What does a ghostwriter do?

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What is a Ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or other works that are officially credited to another person. The term "ghost" in ghostwriter refers to the fact that the writer does not receive official credit for their work and their contribution remains anonymous. The person who hires a ghostwriter usually provides the content outline or idea for the work, and the ghostwriter then writes the manuscript, document, or article as per the instructions provided. The final product is presented as if the credited author had written it, and the ghostwriter remains anonymous. Ghostwriters are commonly employed in the publishing industry for works such as autobiographies, memoirs, novels, or technical documents.

Ghostwriting is a common practice in the entertainment industry as well, where songwriters or screenwriters may be hired to produce content for famous musicians or actors. Ghostwriting also extends to the academic world, where students or academics may hire ghostwriters to write research papers, theses or dissertations. Despite the anonymity that comes with ghostwriting, it is a lucrative career for writers who can produce high-quality work in a timely and efficient manner. Ghostwriters can also help individuals or organizations with writing projects that require specialized knowledge or skills that they do not possess.

What does a Ghostwriter do?

A ghostwriter typing on her computer.

Ghostwriters can help individuals who lack writing skills or do not have the time to write, but still want to produce high-quality content. For instance, a busy CEO may hire a ghostwriter to write a speech or a book, allowing them to focus on their other responsibilities. Ghostwriters can ensure that the content is well-written, engaging, and meets the client's objectives. This can be particularly useful for individuals who are not familiar with the publishing or writing industry.

Duties and Responsibilities Here are some of the key responsibilities of a ghostwriter:

  • Writing: The primary responsibility of a ghostwriter is to write content on behalf of the client. This may include books, articles, speeches, scripts, or any other type of written material. The ghostwriter must be able to write in a style that is consistent with the client's voice and brand.
  • Research: The ghostwriter must conduct thorough research on the topic of the project to ensure that the content is accurate, informative, and engaging. This may involve interviewing subject matter experts, reviewing relevant literature, and conducting online research.
  • Editing: Once the initial draft is complete, the ghostwriter must edit the content to ensure that it meets the client's requirements. This may involve revising the content, correcting grammar and spelling errors, and ensuring that the tone and style are consistent throughout the piece.
  • Communication: The ghostwriter must communicate effectively with the client to understand their needs and preferences. This may involve regular meetings, phone calls, or emails to discuss the project and receive feedback.
  • Confidentiality: Ghostwriters are often required to sign non-disclosure agreements to protect the client's privacy. It is essential that the ghostwriter maintains confidentiality and does not share any information about the project with anyone else.
  • Meeting deadlines: Ghostwriters must be able to work efficiently and meet tight deadlines. They must be able to manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks to ensure that the project is completed on time.

Types of Ghostwriters There are several types of ghostwriters, each specializing in different areas of writing. Here are some of the most common types of ghostwriters and what they do:

  • Book Ghostwriters: Book ghostwriters are hired to write books on behalf of their clients. They may work with fiction or non-fiction, and their job is to bring the client's ideas and stories to life on the page.
  • Academic Ghostwriters: Academic ghostwriters are hired by students, researchers, or academic institutions to write papers, theses, or dissertations. They may also be hired to edit or proofread existing work.
  • Screenplay Ghostwriters: Screenplay ghostwriters are hired to write scripts for movies or TV shows. They work closely with the client to develop the plot, characters, and dialogue for the project.
  • Speech Ghostwriters: Speech ghostwriters are hired by politicians, business leaders, or other public figures to write speeches. Their job is to capture the client's voice and message and create a compelling speech that will resonate with the audience.
  • Business Ghostwriters: Business ghostwriters are hired by companies or executives to write articles, reports, or other business-related content. They may also be hired to write marketing materials, such as brochures or white papers.
  • Blog Ghostwriters: Blog ghostwriters are hired by individuals or companies to write blog posts. They may be responsible for researching and writing the content, as well as editing and formatting the posts for publication.
  • Social Media Ghostwriters: Social media ghostwriters are hired by individuals or companies to write content for social media platforms. They may be responsible for creating posts, responding to comments, and managing the client's online presence.

What is the workplace of a Ghostwriter like?

Ghostwriters may work in a variety of settings depending on their preferences and the nature of their work. Many ghostwriters work remotely, communicating with their clients via phone, email, or video conferencing. This allows them to work from anywhere in the world and take on clients from different geographic locations.

Working remotely also allows ghostwriters to set their own schedules and work at their own pace. This can be a great benefit for those who value flexibility and independence. However, it also requires self-discipline and good time management skills to meet deadlines and complete projects on time.

Some ghostwriters may work in-house for a specific client or company. In these cases, the ghostwriter may have a dedicated workspace within the client's office or work from a designated location. This can be beneficial for those who prefer a more structured work environment or who enjoy working closely with their clients.

In-house ghostwriters may have more face-to-face interactions with their clients and may be more involved in the creative process. They may attend meetings, participate in brainstorming sessions, and provide regular updates on the project's progress.

Regardless of their work setting, ghostwriters must be able to communicate effectively with their clients and work collaboratively to achieve the desired outcome. They must also have strong writing skills, research abilities, and attention to detail to produce high-quality content that meets their client's needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Writing and journalism related careers and degrees.

Writing Careers

  • Academic Writer
  • Content Writer
  • Fiction Writer
  • Food Critic
  • Ghostwriter
  • Grant Writer
  • Music Critic
  • Nonfiction Writer
  • Screenwriter
  • Speechwriter
  • Sports Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Television Writer
  • Travel Writer

Journalism Careers

  • Correspondent
  • News Anchor
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  • Photojournalist

Corresponding Degrees

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  • Children's Literature
  • Creative Writing
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What Does a Ghost Writer Do?

Find out what a ghost writer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a ghost writer.

what is the job of a ghostwriter

Table Of Contents

Ghost writer job duties.

  • Ghost Writer Salary & Outlook

Ghost Writer Job Requirements

Ghost writer skills, ghost writer work environment, ghost writer trends, how to become a ghost writer, advancement prospects.

  • Job Description Example

Ghostwriters are responsible for writing books, articles, essays, and other content that is published under the name of another person. They’re often hired by celebrities, politicians, or business leaders who want to share their story with the world but don’t have the time or writing skills to do it themselves.

Ghostwriting can be a lucrative career, but it’s also one that requires a lot of skill and professionalism. Ghostwriters must be able to effectively communicate ideas and concepts in a way that resonates with their audience. They must also be able to write clearly and concisely while meeting all of the specific requirements outlined by their client.

Ghost writers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing marketing support such as researching book ideas, identifying target audiences, and securing endorsements from established authors or experts in the field
  • Collaborating with the author to develop an outline for the book based on the topic and intended audience
  • Conducting interviews with experts in order to gather information that is relevant to the book’s topic
  • Editing and revising drafts of the manuscript according to the author’s specifications
  • Writing, rewriting, editing, and proofreading the manuscript until it meets the author’s satisfaction
  • Coordinating with other members of the publishing team such as editors and graphic designers
  • Working closely with the author to ensure that the book meets the publisher’s standards in terms of style and content
  • Researching topics related to the book’s subject matter and writing an outline for the book based on this research
  • Offering suggestions for improving the structure of the book, including chapter titles and subheadings

Ghost Writer Salary & Outlook

Ghostwriters are typically paid based on the length of a project, their level of experience, and the type of project they’re working on.

  • Median Annual Salary: $63,500 ($30.53/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of ghostwriters is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The need for ghostwriters will depend on the demand for books, articles, and other types of writing. However, the popularity of e-books and blogs may reduce the demand for ghostwriters because some people are writing and publishing their own works.

Related: Ghost Writer Interview Questions and Answers

A ghost writer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Ghostwriters are typically required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. A degree in English, journalism, creative writing or another related field is preferred. Some ghostwriters may have a master’s degree or a doctorate.

Training & Experience: Many ghostwriters will have previous experience in the industry in which they will write. For example, a ghostwriter who writes for business owners will likely have experience in business. A ghostwriter who writes for authors will likely have experience in writing.

Some ghostwriters will receive on-the-job training from their clients. For example, a business owner may have a specific writing style or format they prefer. A ghostwriter who writes for a business owner may receive training on how to write for that business.

Certifications & Licenses: Ghost writers don’t need any certifications to operate. However, some publications that hire ghost writers prefer certified writers. Certifications show a writer’s skills and dedication to the profession.

Ghost writers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Research: The research skills a ghost writer uses depend on the subject matter of the project they’re working on. For example, if they’re writing a book about a topic they’re unfamiliar with, they may need to do extensive research to ensure they’re providing accurate information. If they’re writing a book about a topic they’re familiar with, they may only need to do minimal research to ensure they’re staying true to the author’s voice.

