Writing credit is a big deal for writers. Credit is like currency. It’s less about ego and more about being recognized as the originator of a thing. It is for this reason that ghostwriting (the service of writing under a Non Disclosure Agreement and crediting someone else with the work) is more expensive as a service. I absolutely love to ghostwrite for people but yes, I am going to charge a lot more for that service. Why? Because if you hire me as a ghostwriter it is highly unlikely that you will pass me any referrals, nor will I get credit for the work!
Think about it. If you hire me to say, ghostwrite that book you just could never sit down and write, how likely are you to admit TO ANYONE that you had someone write it for you? Not likely at all. You will likely take that and my services to your grave, and that’s ok. I totally get it. You are just going to pay more for that kind of service.
To make any service into a ghostwriting project, just add %25 to the cost.
That being said, ghostwriting is super fun for me and very freeing. When I write in the name of someone else, using their words, thoughts, hopes, ideas and dreams, I am free to really become someone else for a time. I can put down my biases and truths, wash off my opinions and walk in someone else’s shoes for a time. It’s a lovely experience and a value it greatly.
My process is to “pull” your story from you. I usually do this by recording interview style conversations with you that I then transcribe and weave together to produce your book, story, article etc. It is during this process that I get to know you, get a feel for how you speak and think, what you care about and what drives you. The words I write are your words, often direct quotes mixed with a bit of connective wording. It really is you and your story. I am simply the vehicle you drive to get there.
It is a collaborative effort when it’s at its best but I can take scant thoughts and ideas and transform them into an entire piece. It’s up to you how much time, material and energy you want to put into the process. The more you allow me to extrude, the better your material will be. The less you give me the more it will sound like me. Again, it’s completely up to you.
For normal writing projects I expect to have permission to pull samples of the work and post them here on my site to serve as examples of my writing. If I wish to attribute your name and company to the sample online, I will always seek your permission first. You do not to attribute my name to the work and can post whomever you like as the author, but I reserve the right to show that writing to potential customers to help me sell writing services.
Isn’t it Considered “Cheating” to Have My Book or Material Ghostwritten?
Absolutely not! Is it “cheating” to have someone else make your website? Is it “cheating” when a singer like Elvis Presley performs a song that someone else wrote for him? Here is an expert from wikipedia about Elvis:
“Presley received co-songwriting credit due to his Hill & Range publishing deal which demanded songwriters concede 50 percent of the credit of their song if they wanted Presley to record it; Presley never wrote any of his own songs according to Peter Guralnick.”
Does that make you love The King any less? Does it make his performance any less breathtaking?
Writing is tricky for many people. They know how to say what they want verbally and are very experienced at what they do, so having a writer come in and deliver a document that was taken directly from your words just makes sense. As the writer, I could not accomplish the piece without you, so you are in essence only “lending” me your verbal story so that I may put it down in writing.
People are surprised at how much the writing sounds like them. It is the process that is important here. I’m not just writing things and slapping your name on it. I require you to enable me via interviews to “pull” the story from you and/or an expert.
Many people choose to credit me as an “editor” or “first pass editor” instead of author for ghostwriting. It is a soft way to attribute credit and show that you had help writing the book but the ideas were yours in origin.
I can tell you from experience, many of the books out there you read are ghostwritten. Think about it. Are there really that many talented writers or is it more likely that there are fewer people with this talent serving the many? It’s a no brainier for busy government officials, business executives and entrepreneurs. Why should they get all the benefits of producing book after book while you sit and struggle? They are your words after all. Use them!