Who Uses A Ghost Writer?
In my previous blog on How To Become a Ghost Writer I spoke about the lucky coincidence in which I found myself introduced into the ghost writing industry thanks to a casual suggestion from the businessman Allan Leighton, who was looking for someone he respected to help him write a book about leadership. Allan knew what he wanted from the experience. He approached me with the idea, knowing that my previous work in journalism and knowledge of his industry could help him in his aim. For my side of things, this made my entry into ghostwriting quite straight-forward.
Allan is just one of many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs who have turned to ghostwriters to share their knowledge. With little spare time on their hands, because they are busy running their companies, they rely on ghosts to get their thoughts down onto the printed page in a way that demonstrates their authority and breadth of knowledge. Publishing a book is also a useful marketing tool for some businesses because, after all, an authoritative work about a subject is a great way to gain credibility for the author.
Celebrities are traditionally another big customer for ghosts. For people in the public eye, possibly juggling the demands of the day job, a media profile and various sub brands, time is a real issue. Planning, structuring and writing a 80,000 word-plus autobiography is no easy undertaking even for someone who does it for a living. Even working full time, it can take ghosts up to three months or more to finish a book. It can take more time than that if the subject is more complex and requires a lot of research. For a busy celebrity, handing the work of writing over to a ghost is a real boon.
The third category which are increasingly using ghosts are people in the so-called 'real life' market. These are ordinary people with extraordinary stories to tell. Their only problem is, they may have no idea how to write their life story. A ghost will help them structure their book, tease out all the angles that will make it interesting for the reader and make it into an exciting read.
Some people might be reluctant to hire a ghost because they are worried that handing over their story might damage their credibility. A public figure in particular might be nervous that their potential readers would question why they can't do it themselves. They can probably almost hear them saying: aren't they up to the job? How hard can it be? The knowledge that ghosting is an anonymous pursuit won't assuage their fears even though very often the reader has no idea that the person who wrote the book and the person with their name on the cover are not one and the same.
The short answer to this is generally the presence of a ghost something only known to the author, their ghost and the publisher. More importantly, the book buying public don't generally care either way. As with any product, a book should the best it could possibly be and that is where a good ghost can prove invaluable.
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