Communication: Ghostwriters often communicate with their clients through email, phone calls or in-person meetings. They also communicate with sources to gather information for the project. Good communication skills can help a ghostwriter convey ideas and information to their clients and sources.

Organization: Ghostwriters often use organizational skills to keep track of research, interview transcripts and other materials they use to write their work. They also use organizational skills to keep track of their own writing and ensure they submit their work on time.

Editing: After a ghost writer completes a piece of work, it may be edited by the person who commissioned the work. A ghost writer should have excellent editing skills to ensure the quality of the work they produce. They should also be able to provide constructive feedback to the person who commissioned the work.

Creativity: A ghostwriter might use their creativity to help their clients come up with ideas for their writing. For example, a ghostwriter might help a business executive write a book about leadership by asking them questions about their career and then using their answers to inspire the executive’s writing.

Ghost writers work in a variety of settings, including their own homes, in the homes of their clients, in libraries, in coffee shops, and in co-working spaces. They may work for a single client or for multiple clients at the same time. Ghost writers usually work on a freelance basis, which means they are self-employed and work on a per-project basis. This type of work can be very flexible, and ghost writers can often set their own hours. However, they may also be required to work long hours to meet deadlines, and they may have to work on weekends and holidays.

Here are three trends influencing how ghost writers work. Ghost writers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Ghostwriting as a Profession

The growth of ghostwriting as a profession is an emerging trend that has been gaining traction in recent years. This is due to the fact that more and more businesses are realizing the value of having a professional writer create their content for them.

Ghostwriters can provide a variety of services, including blog posts, articles, white papers, and even books. They can also help businesses develop their branding and marketing materials.

More Demand From Businesses

As businesses become more reliant on writing, there will be a greater demand for ghostwriters. This is because ghostwriters can provide businesses with high-quality writing quickly and efficiently.

Ghostwriters can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in specific industries or fields. By doing so, they will be able to provide businesses with the writing they need quickly and effectively. In addition, ghostwriters should focus on developing strong relationships with clients in order to ensure that they get the work they want.

Greater Focus on Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular marketing strategy that involves creating and distributing content that is relevant to your business. This content can include blogs, videos, and social media posts.

As content marketing becomes more popular, ghostwriters will be in high demand. They will be needed to create content that is both engaging and informative. In addition, they will need to be able to manage the distribution of this content across different channels.

A career as a ghost writer can be both rewarding and lucrative. However, it’s important to understand that there are different types of ghost writers, each with their own specializations.

Generalists write on a variety of subjects and for a wide range of clients. They may specialize in one or more subject areas but also have the ability to write about other topics. Generalists typically work with multiple clients and may even have multiple assignments going at any given time.

Specialists write on a single subject area for a specific client or group of clients. They may have a long-term relationship with a particular client or may work on an assignment-by-assignment basis. Specialists often have deep knowledge of their subject area and extensive experience writing about it.

Advancement prospects for ghost writers are good. As they gain experience, ghost writers can command higher fees for their work. In addition, experienced ghost writers can often find work through referrals from satisfied clients. As ghost writers become more well-known, they may also have the opportunity to write books or articles under their own name.

Ghost Writer Job Description Example

Are you a skilled writer with a knack for telling stories? Do you have a passion for research and a knack for putting complex thoughts into simple words? If so, we’d like to hear from you.

We’re looking for a ghost writer to join our team and help us create compelling, original content for our website, blog, and social media channels. The ideal candidate will have experience writing in a variety of different styles and tones, and be able to switch gears quickly to meet the needs of different projects. He or she will be a master of the written word, with a keen eye for detail and a knack for finding the most interesting stories to share.

If you’re a talented writer with a passion for research and a knack for putting complex thoughts into simple words, we’d love to hear from you.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Write original content based on provided direction, including but not limited to articles, blog posts, web copy, eBooks, and whitepapers
  • Adhere to strict deadlines while maintaining a high level of quality
  • Conduct thorough research on assigned topics to ensure all information is accurate and up-to-date
  • Incorporate client feedback and direction into revisions as needed
  • Maintain open communication with clients throughout the writing process
  • Understand and maintain knowledge of specific client industries and target audiences
  • Write in a variety of voices and tones as needed
  • Edit and proofread final drafts for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors
  • Format content according to specified style guides
  • Upload finished content to designated content management systems
  • Perform regular maintenance checks on assigned website(s) or blog(s)
  • Monitor website analytics to gauge the effectiveness of published content

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or related field
  • Minimum 4-5 years professional writing experience with a solid portfolio of work
  • Exceptional writing and research skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines
  • Excellent organizational skill and multitasking ability
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Pro

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience working with content management systems, WordPress, etc.
  • A keen eye for detail and appreciation of great design
  • Proofreading experience and familiarity with standard style guides
  • Social media or content marketing experience

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Last updated on Feb 20, 2023

What is a Ghostwriter? An Insider’s Guide to Secret Co-Authors

A ghostwriter is a professional hired to write something credited to someone else. From celebrity memoirs and speeches to query letters and blog posts, a ghostwriter can either complete an entire project solo or work collaboratively with the text's credited author. And, much like ghosts, these writers will avoid being discovered.

In this post, we'll dust off our Ouija board to learn more about ghostwriters — what they do and how they can help you.

They work on projects credited to other people

iQmyCgrsR0A Video Thumb

Ghostwriters are not to be confused with authors who choose to publish their work anonymously, authors who use pen names , or co-writer teams where both authors are credited. As the name implies, ghostwriters work away from the spotlight to bring other people's ideas to life.

If you've been struggling to write a book, a blog post, or anything else involving words, your solution might be to hire a ghostwriter — someone who has the writing chops to turn your book ideas into reality but who prefers to work in the shadows. 

Typically, readers don't know a ghostwriter's involvement in a writing project. This may sound suspicious, but it's actually a pretty transparent business once you bust the myth:

  • Party A brings the ideas and the knowledge; and
  • Party B transforms it all on the page without taking credit for the final product. 
Curious about a ghostwriting career?💡Check out our guide to becoming a ghostwriter , complete with insights from professionals. 

There’s nothing shady about ghostwriters

It might seem strange that ghostwriters don’t take any credit for their work and you might worry that they’ll resent you, but rest assured: contracted ghostwriters are perfectly content with their jobs. Ghostwriting collaborations are as rewarding for the ghostwriter as they are for the person hiring them, and they've helped countless people fulfill publishing goals they could previously only dream of.

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining. He is wearing a green sweater and sitting at a desk working on a typewriter.

Ghostwriters complete clients' assignments and are compensated fairly for their work — just like any other freelance writer. The fact that they don't receive public credit does not mean they are financially exploited. 

In fact, they often make more money than other types of freelancers, and they get to work with all sorts of exciting clients, learning a lot of new things along the way. Many ghostwriters also publish under their own names, so ghostwriting doesn't deprive them of a credited writing career.

Want more insight into how ghostwriters feel about their career? Check out Barry Napier’s account of ghostwriting for a living .

Hiring a ghostwriter is a perfectly reasonable choice if you have insights to share with the world but not the skills to translate them into words. As long as you're bringing the ingredients to the table, there's no harm in having someone else assemble them into an appetizing experience. 

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They bring other people’s stories to life

Ghostwriters bring other people's stories to the page in both fiction and nonfiction. They are versatile, the chameleons of the writing world, and can effortlessly switch between styles and genres. 

Ghostwriters are perhaps best known for writing memoirs and other autobiographical texts. No one knows your life story better than you, but you may lack the know-how to tie it all together in a way that is easy to follow and that the average reader will appreciate. Enter the ghostwriter, who can synthesize all your memories and anecdotes into a moving autobiography or entertaining memoir  with a little distance from the topic!

The best-known iteration of this is the celebrity memoir, often commissioned by publishers who understand the appeal of a household name. For example, not-so-anonymous ghost J.R. Moehringer helped Phil Knight tell his story about how he founded Nike in Shoe Dog , and he's the pen behind Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare . 

Three book covers displayed side by side. On the left is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, in the middle is Spare by Prince Harry, and on the right is Open by Andre Agassi

But a ghostwritten memoir isn't solely the reserve of celebs — anyone who's lived a full and interesting life can benefit from a nonfiction ghostwriter, especially if you've always wanted to write a memoir but have never had the time.

what is the job of a ghostwriter

Ghostwriters can help your business

Being seen as an expert in one's field is a significant asset, and perhaps the best way to achieve this is by publishing a relevant book. But running a successful business doesn't necessarily mean you can articulate how you've done it — that's where the ghostwriter comes in. 

This type of nonfiction is often self-published and used as a point of authority for entrepreneurs . In addition to creating content for a book, the ghostwriter may also help shape the branding and tone of the client's other marketing materials (website, social media, etc.) to ensure consistency across all platforms.

What will it cost you to hire a ghostwriter?

Or synthesize your ideas into a book proposal.

