Debunking Ghostwriting

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A question I often hear: Don’t you think that ghostwriting is dishonest? After all someone else takes credit for your writing.

My answer: The publishing world has always printed books, articles, and essays written by someone other than the person named in the byline. Ghostwriters, like myself, supply a service to someone who is either too busy to write a book but has a message or someone who has a valuable message or story that needs to be told and they don’t know how to write.

Ghostwriters don’t mind staying in the background. We collect a fee for our services and when finished move on to the next project. Yes, sometimes you’re recognized on the cover after the authors name “with . . .”  It depends on your client and your contract. For most of us, we like moving on to the next project.

I’ll warn you – if you think it’s more important to have your name on the cover than to write a book that people read, then you’re probably not the right fit for ghostwriting. Your job as a ghostwriter is collaboration, direction, and expertise. You must get to know your client and his or her message through an ongoing conversation over weeks or months. You learn how to write in their voice and express their views, not your own. It can be challenging, but I’ve found great satisfaction in writing books for others. When you give them the manuscript and they ask “how did you get into my thoughts and express them so well,” then you know you’ve succeeded in meeting their expectations.


Author: diannegsagan

Dianne G. Sagan has written over 25 books and more than 300 articles in her 20 years as a ghostwriter and published her own work traditionally and indie. She writes fiction and nonfiction. She's an experienced speaker at writers' conferences in the region and an experienced facilitator for writers classes and workshops.

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