Ghostwriting Questions and Answers
Here are some commonly asked questions about ghostwriting.
What is a ghostwriter?
Ghostwriters are experienced professional writers who’re paid to write books, ebooks, articles, web content, essays, blogs, speeches – any written content at all.
The credit for the writing is attributed to the “author” that the ghostwriter is working for. Ghostwriters are paid a fee to produce the work but it is officially credited to the person or organisation that commissioned the writing.
Sometimes ghostwriters are referred to as co-authors, collaborators, scribes for hire, writers for hire, and so on, but the principle is always the same – ghostwriters help other people to tell their stories and share their ideas.
Why hire a ghostwriter?
There are a number of reasons to use a ghostwriter.
Some people struggle to convey their message in writing, others just don’t have the time to write (this is especially true of books because they typically take many months to complete).
Not everyone is good at writing, and not everyone enjoys it. Some people have amazing ideas for blogs, articles, books, ebooks etc but need professional help to convey their ideas accurately and professionally.
Ghostwriters save you time, they shape your ideas and get them out into the world, often growing your brand and making you lots of money in the process.
Anyone who wants to be taken seriously must produce high-quality copy so that their writing is professional. Hiring a ghostwriter will ensure that this is the case.
At Dragon Ghostwriters, we’re approached by people who want non-fiction books such as autobiographies, business books, health-related books, historical books etc. We also write ebooks on any non-fiction subject, as well as white papers, brochures, corporate histories, case studies, articles, features, blogs essays, opinion pieces and so on. Ghostwriters can produce any written material at all, but the credit is always yours.
Will anyone know I used a ghostwriter?
No. We are bound by non-disclosure agreements forbidding us to discuss any work we’ve undertaken for you. It is entirely confidential.
Ghostwriters are skilled at adopting the author’s tone; the client’s voice is of utmost importance and no one needs to know you used a ghost unless you want them to.
Is ghostwriting ethical?
In a word, yes. Ghostwriting is a long-established practice and it is well-known that many best-selling autobiographies were penned by people other than the person whose name is on the cover.
Some authors want to be transparent and list the ghostwriter as a co-author, or, as you may have seen, put “as told to” on the cover of the book. Sometimes there is a tactful acknowledgement of the ghostwriter’s input in the book credits or, more commonly, their involvement is completely confidential.
Some people argue that it diminishes trust if authors claim to have written something when, in reality, they used a ghost, but ghostwriters are professional writing help, nothing more. Just like someone enlisting the help of an accountant to assist with taxes, or hairdresser to cut their hair. Technically I could cut my own hair, I have a comb and scissors. But would I want to? No, not really. I know that a professional can do it better than I can and ghostwriting is no different.
Who owns the copyright?
The copyright belongs to whoever did the hiring, not the ghostwriter. Copyright law dictates that as soon as the work is created it is protected, however, most ghostwriters have a stipulation in their contracts that mean they retain the copyright until the hirer has paid for the project in full.
Can a ghostwriter steal my idea or my project?
No. Ghostwriting work will not begin until a contract has been signed by both parties which will include terms and conditions relating to confidentiality and copyright law. This contract is a legally binding document that will protect you against any attempt to steal your work and can be used in court.
Not only would it be grossly unethical for a ghostwriter to steal ideas and work, but they would risk their reputation and future earnings by breaching the contract and you are fully protected in the event that they do.
Is ghostwriting rewarding?
Definitely. Telling other people’s stories is interesting and powerful, and being able to help people realise their dreams of seeing their stories or ideas in print is greatly rewarding and valuable.
Please get in touch if you have any other questions you’d like to ask. We are always happy to help.