Ghostwriters are also invaluable partners for putting together a book proposal .

Proposal writing is an art form all of its own and can be tricky, especially if you're a debut author submitting for the first time. So if you're confident in your writing skills but not your proposal-penning, you can hire a ghostwriter with a history of working with publishers — someone who knows precisely what acquiring editors want to see. 

Does this sound like you? If so, learn more about how a ghostwriter can help you nail your book proposal .

Ghostwriters can contribute to book series

To keep up with demand, publishers of popular series can hire multiple ghostwriters to churn out books under a single author's name. This is especially common with well-known children's series such as Nancy Drew , Animorphs , and The Baby-Sitters Club , probably because young readers devour them so fast!

What is a ghostwriter: a pair of ghosts

Similarly, publishers also hire ghostwriters to continue an established author's legacy. For example, have you ever wondered how Robert Ludlum, author of the Jason Bourne series, has managed to write 32 books since his death in 2001? 🤔 Publishers frequently do this when a deceased author leaves behind piles of unpublished drafts and ideas.

You might not be at that level of publishing success yet, but if you just want to keep up a high rate of writing output while publishing a series, you too can consider bringing in reinforcements in the form of a ghostwriter. Any ghostwriter worth their salt will know how to meet you where you are in style and voice, ensuring that your work stays consistent over time.

If you want to find out more, check out our list of popular novels you never knew were ghostwritten !

BONUS TIP: if you're a blogger looking to turn your blog into a book , a ghostwriter will ensure you don't lose that voice your readers fell in love with. They will adapt to your brand like a chameleon.

They can write short-form content for you, too

Besides turning your blog into a long-form book, ghostwriters can also help you pen the content for your blog or any other short-form content that you may be too busy to write yourself or want to make sure to get just right.

Blog writers

One growing source of work for ghostwriters is the blogosphere. Have you ever browsed a public figure's blog and wondered if they wrote all the content themselves? If they're prominent, there's a good chance they didn't. Instead, they'll have a few dedicated ghostwriters who write content on their behalf. These ghostwriters will research, plan, and churn out numerous posts on subjects that appeal to that figure's audience, a model used by many businesses to run corporate blogs.

This is probably the most common type of short-form ghostwriting because people don't always label it as such! Many bloggers and business owners outsource their posts to freelance writers but may think of it more as uncredited guest blogging than bona fide ghostwriting.

Speechwriters

Another arena where ghostwriters excel is in speech writing. Ghostwriters are a godsend for anyone lacking the time or skill to craft a memorable speech. Nowadays, it's a given that something like a presidential speech will be mostly another person's work. But you don't have to be the POTUS to turn to a ghost for your next public speaking opportunity: some people even hire them to ghostwrite their wedding speeches !

If you're sold on what ghostwriters can do for you, check out the next part of this guide, which will show you how to find a ghost that suits you and your story.

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Go behind the scenes with professional ghosts to find out what ghostwriting entails

what is the job of a ghostwriter

You’re a fantastic writer and the best collaborator ever. In college, you were the mastermind behind every group project. You’ve also got an actor’s talent for capturing others’ voices—on paper. You’re searching for a big-paying job, but you don’t really care about all that glory and fame stuff.

Any of this check off your boxes? If so, you may want to consider one of the least transparent jobs out there: ghostwriting. Read up to find out what ghosts actually do and how to become a successful one .

Also on Mediabistro

what is the job of a ghostwriter

What exactly does a ghostwriter do?

In a nutshell, ghostwriters are paid to write for someone else. Depending on the job, they’ll write either under their client’s name or be credited as a collaborator. Ghosts write blog posts, books, nonfiction books, memoirs—it’s all fair game. The customers of ghosts are usually busy people—think CEOs or entrepreneurs—who want to write a book or column but lack the time or ability to do so. So they hire someone else to do it for them.

To excel, ghostwriters do more than write. “You are, in some ways, a writer, a researcher, an agent and a publisher all in one,” says Jeremy Blachman , a writer who’s ghostwritten books and articles for The Financial Times, and worked in television with NBC and Sony.

Ghostwriters are responsible for talking to potential and current clients on a day-to-day basis, so interviewing comes with the job. “You need to draw the right stories and material from your clients, and that often means an ability to form a personal connection and make the client comfortable opening up to you,” says Blachman.

Ghostwriters also need to be able to research the heck out of a subject. Whenever clients don’t have the information, it’s up to the ghost to help them fill in the gaps.

What skills are required?

At a baseline, you need to be a fast, flexible, and compelling writer, says Blachman. “It doesn’t matter what else I’m bringing to the table if I can’t execute on my client’s vision for their book and deliver compelling content, quickly,” he adds.

The ability to collaborate is important. Unlike the novelist who works alone, the ghostwriter can expect to communicate with the client on a regular basis.

You must also possess an uncanny knack of capturing your client’s voice. “A good ghostwriter can connect with the stories they’re writing and the clients they’re working with,” says Alex Foster , who’s ghosted bestselling memoirs and novels. “Empathy allows ghosts to live vicariously through the lives of others, seeing as they see and feeling as they feel.”

Who is a ghostwriter’s boss?

It depends on the scope of the work, but in most situations you’ll answer to your client.

What do you need to get ahead in this position?

A firm understanding of the publishing industry is important. “That includes the markets, the genres, the styles of writing,” says Foster. “You should be establishing connections, such as agents, editors, authors, publishers, ghostwriting firms and more.”

How can you get your foot in the door?

Getting a degree in English or journalism could be useful, but your real card up your sleeve will be your work portfolio. “It’s okay if you don’t have this experience yet, but you must go about acquiring it,” says Foster.

Don’t forget to network, network, network. “Know that you’ll pitch a lot more projects than you’ll get,” says Blachman. “Sometimes you need to start small—say, ghostwriting someone’s blog post or op-ed—to prove your value.” And of course, the tried-and-true ‘word of mouth’ method will always be your friend.

Think a ghostwriting career is in your future? Polish your skills with these  writing & editing courses , then head over to our job board and apply!

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Ghostwriter: What is A Ghostwriter (And Should You Really Hire One?)

POSTED ON Apr 17, 2020

P.J McNulty

Written by P.J McNulty

Ghostwriters are growing in-demand in today’s digital space and gig economy. 

Especially with the rise of self-publishing and the importance of publishing a book to grow authority, many entrepreneurs, thought leaders, celebrities, and the like have turned to ghostwriting services. 

While the idea of having a ghostwriter write your book might sound appealing, especially if you’re pressed for time or not particularly great at writing, you should ask yourself if the long-term results are right for you.

 If you’ve got a book idea, but lack the time or ability to write it yourself, they just might be the solution to your woes.

  • Related: How to Write a Book

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article on ghostwriters: 

  • What is a ghostwriter? 
  • Is ghostwriting ethical?
  • The pros of ghostwriting
  • The cons of ghostwriting
  • Should you hire a ghostwriter?
  • How to hire a ghostwriter
  • Final thoughts on using a ghostwriter

#1 – What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is simply someone who produces written content without having their name attached to the work. The attributed author is the person who has hired the ghostwriter. A ghostwriter is essentially the behind-the-scenes writer of a work that doesn't attach their name to the work.

Ghostwriters produce many different types of written content. Anything from a single blog post through to an entire series of books can be ghostwritten.

Many different writers choose to ghostwrite. Some will carry out this type of writing exclusively, while others will also write under their name.

A good ghostwriter understands what a client is looking for, writes in their voice, and is willing to produce their best work even when they won't receive public recognition for it. 

Now that you know exactly what a ghostwriter is, let’s delve deeper into what ghostwriters do and how to find them.

#2 – Is ghostwriting ethical?

Perhaps you have ethical questions about ghostwriting .

That’s entirely understandable. At first glance, the idea of someone writing under someone else’s name might seem deceptive or underhanded.

In truth, you’d be surprised how many well-known names hire a ghostwriter to publish a book. 

Is it deceiving to readers? Potentially. It really depends on the reader’s perspective. 

For example, if you’re expecting to read the next great American novel from your favorite author, and discover it was actually ghostwritten – then based on your expectations, you might be deceived. A writer is essentially an artist – especially when it comes to fiction. Would you be okay finding out your favorite artist didn’t actually create their own art? 

It really just depends on the context. Are readers having the wool pulled over their eyes?

In my opinion, not at all. As much as our author egos might beg to differ, it's not the person who penned the work that matters. It's the work itself. 

But ghostwriting is more accepted by readers of nonfiction works, especially from authors that are big-name celebrities or thought leaders. These authors usually have a solid reason for hiring a ghostwriter – lack of time, or lack of writing skill – so readers are more forgiving. 

  • Related: How to Become an Author

Generally speaking, many would agree that there’s nothing unethical about ghostwriting or hiring a ghostwriter.

