Two Kinds of Ghostwriting

Feb 23, 2012 | Writing A Book

Time Business ran an article titled “Boo! Ghostwriting Grows in Age of ‘Book as Badge‘” on February 22, 2012. Here’s a provocative quote.

“Ghostwriters, once the preserve of politicians and celebrities, are in demand by a swelling rank of lesser knowns who crave the prestige of a book but don’t have the time or talent to write one.”

That’s an accurate picture of one kind of ghostwriter, the one who takes your stuff, goes away and comes back with a book. Some are even subject matter experts who will do the research that undergirds the book.

That’s a minimum involvement way to get a book with your name on the cover. The only real danger is that something will show up in the book that isn’t something you would say. We usually have several examples of that every political campaign season.

If you’re looking for a “book as badge,” that’s probably fine. But that’s not who my clients are.

My clients want their book to convey their thoughts and ideas. They’re almost all good writers, but they’ve never written or published a book. They want a “ghostwriter” who’s a writing partner and a “spirit guide” to the book writing and publishing process. That’s the kind of work I do.

I help clients sharpen their concepts and determine ways to add value to the book. I help them understand the rigors and realities of the book writing process. And, sometimes, I’m the one who writes the words. But since my clients are involved at every step of the way, agreeing on concepts and key points and reading the manuscript, nothing is there to surprise them later.

If you want to have a book with your name on it, you can choose either kind of writer. Pick the one that’s best for you.