To some ghosts are fun, to others they’re a scary story before bedtime, but in the world of writing they’re the golden hands that work in the dark to lighten up other people’s ideas. Ghostwriters are the Casper of the writing industry; they hold everything together in a way you didn’t know existed but in their world it does. They have scary minds that know the things you don’t and articulate them in words that speak the ideas unsaid in your mind. So, who are they exactly?
What is Ghostwriting?
Ghostwriting refers to a writing profession where writers write but they’re not known publicly. To put it simply, they get the client’s target goals done in words regardless of the field of writing they’re working on, be it fiction, science, marketing, blogs, or even proposals. Whatever you have in mind, you’ll find a Ghostwriter who knows how to get it done in the best ways possible.
Ghostwriters are the Jack of all trades, literally, as they can work solo and get a whole project done from A to Z without requiring extra help or support from anyone else; or they can be the spices you add to bring out the taste of the main dish you’re preparing except here it’s the piece of writing you’ll need help with and creation for.
A Ghostwriter is capable of writing various materials with little to no supervision, a quality trait that makes them very high in demand, and they do it without taking full credit or asking for copyrights. The rules of the Ghostwriting field vary, there isn’t a set of fundamental requirements that are used and practiced everywhere. This makes all the sense in the world as client A's needs won’t be like client B's or Y's.
Just like a tailor taking the measurements of each person’s body to get the perfect fit, a Ghostwriter bears in mind the different needs and wants of each client. Of course, this means the contracts signed along with the terms and conditions listed in each one of them will differ by nature and could in some be more flexible than others. As long as the client and the Ghostwriter both agree on the terms, no Ghostwriter is treated unfairly or paid poorly.
Why Does The World Need Ghostwriters?
Like a painter needs his brush and a farmer needs his shovel, the world needs Ghostwriters because they’re multi-talented individuals who know how to create the secret sauce to add flavors to your work without requiring much information in return. Think of it as the ATM, you enter a pin code, ask for the amount you’d like to withdraw, and then get your money out easily.
In a similar manner that’s what Ghostwriters do, you share your goals and plans with them, give them all the data you have or perhaps some of it and then they take care of the rest for you. You see, Ghostwriters are skilled journalists who know what to ask, brilliant writers who can convey your voice and tone, and enthusiastic researchers who can manage with the little info you share. All in all, you can consider them your armor and weapon to share your ideas without losing your name or credit under someone else’s name because they remain unknown to the public.
So, who needs them?
Ghostwriters take care of anything that has to do with writing words. This could be a proposal, a novel, a blog post, a web page content, a video script, an article, or anything else. They’re capable of filling the gaps you don’t know how to fill and that’s their determining key factor amongst other writers, they’re chameleons and are able to adapt to any genre which saves you the pain of hiring multiple writers to get your business running when you can hire one or only a few who know how to handle it all perfectly.
Ghostwriters don’t mind not having their credits shared or published and this makes them a very powerful choice to clients and big companies who need someone to represent them under the business or the brand’s name to add more value to them. Truth to be said, not only in the writing industry but also in many others you’ll find people who love to work in the shadow.
Take for example high-end fashion brands, every piece of cloth you buy is credited under the brand’s name, say Channel or Dior, but the reality is multiple designers have produced multiple designs and pieces of clothes. The end result, you boast with a Channel producing but the fact-checked reality is you’re wearing multiple designers’ works that all are represented under one name, which is the business or brand’s name.
What Does it Take to Be One?
Being a Ghostwriter does not actually require having a certain degree to work in this profession. Instead, what you have to work on is building knowledge that allows you to work with it. This includes:
- Mastering different styles of writing.
- Reading in various industries so you’re able to write content material that readers can enjoy.
- Learning how to promote yourself as a freelancer if you’re working independently.
- Knowing how to attract clients and let your work speak for you.
- Understanding the skills of communication as Ghostwriting is all about deep research and questions.
- Having patience, understanding, and listening to the client’s wants.
- Meeting deadlines whether you work solo or with a team.
- Having a versatile approach to translate each business voice and tone accordingly.
- Understanding that your work will be rewarded but not credited necessarily.
The Ethical Take on Ghostwriting
Ghostwriting is just like any other field of work out there, it’s an ethical practice unless you don’t overstep any laws. While some people think it’s unethical to sell your work without taking credit, the truth is, this isn’t actually illegal, and many people actually enjoy it. Not all people love to shine under the spotlight, some prefer being the anonymous soldiers behind the scenes and guess what? They actually enjoy that!
Perhaps this is hard to digest for people who love taking credit for their work, but if you can’t enjoy that, you may as well just work with your name and forget about becoming a Ghostwriter because not everything is meant for everyone and that’s okay. Ghostwriters get bulks of work done without being credited with the work under their names, however, it is very crucial that you don’t mix that up with pennames and co-authors.
What’s the Difference Between a Ghostwriter, a Co-Author, and a Pen Name?
as previously explained signs a contract with the client for a specific amount in return without taking credit for the work they have written or in rare cases takes part of the credit but not all of it depending on the terms and conditions of the agreed-on contract.
on the other hand, is a publicly known author. Their name is shared, and their credit is published with protected copyrights. They may not write a whole book on their own and partner with other authors for example, but this does not take away the work they have done and so they’re co-authors as they have co-written the material with another author. Similar to a business founder and a co-founder, both have founded the business together, therefore, both are credited with the efforts that have been put in.
is a name that writers work under so their real name is not shared, sometimes referred to as a pseudonym.
It was most common in the old days when writers did not get the freedom of expressing their thoughts on events without being threatened to lose their lives. Hence, they came up with the idea of adopting a Penname so they’re unknown to the public. Some people still use this to this day, some for the same reason, and others for privacy reasons as they may not want their real identity to be known to the public so they could still enjoy doing what they do while maintaining a more private life.
Ghostwriters do what they love with love although many questions the possibility of this. Nonetheless, those who are thirsty to learn and break away from monotonous tasks may consider taking on this profession as it teaches the writer how to explore, read, and search for information from various resources which is actually quite fun and enjoyable.
If you like recognition but don’t like to be in the limelight, then this is definitely the job for you. Ghostwriting provides better opportunities for writers to make higher incomes, and for authors and clients to have their requirements understood. This dynamic nature of the work allows Ghostwriters more space to express their set of skills without feeling stuck with mundane tasks as it gives them the chance to interact with many people and projects and this eventually enlightens them with knowledge about various sectors, works, ideas, and creative aspects indeed.