From the perspective of the person being hired as a ghostwriter, there’s no exploitation taking place whatsoever. Ghostwriters are carrying out work they want to do for a price they have freely agreed.

If you feel a ghostwriter will write a better book than you would, it's unethical not to hire one.

#3 – The pros of ghostwriting

To fully weigh the advantages and benefits that ghostwriters offer, it’s important to break it down. 

Ghostwriting can be advantageous in many different situations – again, it’s just a matter of context. 

Here are some common pros to hiring a ghostwriter: 

  • Less time. Many authors rely on ghostwriting services because they just don’t have the time it takes to write high-quality content. So, they hire a ghostwriter that is able to provide quick-turnaround times, which in turn means less time it takes to publish. 
  • Minimal effort. Ideally, ghostwriters relieve you of the effort it takes to research and write your book. They compile all the essential information, and do the heavy-lifting when it comes to writing the content. However, this is only the case if the ghostwriter is a professional – there are horror stories of people hiring ghostwriters and it ended up requiring a ton more work than they expected.
  • Potentially higher quality. If you know your topic, but are lacking in writing skills, you might opt for a professional writer to help you produce a high quality book. Of course, this is assuming the ghostwriter is actually a skilled writer.
  • Tap into expertise of professionals. Ghostwriters write books for a living. This is their area of expertise, which means they probably know a whole lot more about the process than you do. Or, maybe the ghostwriter you hire is an expert in a specific topic you’ll be covering in your book!
  • Accommodations for those with disabilities. For those with impairments, chronic illness, or disabilities that prevent them from writing a book, a ghostwriter is a huge helping hand. 

#4 – The cons of ghostwriting

Alright, now that we have a solid idea of the benefits that come with using a ghostwriter, let’s take a look at some of the potential disadvantages. 

Here are some common cons to hiring a ghostwriter: 

  • Your voice. Your book is a reflection of your experience, knowledge, and story. Your writing tone and passion will likely not shine through if someone else is writing for you. Although ghostwriters are professional writers and many can capture part of your essence, they will never be able to fully express your original thoughts. 
  • Personal accomplishment. There’s something gratifying about writing your own words on paper, and seeing your words turned into a book – it doesn't matter if you're self-publishing or traditional publishing . Your personal gratification may not feel that strong if you have someone else write your story. 
  • Potentially misleading. As we mentioned earlier, readers may or may not feel misled if they ever discover you used a ghostwriter for your book. Ideally, people won’t ever know your book is ghostwritten, but you should be prepared for all situations. 
  • Expertise. Through the book research and writing process, you come to discover so much about your subject (even if you’re already an expert). Ghostwriters will do this process for you, which means you are missing out on some potentially insightful learning experience. Additionally, readers may not see you as a true authority in your field if they discover that your book is ghostwritten. 
  • Expensive. Of course, hiring a ghostwriter to write your entire book is going to be a pretty penny, especially if you’re working with a true professional (which you should be). It’s an investment and it should be budgeted for. 

#5 – Should you hire a ghostwriter? 

Now that you understand what ghostwriting is, and the benefits and downsides that come with it, it’s time to assess your personal situation and determine if a ghostwriter is something you truly need to get your book written. 

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If any of the following situations sound like yours, a ghostwriter might be the best route to take.

Reasons to hire a ghostwriter: 

  • You’re confident in your book idea, but not your ability to write it.
  • You want to write a nonfiction book to support your business but aren't interested in writing books.
  • You're an experienced author who wants to publish books at scale but can't write them all. 

Ultimately, whatever reason you have for wanting to hire a ghostwriter is good enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Let’s check out the process of hiring a ghostwriter.

#6 – How to hire a ghostwriter

Chances are, if you’re ready to get help writing a book, you’re a busy person. 

To save you time, we’ve distilled the process of hiring a ghostwriter down into five simple steps.

Step 1: Prepare your project for a ghostwriter

The quality of a ghostwriter’s work doesn’t just depend on their writing skill, although that’s undeniably important.

They also need clear guidance from you on the type of project you are producing and the exact way they will help you.

Some things to think about before hiring a ghostwriter include:

  • Purpose . What is the reason for your work? Are you looking to entertain or inform? Who is your intended reader, and how do you meet their needs?
  • Expectation . Do people already expect something from your written content? If so, how will you convey these expectations to your ghostwriter? Preparing samples of any past work released under your name might be helpful.
  • Involvement . How much involvement do you want to have in the project? Knowing this ahead of time will help you find a suitable ghostwriter.
  • Material . Gather together the material your ghostwriter will need to do their job. If you’re hiring someone to write your memoir, this might include photos and diaries from your life. In the case of a nonfiction book, it might include source material the ghostwriter will reference. 

Although you can always work in conjunction with your ghostwriter further down the line, taking the time for initial preparation will not only make everyone's life easier but will show that you're serious about your project. A good first impression is invaluable.

After you’ve prepared as much as possible, it’s time to seek out the right ghostwriter for your work. 

Step #2 – Find people to ghostwrite your work

So how exactly do you find someone to ghostwrite your project?

If you have the time, it’s a good idea to cast a wide net initially. Look in as many places as possible and consider a range of different ghostwriters. This will allow you to find the right person for your project, rather than settling on whoever you happen to stumble across.

To start your search, seek out ghostwriters in the following places:

  • Search engines . Use sites like Google to find ghostwriting candidates. Try and be as specific as possible. Instead of searching for ‘ghostwriter’, try searching for the specific type of ghostwriter you want, such as ‘nonfiction ghostwriter’ or ‘memoir ghostwriter’. 
  • Freelancing websites . Sites such as Upwork have sections just for finding ghostwriters, as do specialist platforms like Reedsy . 
  • Self-publishing companies. Why not hire a ghostwriter recommended by a specialist self-publishing company ? You might find it easier working with someone with experience in self-publishing.
  • Social media . Search social media platforms such as Facebook for ghostwriters to find relevant groups and individuals. Services such as LinkedIn are also good places to look, and you might even want to try relevant hashtags on Twitter or Instagram. 
  • Word of mouth . Often, a word of mouth recommendation is worth its weight in gold. Don’t be shy to ask around and seek out recommendations for good ghostwriters.
  • Writer forums . Forums, job boards, and other places where writers hang out are worth your attention. 

After you’ve looked for ghostwriters in as many places as possible, it’s time to settle on someone in particular. 

Step #3 – How to choose the right ghostwriter

Knowing where to look for ghostwriters isn’t enough. You also need to know how to choose between the writers you find. 

If you’re evaluating someone to write your work, you should consider all of the following points:

  • Voice . Will a potential ghostwriter be able to capture your voice? This is less of a concern if you don't have a reputation and aren't looking for your voice to come across. However, if you want the writing to sound like it could have come from you, find someone who can understand and convey your personal style.
  • Experience . Does your ghostwriter candidate have experience in producing your type of project? What’s their writing background like in general?
  • Portfolio . Ask to see some samples of a ghostwriter’s work. Be clear about the type of writing you would most like to see.
  • References . If you’re looking at ghostwriters on a freelance site, be sure to check out their reviews. If you’re looking elsewhere, ask for some testimonials and references, and make sure you like what you hear before proceeding.

Aside from the tangible aspect of your evaluation, you also want to consider your rapport with a potential ghostwriter and whether you seem to click with one another. 

Whether or not you’ll be working closely with this person, you’re entrusting them with a big responsibility. Everything will be a lot easier if you both get on well and communicate compatibly. 

Step #4 – How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

Cost shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when hiring a ghostwriter, but it’s something you can’t ignore.

Before weighing up the costs of various ghostwriters against their other qualities, it’s useful to think about the end goal of your project.

If you're looking to generate revenue by selling copies of your book, what will the retail price be? How many copies do you intend to sell? How much profit are you hoping to make?

If you’re more interested in boosting your profile and authority by releasing a book, how much is this worth to you? For example, you might hope to generate business referrals through your book. What’s the value of these? What are you willing to pay to make them happen?

After considering the above, seek out real ghostwriters. Try and find as many as possible who meet the criteria you identified in step 3. Find out their rates and try and establish an average rate for what you’re looking for. 

If you’re looking for some rough ballpark numbers, here are average rates for various types of ghostwriter:

  • Top tier ghostwriters . There is an elite tier of ghostwriters who work on projects for celebrities and other elite individuals. They can charge between $100,000 and $500,000 for a book project.
  • High-level ghostwriters . For professional ghostwriters operating below the elite tier , expect to pay around $20,000 to $80,000 for an average length book.
  • More affordable ghostwriters . On sites like Upwork, you can hire their top ghostwriters for between $60 – $100 an hour, or agree on a project fee separately. 

It’s important to see the money spent on a ghostwriter as an investment rather than a cost. 

