What is a ghostwriter, anyway?

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What is a ghostwriter, anyway?

When we say the word “ghostwriting,” most people look a little confused. Some people also look concerned — an instant indication that they’ve seen the big-screen thriller Ghost Writer. So what is ghostwriting, anyway? Here’s our quick rundown.

What is a ghostwriter, anyway?

A ghostwriter is a writer first and foremost. A ghostwriter uses his or her writing skills to help other people get their stories onto paper. Clients typically hire a ghostwriter if they have an amazing idea for a book or short story but don’t feel they’re capable of writing it alone.

What credit does a ghostwriter receive?

Credit is the whole reason for the “ghost” part; ghostwriters typically write under their client’s name. Depending on the scope of the project, a ghostwriter could be given an “Editor” credit, or one of those “with” bylines you often see on celebrity books. (i.e. By John Doe with Emily Hubbell.)

How involved in the process is the ghostwriter’s client?

The role of a ghostwriter varies depending on the project and client. Some clients prefer a “hands off” route, where the ghostwriter pitches an outline and writes the piece independently. I’ve written some books where the author simply talks me through his or her idea, and then isn’t involved again until I deliver chapter drafts for his or her approval. Other clients are very hands-on, preferring to write alongside the ghostwriter or at minimum check in frequently with feedback. Every once in a blue moon, a writer will reach out to a ghostwriter to take something that’s already written and turn it to gold. Because a ghostwriter is a skilled writer, editor and conceptual thinker, he or she should be able to offer a wide range of services depending on the project’s scope. Most importantly, the ghostwriter should be able to write in a way that reflects the client’s personality and tone.

Should I feel guilty about hiring a ghostwriter?

As ghostwriters, we’re strategic writers and editors first and foremost. But we also enjoy the process of helping other writers get their ideas across the finish line. If you have a story you’ve been meaning to share but can’t seem to jumpstart, a ghostwriter is an invaluable tool. Hiring a ghostwriter isn’t about taking credit for another person’s writing; it’s about helping your untold story see the light of day.

Need a ghostwriter to get your story out into the world? Drop use a line anytime. Em Writes loves hearing people’s stories, and we have a knack for uncovering the details that make your narrative captivating.

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