Friday, March 18, 2011

Thinking About Ghostwriting

According to Wikipedia, "a ghostwriter is a professional writer who is paid to write books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person." The entry goes on to fill in a lot of detail about the different kinds of ghostwriters that are active today, as well as the type of job arrangements a ghostwriter may encounter. If you do a simple search on Google you will see pages and pages of listings for ghostwriting services, often made up of entire teams of freelance ghosts, looking to take a bit of the market share of a growing industry.

More companies and not a few internet marketers are hiring either teams or individual writers to help them produce content in the form of articles, webpages, eBooks, reports, auto-responder messages for newsletters, as well as ad copy for brochures and other papers.  In many cases, these businesses want the rights to any content produced for them so they prefer to have ghostwriters come in and do the work without getting the credit. That's right; no byline, no seeing your name on the page. Ghostwriters who know the score understand that they are often the "invisible hand" and have long ago checked their egos at the door.

Working writers know that there is one thing that can supersede the desire to have your name in print; it is paying the bills. Ghostwriters can make good money depending on the workload or clients they choose. Some, especially commercial copywriters and book authors, can make very good money writing books or ad copy for pay sans the byline.

Other than becoming a contributing writer recently for two websites and publishing Heaven's Point Guard, this is what I do. I am a ghostwriter. Of course, not all ghostwriters are on the same playing field. In this business, there are different levels, mostly based on the amount of money made. Now, I won't describe those levels here; I also won't tell you where I rate. This really isn't the point. You can move from one level to another. Sure, it will take work and determination -- but hey, that's what this is all about.

In short, this is what I've been doing since the last post back in February. I've been on a mission -- an ongoing one -- to find new clients and narrow my focus to specialize. Part of this mission is studying more about ghostwriting as a whole to see what my options really are. In upcoming posts, I hope to share some of what I've been up to by sharing pieces of my journey as a writer among fellow writers and even those who've not taken the plunge yet. Stay tuned.

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