You should always anticipate a worthwhile return on your investment, regardless of if that return is in the form of money, exposure, or both.

Step #5 – Agreeing terms for your ghostwritten project

After evaluating different ghostwriter candidates, and finding someone who fits your budget, it’s time to drill down and agree terms. 

Taking the time to agree specific terms for your ghostwritten project at the very start is essential. You help to avoid any misunderstandings or hassles further down the line and ensure you and your writer are on the same page. 

So what are some things you should agree on before the project begins?

  • Project plan . Find a schedule that is mutually suitable for you and your ghostwriter. Be clear about milestones, deadlines, and the extent to which they are flexible. Make sure anything discussed is put in writing so there’s no room for misunderstanding.
  • Communication . How often will you and your ghostwriter communicate? Which communication tools will be used? Reaching an understanding about communication at the start will ensure neither party feels either harassed or ignored. 
  • Payment amount . How much will you pay your ghostwriter? Will this be a flat rate for the project or paid on an hourly basis?
  • Payment structure . Will you pay an advance upfront? Will their fee be paid according to the completion of project milestones? If your ghostwriter charges by the hour, how often will they bill you?
  • Contract or escrow . How will the deal you’ve reached with your ghostwriter be formalized? Platforms like Upwork have a built-in platform for this, or you might want to sign a contract and use an escrow service. 
  • Confidentiality . Consider asking your ghostwriter to sign a nondisclosure agreement to avoid any issues cropping up further down the line. 

It’s better to be thorough about every detail before getting started. It gives you a much better chance of having your expectations met, and gives your ghostwriter the clarity and confidence they need to produce their best work. 

#7 – Final thoughts on using a ghostwriter

We’re in the business of helping authors write and publish books, and we’ve developed a step-by-step framework that helps authors do it for less time than they think it takes. 

Want to learn the process? 

New Call-To-Action

If you’re sold on hiring a ghostwriter and ready to get started, we get it! For those of you in this boat, we’re including some action steps for you take. 

To begin making your ghostwritten project a reality, answer the following points before closing this article:

  • What are the main benefits I will experience by hiring a ghostwriter?
  • What are the three main qualities I will look for in my future ghostwriter?
  • What is my deadline for finding at least five suitable ghostwriter candidates?

Taking a few moments to answer these questions will give you some initial momentum to build upon in your hunt for the ideal ghostwriter.

What questions or experiences do you have working with ghostwriters? 

what is the job of a ghostwriter

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What is a Ghostwriter? 6 Fascinating Insights Revealed

What is a Ghostwriter? 6 Fascinating Insights Revealed

Table of Contents

What is a ghostwriter ? This question often triggers curiosity and intrigue, as the world of ghostwriting, by its very nature, remains shrouded in mystery. These writers, known as ghostwriters, are the unsung heroes of the literary and publishing world. They breathe life into narratives, meticulously crafting content that captivates readers, all while staying behind the scenes. Ghostwriters are frequently employed by high-profile individuals who need their expertise to express their thoughts and ideas in a coherent, engaging manner. The services of a ghostwriter are not restricted to any particular form of content. They write books, draft speeches, pen articles, and even craft song lyrics , demonstrating their versatility and adaptability.

Define Ghostwriter - What is a Ghostwriter

Define Ghostwriter – What is a Ghostwriter?

Ghostwriters work under a veil of anonymity, often compelled by non-disclosure agreements to maintain their silence regarding their contribution. This invisible role they play is a choice, a sacrifice they make to let others shine while they remain in the background. Derek Lewis, a renowned ghostwriter, aptly describes this when he says, “Ghostwriting is an invisible, yet pervasive, part of literature, functioning like a secret society, hidden behind the façade of an author’s name.” This quote encapsulates the essence of what it means to be a ghostwriter: unseen but influential, unheard but pivotal.

Lets talk about what is a ghostwriter

The intricate dance of ghostwriting is a delicate balancing act. Ghostwriters must be skilled enough to replicate another’s voice, flexible enough to adapt to different themes and writing styles, and resilient enough to work under pressure while meeting deadlines. They are storytellers in the truest sense, weaving narratives with words, often overshadowed by the voices they amplify.

What is a ghostwriter ? It’s a question with layers of answers. A ghostwriter is an expert, a chameleon adapting their writing to fit a specified voice. They are storytellers, writing narratives that inspire, inform, and entertain readers. Ghostwriters are the unseen authors of many successful publications, their contributions more significant than what meets the eye. Their work is a testament to the power of words, the impact of storytelling, and the value of remaining behind the scenes. It’s a profession that demands excellence, adaptability, and most importantly, the humility to let others take the spotlight.

What is a Ghostwriter in the Literary World?

In the vast universe of literature, the significance of ghostwriting is often underappreciated. What is a ghostwriter’s role in this landscape? The answer lies in the numerous bestselling books lining bookstore shelves and the countless popular articles populating the web, the creation of which often relies heavily on ghostwriting. This practice has become an indispensable part of the literary world, recognized for its contribution to various genres, including memoirs, self-help books, and corporate publications.

Interestingly, many of these works are attributed to celebrities, politicians, and business magnates whose areas of expertise may not include professional writing. These high-profile individuals turn to ghostwriters to articulate their thoughts, philosophies, and experiences, contributing significantly to their public image and personal brand. Thus, the ghostwriters, armed with their exceptional writing skills and creative prowess, help shape the public personas of these figures by effectively communicating their narratives to the world.

What is a Ghostwriter Relationship?

The relationship between a ghostwriter and their client is one founded on trust and confidentiality. Ghostwriters typically sign non-disclosure agreements, promising to keep their participation in the project under wraps. These agreements also extend to their creative contributions, with the ghostwriters waiving their right to claim authorship or recognition for their work. This practice of discretion and anonymity ensures that the spotlight remains on the attributed author, with the ghostwriter blending into the backdrop.

The extent of ghostwriting within the literary world is staggering. According to a report by the Writers’ Guild of America, approximately half of Hollywood’s blockbuster scripts are ghostwritten. This staggering statistic underlines the significant role ghostwriters play not just in book publishing, but also in the sphere of screenwriting. It speaks to the widespread prevalence of ghostwriting, and the indispensability of these invisible architects of literature and film.

In essence, ghostwriting serves as the backbone of a significant portion of the literary world and the entertainment industry. The role of a ghostwriter extends far beyond merely writing content for others. They play an integral role in shaping narratives, building brands, and communicating powerful messages. All this is achieved while operating from the shadows, allowing their craftsmanship to shine through the words attributed to others. Ghostwriters, in this sense, are truly the unsung heroes of the literary world.

What is a Ghostwriter Salary?

The salary of a ghostwriter is highly variable and can depend on numerous factors. It’s a field that’s largely open to negotiation between the ghostwriter and the client. Some of the main aspects affecting a ghostwriter’s earnings include the scope and length of the project, the complexity of the subject matter, the timeframe for completion, and the level of expertise and reputation of the ghostwriter.

For instance, ghostwriting a lengthy novel would typically command a higher fee than a short article or blog post. Similarly, if the topic requires specialized knowledge or extensive research, a higher fee might be warranted.

Additionally, more experienced and well-known ghostwriters can often command higher fees due to their proven track record and skillset. Some ghostwriters may charge a flat fee for a project, while others may prefer an hourly rate or a fee per word. In some cases, a ghostwriter might negotiate for a percentage of royalties from book sales, especially in high-profile projects.

It’s essential for both parties to clearly outline expectations and compensation terms before starting a project to ensure a fair and mutually beneficial arrangement.

The Skills of a Ghostwriter

Understanding the role of a ghostwriter might lead one to ask: what is a ghostwriter required to bring to their craft beyond basic writing skills? In truth, a successful ghostwriter needs to embody a plethora of skills. More than simply being an extraordinary writer, a ghostwriter has to be an astute listener, an insightful interpreter, and an adept mimic of the author’s unique voice, tone, and style. This unique blend of abilities allows them to transform the client’s ideas into an engaging, coherent narrative that reflects the intended message.

Ghostwriters Need to Accept Feedback

A significant aspect of ghostwriting involves being open to feedback and having the flexibility to adapt and modify the work according to the author’s evolving vision. The iterative process of creation, critique, and revision is intrinsic to the profession. It allows the ghostwriter to refine and perfect the narrative, ensuring that it aligns with the author’s expectations and resonates with the intended audience.

Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Donald Trump’s bestseller “The Art of the Deal,” provides a deeper insight into the profession. He stated, “The key to being a successful ghostwriter is the ability to get inside the client’s head and become their voice.” This insight underscores the significance of empathy and adaptability in ghostwriting. Being able to immerse oneself in the author’s perspective, understand their thought process, and emulate their communication style is what sets a successful ghostwriter apart from the rest.

