Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Would you ghostwrite?

I read a post on a blog where the author said, “No Thanks”, because they felt if someone wanted a book, they should be the one to write it.

As a ghostwriter, you receive no credit, no royalties, only what you receive for the project.
Does this make you a “writing whore”, as a blog post coined the term? Are you writing only for money, or are you writing because of a calling to write, even if you’re not paid?

Anyone can write, but not everyone is a writer. If a writer writes a book, shouldn’t they be the one to receive the credit and any royalties from their work? I believe they should.

I have been thinking about this and wondering if I would write a book for someone should they ask. I am leaning more toward “no”, because I am using my skill set to create a story for a person. I feel I should be the one whose name should be on the cover as either co-writer, and any profits at least split. I doubt many clients are most likely not to agree to a split of royalties and your name on the book.

The final decision about whether or not to ghostwrite is up to the individual writer.

There is software available to spin articles, and more. As a writer, I only publish 100 percent original work that includes headlines, for stories that in essence are the same subject, but would pass Copyscape as zero duplication. That is what original means to me.

If you choose to ghostwrite, just write well.

Robert Medak


  1. I'm finishing up a ghostwriting project in which my name will appear on the cover and I will split the royalties, so for me, it's not a bad thing.

    Even if that weren't the situation, I would probably do it. Why is it so bad to get paid to do something you love? Not everyone is a writer. If a celebrity wants to pen a memoir or a person has this story inside him that is aching to be told, but they don't have the ability to spin a good yarn, what's wrong in seeking a qualified writer to tell their stories?

    I think it works out well for all--as long as they "just write well."

    1. For some writers it is a point of personal ethics, where they feel it if someone wants their story told, let them write it.

      It is up to the individual to make their own decision about ghosting a project.

  2. LOL I'm a ghostwriter for businesses and individuals and I don't consider myself a 'whore.' I also write under my own name.

    As a former accountant, I got paid for my knowledge and skill from the companies I worked for, why not as a writer?

    As long as you have the necessary skills and don't mind the fact that you usually won't receive credit for your efforts, it's a job, like any other.

    The reason I'm moving away from ghostwriting children's books is because at this point in my career I'd rather put the time and effort in that genre on my own work.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

  3. That is a fine point, Karen. It does come down to the individual writer what is right for them.

    Some writers see it as unethical for reason in their mind, I am still turning down jobs because of low pay and things that just don't right to me.

    I have published over 300 articles online, had a short Christmas story published in a local magazine when I was in Kansas, edited Jihad Genocide for author Ted Habib, and posted over 150 book reviews.

    I tend to look at assignments closely and make decisions how I feel according to my personal integrity and ethics.