What Is Ghost Writing?
When asked about my field of work, I sometimes hesitate before I say I am a professional ghost writer. On more than one occasion, especially when speaking to people outside my working sector, the interpretion has been that I am a very specific ethereal-based, thriller, novelist. I then explain that, no, I don't actually write ghost stories.
A ghost writer essentially writes on the behalf of others; books, blogs, articles, even film scripts and songs. We can help as much, or as little, as the client wishes, ranging from just making small changes, to composing the entire manuscript, whatever is needed to produce a successful final product.
In comparison with other writing careers, such as being an author or journalist, the ghost writing industry is relatively unknown. It is, by its nature a secretive business, because named authors generally don't wish to reveal they have had help. Ghost writing is, however, rising in popularity, partly inline with the increasing demand for promotional content for companies and products. Ghost written blogs, for example, are becoming more and more fashionable as both organisations and individuals strive to make their online content as relevant as possible.
One of the most attractive aspects of using the skills available from ghost writers is that the work appears as the author's own. They have control over the project and can ask for as much or as little professional input as they want. It is the ideal helping hand for a big task. Ghost writing is also great for high profile celebrities and business people who need content, but don't have enough time to pen a high quality piece of writing.
Many ghost writers begin their careers in journalism and the media and then naturally progress into the field. Some cross over into the profession from being authors themselves, while a handful have been in the industry for their entire professional lives.
I came to ghost writing via the journalism route after working for many years on national papers (See How to Become a Ghost Writer). A contact I had interviewed as a journalist asked for my input into the development and production of his book, and I haven't looked back since.
Like all career paths, it's not perfect. I was incredibly lucky that my previous experiences in writing and media gave me invaluable knowledge of the inner workings of the industry and a number of contacts who wanted me to write for them. Without this solid base to start on it would have been a very different experience. So much of the writing world, for authors and ghost writers alike, is determined by contacts and experience, so starting afresh is always difficult. However, it could be argued this is true to all industries. Now I have built up experience as a ghost and written more than 25 books, I am called upon to write about a range of interesting and exciting subjects. As yet though, I still haven't penned a book about the supernatural.
Click here for more information on what a ghost writer can offer.
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