Ghostwriters Do Research

However, the work of a ghostwriter extends even further. They also need to be excellent researchers, delving into topics that may be new to them, and understanding the subject matter in depth to write convincingly about it. They need to have a strong grasp of language and narrative techniques to maintain reader engagement and interest. Moreover, they have to be disciplined and reliable, often working within tight schedules and delivering high-quality work consistently.

Ghostwriting, therefore, is not just a job; it’s a craft that involves a unique combination of skills and personal attributes. Being a successful ghostwriter demands a level of dedication, empathy, adaptability, and proficiency that is rare and commendable. It is these characteristics that enable them to articulate someone else’s thoughts and ideas seamlessly and create compelling content that resonates with readers, all while remaining invisible.

The Ghostwriting Process

If you’re curious about the creation of various texts, you might find yourself asking: what is a ghostwriter’s approach to a new project? It’s important to note that the ghostwriting process, much like the profession itself, is often shrouded in mystery, further enhancing the enigma that surrounds it. Each project demands a unique approach, and the process can vary considerably based on the nature of the project and the specific needs of the author.

Outlines, Rough Drafts, and Starting from Scratch

Sometimes, the ghostwriter is provided with a basic outline or even a rough draft to develop and polish. In other instances, they start from scratch, constructing a complete narrative based on the author’s ideas, experiences, recollections, or interviews. They may need to carry out extensive research, especially for non-fiction works, to understand and accurately depict the subject matter. This dynamic nature of the process contributes to the intrigue associated with the question: what is a ghostwriter’s methodology for creating content?

One famous example of the ghostwriting process in action can be seen in the work of James Patterson, one of the wealthiest authors globally. Patterson is renowned for his collaborations with ghostwriters in crafting his thrilling novels. He typically provides his ghostwriters with an extensive, scene-by-scene outline to guide their writing. This meticulous approach ensures that the final product aligns with Patterson’s signature style and storytelling prowess. Patterson stated, “The outlines are very specific about what each scene is supposed to accomplish.”

However, not all authors follow Patterson’s highly structured approach. Some authors prefer to give their ghostwriters more creative freedom, providing only the bare bones of a story or idea and allowing the ghostwriter to bring it to life. In these cases, a ghostwriter may spend hours discussing the concept with the author, gleaning as much information as possible to replicate their voice and perspective authentically.

So, when trying to understand what is a ghostwriter’s process, one must remember that it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The process is highly personalized and adaptable, shaped by the author’s needs, the nature of the project, and the ghostwriter’s creative approach. Despite the variations, the end goal remains the same: to create a piece of writing that is a true reflection of the author’s vision, in the author’s voice, but crafted by the invisible hand of the ghostwriter.

Exploring the Ethics of Ghostwriting

The world of ghostwriting often finds itself shrouded in a fog of ethical quandaries. The heart of these debates revolves around the question, “What is a ghostwriter’s stance on ethics ?” After all, ghostwriting, by its very nature, involves creating content that someone else will get credit for. To an outsider, this might seem deceptive, even dishonorable. It raises important questions about authorship, authenticity, and intellectual property. Is it right for one person to reap the rewards of another person’s creative labor?

Is Ghostwriting Legal?

Yes, ghostwriting is entirely legal. It’s a profession like any other, predicated on a mutual agreement between two parties. In this case, one person agrees to write content, and the other agrees to pay for that service and use the content as their own. The legality is ensured by clear contracts that delineate rights, responsibilities, and ownership. However, it’s crucial to note that the ethical considerations of ghostwriting can vary depending on specific situations and perceptions. Therefore, openness and honesty in the ghostwriting agreement are paramount to avoid potential ethical dilemmas.

Ghostwriting is a Collaboration

However, when one delves deeper into the complexities of the ghostwriting process, it becomes clear that it’s not as black and white as it might seem. In reality, ghostwriting is a consensual arrangement between two parties: the ghostwriter, who lends their writing expertise, and the credited author, who provides the ideas or the story. The ghostwriter knowingly and willingly forgoes credit for their work in exchange for financial compensation. This arrangement can be seen as a trade-off, an agreement that both parties enter into with full knowledge and understanding of the implications.

This perspective is shared by many within the literary community, including Richard Pine, a seasoned literary agent. In an interview with the New York Times, Pine addressed the ethical concerns surrounding ghostwriting. “Ghostwriting is not the moral abyss that it is occasionally painted to be,” he said, challenging the notion that ghostwriting is inherently deceptive or unfair. Instead, Pine posits that ghostwriting can be viewed as a symbiotic relationship between the person with the story and the person with the writing skills. Each brings something valuable to the table, and each receives something valuable in return.

When viewed in this light, ghostwriting becomes less about deception and more about collaboration. It’s about the unification of two distinct skills: the ability to weave a compelling narrative and the ability to conceptualize and articulate complex ideas. So, while the debate on the ethics of ghostwriting will likely continue, it’s important to understand the nuances of this fascinating field and to respect the professionals who navigate its complexities with integrity and skill.

Ghostwriting Examples

Ghostwriting has a rich and diverse history, spanning across multiple genres and fields. From autobiographies to novels, from speeches to song lyrics, the invisible hand of the ghostwriter has had a significant impact. Here, we explore some notable examples of ghostwriting.

  • James Bond Series : The original creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, wrote a number of Bond books. But after his death, a number of other authors were commissioned to ghostwrite subsequent novels. The pseudonym Robert Markham was used for these later additions, penned by ghostwriters.
  • The Nancy Drew Series : This beloved series about a teenage detective was not actually written by Carolyn Keene, a name familiar to countless readers. Instead, the series was the work of multiple ghostwriters who wrote under this collective pseudonym.
  • The Hardy Boys Series : Similar to the Nancy Drew series, The Hardy Boys was written by numerous ghostwriters under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.
  • ‘Goosebumps’ Series : R.L. Stine did write many of the books in this iconic series, but as its popularity skyrocketed, ghostwriters were brought in to help keep up with the demand.
  • Autobiographies : Many famous personalities, from actors to politicians, often employ ghostwriters to write their autobiographies. A recent example includes tennis champion Andre Agassi’s autobiography, “Open”, which was ghostwritten by J.R. Moehringer.
  • Political Speeches : It’s well-known that many politicians employ speechwriters to craft their addresses. One of the most famous examples is President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, penned by Ted Sorensen.

These examples highlight the wide-ranging influence of ghostwriters in various fields. Their contributions, while often uncredited, have shaped literature and rhetoric in countless ways. Ghostwriters operate behind the scenes, using their writing prowess to bring the stories, ideas, and messages of others to life. They are the unsung heroes of the literary world, shaping narratives while remaining in the shadows.

Conclusion: What is a Ghostwriter?

To wrap up, this should answer your question “what is a ghostwriter?” Ghostwriting is an invisible yet powerful force within the literary world and beyond. Ghostwriters may remain unseen, but their craft profoundly influences our culture, shapes narratives on a grand scale, and subtly steers the course of public discourse. These behind-the-scenes storytellers play a monumental role in bringing ideas, stories, and experiences to life, transforming them into consumable narratives that inform, entertain, and inspire.

Ghostwriters represent the unsung heroes of the creative world, their contributions significant and far-reaching, though often unrecognized. The act of ghostwriting is a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of the human spirit, as these professionals mold their talent to fit a voice, style, or perspective different from their own. Their work touches every corner of our lives, from the books we read and the speeches we hear, to the songs we sing and the digital content we consume.

So, what is a ghostwriter? They are the hidden architects of the literary world, the secret craftsmen of the music industry, the silent contributors to academic and corporate content, and the unsung heroes whose stories remain untold. Ghostwriting is a complex and intriguing part of the creative landscape, a craft that remains fascinatingly invisible yet undeniably influential. The next time you pick up a book by your favorite celebrity, enjoy a hit song, or even read an engaging blog post, spare a thought for the possible ghostwriter behind it. Their invisibility is their signature, and their influence is undeniable.

Takeaways: What is a ghostwriter? A ghostwriter, an unseen yet influential figure in the writing industry, crafts compelling narratives while remaining behind the scenes. Though often unrecognized, their work influences the literary world and beyond, shaping bestseller lists, song charts, digital landscapes, academic research, and corporate communication. From books to blogs, speeches to songs, their contribution is immense. Their ability to mimic the voice and style of others allows them to bring ideas and stories to life in a compelling way. Hence, when we ask, “What is a ghostwriter?”, we uncover a multifaceted profession, pivotal in the creation of content across various mediums, imbuing it with authenticity and resonance while staying firmly in the background.

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guest

I didn’t know about the Ghost Wirter salary. You have great and informative posts. Thank you for sharing!

Sangeetha

It’s intriguing to learn about their behind-the-scenes work and versatility in crafting various content. Great read!

Zab Zaria

That’s amazing! This is one of the most interesting topics! Thank you for sharing this information with me.

