A ghostwriter is someone who writes material for someone else named as the author. Sounds fishy, doesn’t it? It’s not. Ghostwriters have been around throughout literary history. The documenting of oral traditions and stories were the beginning of ghostwriting. It is speculated that Homer who was known for his persuasive speech and epic poems like The Iliad and The Odyssey had his work documented by another writer. Shakespeare continues to be debated as the original author of some of his famous works. The famous Nancy Drew series I grew up on was written by a group of ghostwriters under the author name Carolyn Keene.
But with today’s technology why would someone need to hire a ghostwriter? There’s Dragon Dictation, so why can’t someone just speak their book? Well, writing is NOT simply speech written down on paper. With a speech you can hear the inflections of a person’s voice and people don’t speak in complete, grammatically correct sentences. Speakers use pauses and intonation, writers use grammar. Speakers pronounce, writers spell.
Ghostwriters write many celebrity autobiographies, because the celebrity doesn’t have the skills or the time to pen the book himself or herself. But if you are not a celebrity, you could still use the skills of a ghostwriter. If you are:
- An executive about to launch a consulting career and a book would be a great calling card
- A business owner who wants to blog about their business but doesn’t have time
- A speaker wanting to add an income stream from ‘back of the room’ sales by having a book to sale
- A working professional or small business owner with ideas to move your particular profession forward but just can’t find the time to write
These individuals can benefit from hiring a ghostwriter to get book written with minimal time investment and a financial investment. You may be capable of writing but if you don’t have the time, you have to weigh your time availability to write a book against the speed in which you want the book done. A ghostwriter can have a draft of a 50,000 word manuscript done within 2 months – a complete (edited) 50,000 word manuscript done in 3 months, with minimal time investment by you. Costs will vary GREATLY by ghostwriter. But that’s a topic for another post.