A ghost writer is a professional writer who creates a variety of texts, from autobiographies to music to film scripts to fiction novels and everything in between. A ghost writer is not listed as the author and must be prepared and willing to allow for others to take credit for the piece.
Writing as a Calling
Writers like to write, and sometimes coming up with an idea or topic is the most difficult part of the process. Ghost writing can be the answer to a professional writer’s constant search for subject ideas. One of the best parts of ghost writing, in fact, is that writers are able to seek out and find clients whose lives and projects are interesting.
By pairing with different clients and using web services, a ghost writer is also able to maintain a steady flow of work, something that can also be difficult in the writing profession. Although actual authoring credit may or may not be given for the work, ghost writers typically hold a percentage of the royalties for sales. In some cases, a set fee rather than royalties could be established. Whichever financial decision is made, agents working for both clients are helpful in ensuring that the process goes smoothly.
Ghost Writing Basics
Many different types of people look to ghost writers to help get their stories and ideas onto paper. Ghost writing is most often associated with celebrities and politicians who are looking to publish an autobiography, but ghost writing is also used by many other clients.
Ghost writers are used for music, scripts, books, and any other work that involves words. Some clients may not have the time to write, may not have the experience, or may not have the skills needed to meet public or publisher expectations. Because of the large variety of topics, content writers need to learn to research topics and market themselves effectively.
Clients could need substantive editing completed or could have all of the research ready for a writer to come in and transform it into a marketable work. Sometimes, ghost writers start at the very beginning with just an idea and some direction from the client. In all cases, collaboration and communication make the process successful.
Ghost writers sometimes work directly with publishers, either on staff or on a per contract basis. Publishing firms sometimes post these positions, and ghost writers can send in resumes and clips of previous work as well. Publishing and writing associations are another helpful job searching tool for ghost writing.
Online job boards and websites for freelance work are also options for finding ghost writing positions. There could be a lot of applicants for one position, and this method can be time consuming and quite often returns no results. A resume and clips will be needed for these potential clients, too.
Recommendations are one of the best ways to find clients for a freelance writer, so once a successful collaboration has taken place, ghost writers are often able to spend less time looking for work and more time writing. Offering services and using online resources to advertise can also be helpful.
If earning a living as a writer is the most important consideration, and a willingness to invest in finding clients to work with is an option, then ghost writing could be the right fit for an interesting, lucrative writing career.