Monidipa

Your exploration of the world of ghostwriting is truly enlightening! Your well-crafted explanation provides a captivating glimpse into the unsung heroes shaping our literary landscape. The depth and clarity of your insights make for a fascinating read!

Neely Moldovan

Ghost writing is so fascinating to me!

Nikki Wayne

This is a really great and very informative post about Ghost writers. It’s really interesting to know more about them

Catherine Shane Rojo

I don’t have much idea about ghost writers so thank you for sharing about them. I really admired them for sacrificing their credits and I think they’re more comfortable with it to do their career anonymously.

Sonia Seivwright

I couldn’t have said it better myself! Ghostwriting truly is a fascinating and influential part of the creative world. It’s amazing to think about the significant role that ghostwriters play in shaping the narratives that we consume every day. They truly are the unsung heroes of the literary world, and their contributions to society are far-reaching, even if they often go unrecognized. It’s a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of the human spirit, and it’s a craft that remains fascinatingly invisible yet undeniably influential. Thank you for shedding some light on this topic!

Knycx Journeying

Interesting read and thanks for sharing this, while ghostwriter sounds like bad thing, it is not so bad 🙂

Marysa

I knew the basics of ghostwriting, but not in depth as this. Very interesting to learn some more things.

Beth

I admire ghost writers for waving their rights to be recognized for their talents! I have ghost writers for my blog too and we get along very well about these.

Ntensibe Edgar

To tell you the truth Richard, I’ve a big admiration for ghost writers! What they do is a very complex job and yet, they deliver so well that you might mistake them for imposters!

Richard Lowe

Well, thank you! That’s what I do for a living, and as of now I’ve ghostwritten 48 books.

Rhea

I completely agree with your opinion about ghostwriters. They are indeed the unsung heroes of the literary and publishing world. Their ability to bring life to narratives and craft engaging content is truly remarkable. however it would be better if they will be given a platform on their own in the future ( Something that will give them credits for hard work )

Luna S

It would be interesting to do some work as a ghost writer, while you don’t get the credit for the work it sounds kind of fun. Great info, thanks for sharing this.

It’s a great career. I’ve ghostwritten 48 books, and each one has been an incredible experience.

MELANIE E

It sounds like ghostwriting can be an interesting career choice. I wasn’t aware that the Goosebumps series was written by a number of different people. I suppose it can be hard to keep new ideas and stories coming to meet public demand.

Stephanie

I always find the idea of a ghostwriter interesting. It really makes you think about whether the work you are reading really comes from the author or if they paid to have it written. I knew it was used for books such as memoirs, but didn’t think about its use in Hollywood and music lyrics.

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Ghostwriter Job Description

Finding qualified, reliable individuals to join your staff is an essential step in growing your business. We’re here to make the hiring process as easy as possible for you. In this guide, we’ll cover all of the following:

  • What To Include In a Job Description
  • Sample Ghostwriter Job Description
  • 3 Steps To Take When Hiring Employees

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WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A JOB DESCRIPTION

A good job description should include a company overview and job overview, as well as an explanation of the associated responsibilities, skills & qualifications, and work environment. Below are some general guidelines for writing each of these sections effectively.

1. COMPANY OVERVIEW

Providing an accurate, concise description of your business is a great way to attract the right employees. Think of this section as an advertisement for your company -- why should prospective employees want to join your team?

Some useful things to include here are:

  • Core company values
  • Mission statement
  • Brief history of your organization
  • Anticipated growth
  • Business goals

2. JOB OVERVIEW

In a few sentences, describe the purpose, importance, and fundamental qualities of the position being offered. No need to be too specific or comprehensive here -- the idea is to provide a zoomed-out image of the role the applicant would be filling in your company.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES

This is where you’ll outline the specific day-to-day responsibilities of the job. Bullet-point format is typically the most practical way to present this information.

4. NECESSARY SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS

List in bulleted format the skills & qualifications that are absolutely essential to this position. Consider as many specific conditions of the job as possible in order to create a complete list of qualifications an applicant must have in order to succeed.

5. PREFERRED SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS

List in bulleted format the skills & qualifications that are not essential, but would make an applicant more eligible for the position being offered.

6. WORK ENVIRONMENT

Describe the environment in which the applicant would be spending most of their time. In this description, include information about:

  • Company culture
  • Pace of work
  • Amount of collaborative vs. independent activity
  • Who the employee will report to (or vice versa)

Below is our ghostwriter job description. You can post it as-is to an online job board like ZipRecruiter, or download and customize it to match the unique aspects of your business. Keep in mind that adding a custom company overview and description of the work environment (outlined above) will help you draw in the right applicants.

Job Overview:

We are looking for an eloquent and creative ghostwriter to join our political candidate as they head out on the campaign trail. As their ghostwriter, you will play an integral role in ensuring their message is delivered concisely, ultimately gaining the support that brings home a campaign win. Ideal candidates possess the knowledge and real-world experience in politics, history, and business, with a clear understanding of what the public desires and how our candidate will fulfill those needs. Do you possess the necessary skills? Do you believe in the candidate and their ability to change the world for the better? If so, we would love to meet and discuss the duties of this position and how this could propel your career in the future.

Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with candidate and campaign manager to clearly define current and future goals
  • Identify specifics regarding campaign strategy, target audience, and messages the team needs to be delivered
  • Craft targeted speeches, carefully considering the needs and desires of the event’s audience, setting, and the interviewer (when applicable)
  • Travel with the candidate, coaching daily to ensure speeches deliver the intended message and that they are able to deliver with ease and confidence
  • Craft press releases, pamphlets, and website

Necessary Skills & Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, or Political Science preferred
  • Ability to work long hours and travel for days or weeks at a time
  • Ability to meet deadlines, often working on multiple pieces at once
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to interact and draw out information from a variety of different audiences
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
  • Exceptional research skills and with extensive knowledge of politics, business, and history
  • Ability to adapt with ease, depending upon the setting and audience
  • Patience and strong listening skills are critical
  • Detail-oriented and well-organized
  • Firm grasp of the English language; ability to craft quality pieces and edit when necessary
  • Awareness of time-sensitive issues and confidentiality

Preferred Skills & Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Experience working on a campaign trail is preferred
  • Portfolio of published works a bonus

Create a free account with ZipRecruiter to post this job description to their online job board.

Post to ZipRecruiter

3 STEPS TO TAKE WHEN HIRING EMPLOYEES

Ensure legal compliance.

Hiring employees can be an intimidating and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve created a hiring compliance checklist to help you get over the legal hurdles with ease. From obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to confirming work eligibility, our guide covers everything you need to know.

SET UP PAYROLL

Even if your business only has a few employees, setting up a payroll service can save you time for running your business and also ensure that your company is compliant with important federal requirements, such as employee withholding.

We recommend Gusto, a user-friendly payroll platform for small businesses.

Read our Review

ACQUIRE WORKERS' COMP INSURANCE

Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial and legal protection for your business and its employees.

Whether or not you need workers’ comp insurance for your company depends on the nature of the job, the employer-employee relationship, and the unique regulations of your state.

Find out how much the right insurance will cost you.

GET A QUOTE

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Ghostwriter

Job summary.

A company is looking for a Ghostwriter.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop a plan and schedule to draft the book based on the given outline and hook
  • Write the first draft of the manuscript, collaborating with the author for feedback
  • Provide weekly progress updates to the team

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience writing non-fiction books for others
  • Ability to interview authors and extract important ideas and concepts for the book
  • Strong writing skills demonstrated through writing samples
  • At least two non-fiction books written

COMPLETE JOB DESCRIPTION

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Company Overview

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Ghosts star lines up guest role in BBC comedy

Here We Go returns to BBC One next month.

preview for Ghosts Christmas special trailer (BBC)

The sitcom from Fresh Meat and Plebs writer Tom Basden will launch its second series on BBC One next month, with Howick and co-stars Katherine Parkinson ( Doc Martin ) and Alison Steadman ( Gavin and Stacey ) all returning.

The trio will be joined by a star-studded group of guest stars, including Howick's former Ghosts co-star Simon Farnaby and The Windsors ' Harry Enfield.

simon farnaby in ghosts as julian

Related: The Ghosts Christmas special ending wasn't what fans expected – but it was for the best

Other guest stars for the second series of Here We Go include Basden's former Fresh Meat star Sophie Wu, And Just Like That… 's Dolly Wells and Andrew Brooke ( The Salisbury Poisonings ).

"I’m thrilled that such hilarious and legendary guest stars will be joining us for more Jessop family chaos," Basden said.

Josh Cole, the BBC's Head of Comedy, added: "The second series of Here We Go is full of laugh-out-loud moments, whipsmart writing and a brilliant ensemble – this time accompanied by shockingly funny guest stars."

here we go series 2 with jim howick and alison steadman

Related: BBC Ghosts stars talk movie idea after season 5 ending

The second series continues the trials and tribulations of the Jessop family of Bedford, whose lives are relentlessly recorded by teenage son Sam on his handheld camera.

