credit for the work produced.
There are generally two parties involve in this professional relationship:
- The “author,” who hires the freelance writer to produce content for an agreed upon fee, takes the credit for all the original work produced.
- The “ghost,” the freelance writer who is generally paid in advance of completing the job, gets the money as a “work for hire” job and assumes none of the credit for their ghostwriting work.
Reasons to Hire a Ghostwriter
Ghostwriting is a common practice, though it isn’t often publicized. When someone wants to create new copy for a website, a ghostwriter may be hired to rewrite existing copy. There are many similar jobs such as writing ad or business copy, or supplying new or rewritten material for personal or professional use. The ghost is hired primarily as a professional freelance writer, in order to produce high-quality writing copy that reads professionally.
A paid professional freelance writer is often the only source to turn to get sparkling, well-written website copy or other quality content. A ghost is hired to bring this about, either as an on staff writer or as a freelance writer who is paid specifically for the job at hand.
Ghostwriters are also hired to write books for people. In such cases, the author of the book is the person who hires the ghostwriter, unless the book author wants to share some of the credit with the ghost. In this case, the ghost may be listed as a coauthor or as the “editor” of the book; generally, this is listed somewhere in the acknowledgments page.
Sometimes the well-known “As Told To” line with the name of the ghostwriter is included on the cover of a ghostwritten book. This is often the case when well-known ghostwriters are used by the books’ actual authors.