Following a recent Christmas special, the show will continue to poke fun at the modern British family as each member tries – and often fails hilariously – just to do their best every day.

Alongside these new guest stars and returning cast, Here We Go will also welcome back Freya Parks and Jude Collie as the Jessop family children.

Here We Go kicks off its second series on Friday, February 2 at 8pm on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer. Viewers can catch up on the previous series on BBC iPlayer.

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Over more than a decade, he has interviewed a wide-ranging group of public figures, from comedian Steve Coogan to icons from the Star Trek universe, cast members from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and reality stars from numerous Real Housewives cities and the Below Deck franchise. As a US contributor to Digital Spy, Justin has also been on the ground to cover major pop culture events like the Star Wars Celebration and the D23 Expo.

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COMMENTS

  1. What does a ghostwriter do?

    A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or other works that are officially credited to another person. The term "ghost" in ghostwriter refers to the fact that the writer does not receive official credit for their work and their contribution remains anonymous.

  2. Everything You Need to Know About Ghostwriting

    A ghostwriter is someone who writes something for someone else and allows them to claim authorship of it in exchange for payment. Often, the ghostwriter agrees to keep their work confidential and does not receive credit for writing the work.

  3. How to Become a Ghostwriter in 8 Steps (Pro-Level Advice)

    1. Start by understanding what a ghostwriter does 2. Read often and widely 3. Practice writing different styles and voices 4. Create a portfolio through freelance writing 5. Write your own book 6. Start ghostwriting content for people in your network 7. Grow your ghostwriting business 8. Maintain strong relationships with your clients 1.

  4. Ghost Writer Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

    Ghostwriters are responsible for writing books, articles, essays, and other content that is published under the name of another person. They're often hired by celebrities, politicians, or business leaders who want to share their story with the world but don't have the time or writing skills to do it themselves.

  5. Jobs for Ghostwriters: What They Are and How To Find Them

    Srijan Sen Updated July 25, 2023 A ghostwriter is someone who creates work for clients and doesn't take credit for themselves. Ghostwriters can work in many industries and create different types of content, including fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, essays, music, website copy and social media posts.

  6. What Is a Ghostwriter? (And How to Get Started in This Career)

    Ghostwriters create engaging content for clients to publish under their own names. It can be a rewarding and lucrative job with diverse writing opportunities. Learning what a ghostwriter is and how to get started as one may help you decide whether this profession aligns with your professional interests and goals.

  7. Ghostwriting Jobs 101: How They Work, Where to Find Them, How to Thrive

    Ghostwriters should be excellent writers. First and foremost, ghostwriting is about the words, and ghostwriters should be able to deliver polished prose. Ideally, the content should be clean and require minimal editing. Ghostwriters should be flexible and adaptable.

  8. How to Become a Ghostwriter: 5 Steps for Finding ...

    Written by MasterClass Last updated: Nov 19, 2021 • 4 min read A career in ghostwriting—or writing text on behalf of others—has several benefits, including writing for a wide audience and covering interesting topics. Learn how to become a ghostwriter with these six steps. Learn From the Best What Is a Ghostwriter?

  9. Ghostwriter

    A ghostwriter is a person hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts that are putatively credited to another person as the author.

  10. Learn How To Become a Ghostwriter

    Here are several steps to take when you decide to become a ghostwriter: 1. Read often. Most writers read a lot, and they read everything. Ghostwriters need to learn to write in a variety of tones and styles. This means they may need to write everything from popular contemporary literature to online blogs.

  11. What is a Ghostwriter & What Does a Ghostwriter Do?

    A writer is hired to ghostwrite non-fiction or fictional books, journalistic or literary works, blogs, podcast or video scripts, e-books, song lyrics, etc. Celebrities often hire a ghostwriter to write their memoirs, and political leaders may also make use of ghostwriters for written material, including speeches, news stories, and magazine artic...

  12. What is a Ghostwriter? An Insider's Guide to Secret Co-Authors

    A ghostwriter is a professional hired to write something credited to someone else. From celebrity memoirs and speeches to query letters and blog posts, a ghostwriter can either complete an entire project solo or work collaboratively with the text's credited author. And, much like ghosts, these writers will avoid being discovered.

  13. A Beginner's Guide to Ghostwriting: All the Facts (w/o the Fluff)

    When you ghostwrite, you let someone else put their name on your work. That is, you don't get any authorship credit — at all. Typically, the person who commissions the work will own the copyright, which also means they can modify or republish the work in any way they see fit. So why would someone hire a professional ghostwriter?

  14. What Is a Ghostwriter?

    A ghostwriter is hired to write works that officially credit another person as the author. Typically ghostwriters sign a contract with the credited author that requires them to keep their work confidential, often through a nondisclosure agreement. Usually, a ghostwriter won't be credited at all.

  15. How to Become a Ghostwriter for Beginners (Ghostwriting Step-by-Step

    1 Be a Freelance Writer First. Yes, to be a profitable ghostwriter, it's a good idea to be a freelance writer first. This is how I broke into ghostwriting for influencers. My high-paying clients also hired me to ghostwrite or had colleagues that needed a ghostwriter.

  16. What Does A Ghostwriter Do?

    What exactly does a ghostwriter do? In a nutshell, ghostwriters are paid to write for someone else. Depending on the job, they'll write either under their client's name or be credited as a collaborator. Ghosts write blog posts, books, nonfiction books, memoirs—it's all fair game. The customers of ghosts are usually busy people—think ...

  17. How to Become a Successful Ghostwriter: The 6 Crucial Skills Needed

    6. Confidence. A freelance ghostwriter also has to do a fair amount of hustling, at least at first, to develop a reputation. You need enough faith in your skills to offer your services, often to people who are highly successful in their fields.

  18. What Is a Ghost Writer and How to Become One

    A ghostwriter is an unnamed author who writes material for someone else, usually a client or employer. In this career, you work for hire and take no credit for the work you create, allowing another author to produce the story for a fee instead. You can create various types of materials, from advertising or business copy to book manuscripts and ...

  19. Ghostwriter: What is A Ghostwriter (And Should You Really Hire One?)

    A ghostwriter is simply someone who produces written content without having their name attached to the work. The attributed author is the person who has hired the ghostwriter. A ghostwriter is essentially the behind-the-scenes writer of a work that doesn't attach their name to the work. Ghostwriters produce many different types of written content.

  20. What is a Ghost Writer?

    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.

  21. What is a Ghostwriter? Get Jobs and Get Paid

    The definition of a ghost writer is, "a person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author.". A ghostwriter either assists in the writing of another author's book or writes it for them entirely. Ghostwriters provide this service for those who cannot write one on their own or are too busy to do so.

  22. What is a Ghostwriter? 6 Fascinating Insights Revealed

    The role of a ghostwriter extends far beyond merely writing content for others. They play an integral role in shaping narratives, building brands, and communicating powerful messages. All this is achieved while operating from the shadows, allowing their craftsmanship to shine through the words attributed to others. Ghostwriters, in this sense ...

  23. Ghostwriter Job Description

    Ghostwriter Job Description Job Overview: We are looking for an eloquent and creative ghostwriter to join our political candidate as they head out on the campaign trail. As their ghostwriter, you will play an integral role in ensuring their message is delivered concisely, ultimately gaining the support that brings home a campaign win.

  24. 20 Online Gold Mines for Finding Freelance Writing Jobs

    15. Upwork. Although Upwork has a bit of a reputation for offering low-rate jobs, it's definitely possible to find postings offering livable wages for writing jobs online. When this article was published, a job to write a finance/trading article for $500 and a ghostwriter gig for $600 were both listed.

  25. Ghostwriter

    Job Summary. A company is looking for a Ghostwriter. Key Responsibilities: Develop a plan and schedule to draft the book based on the given outline and hook; Write the first draft of the manuscript, collaborating with the author for feedback; Provide weekly progress updates to the team; Required Qualifications: Experience writing non-fiction ...

  26. Opinion: Why Martin Luther King Jr.'s sharpest question remains ...

    Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail," even more than his "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, raised a vision for social ...

  27. Ghosts star lines up guest role in BBC comedy

    Ghost star Jim Howick's BBC comedy series Here We Go has lined up its series two guest stars. The sitcom from Fresh Meat and Plebs writer Tom Basden will launch its second series on BBC One next ...

  28. HR Content Writer Job Description [+2024 TEMPLATE]

    An HR Content Writer/Researcher is a professional who combines expertise in human resources with writing and research skills. This role involves creating content that provides valuable insights into HR practices, recruitment strategies, and talent management. The content aims to assist HR professionals and recruiters in enhancing their hiring ...