Ghostwriting – Definition and Meaning
If there’s somethin’ strange in your written world …
Don’t call ghostbusters. It’s not really ghosts producing all this written content, although sometimes, when I look at my thesis and it looks back at me with a disapproving look, I do wish a ghost would appear (or not appear) and take over. So far, no such luck. Maybe because ghosts expect a good payment, and I am working for free.
The point is right there, although not as supernatural, only slightly surreal. Ghostwriters are people hired to produce written content for somebody else. They do not get the credit for their work – that goes to the person hiring them – but they do get to charge extra. The important thing to remember is that ghostwriters do not create the whole thing and someone else hogs the credit. No, the original author/creator/hirer has the idea, explains it to the ghostwriter, and then the latter writes it down. Typing can be tiring, I guess.
Who Needs Ghostwriting Services?
We have assembled inside
This ancient and insane theatre
To propagate our lust for life.
It may seem a bit fraudulent, but hiring a ghostwriter is a perfectly legitimate way of getting content churned out at a fast rate. There are people who are simply too busy to sit and write tons of pages and letters, which is why they delegate this to others. For instance, CEOs of massive corporations often send ghostwritten emails, especially around holidays or, as we’ve seen, pandemics.
Similarly, a lot of celebrity/politician (auto)biographies are not written by themselves but by a ghostwriter. Thus is it really an autobiography if you haven’t written it yourself? Yes, if you pay a great sum for someone to give up the credit.
You’d be surprised how many famous authors don’t write their own books. Ian Fleming’s James Bond series, for instance, was almost completely ghostwritten, as are many novels from James Patterson, Robert Ludlum, and numerous other authors who seem to be producing at least three novels per year. I mean, there are some mind-blowing authors out there, but no one is that good.
Most business owners, big corporations, and large marketing campaigners use ghostwriters at some point or other. As I said, life gets busy, and there are many people offering their skills and talents, so why not capitalise on that?
What Are Reasons to Hire a Ghostwriter?
Apart from an extremely busy schedule, people have several reasons to hire a ghostwriter. Take authors, for instance. People underestimate how long it takes to write a good novel. Think about the first draft only, then countless hours of editing, and even more going back and forth over details with your beta readers. Instead, ghostwriter – BOOM – novel written, and you only have to clean it up.
Some other reasons why people need ghostwriters:
- Ghostwriters know SEO (search engine optimisation). They know how to produce content that will generate engagement using keywords, catchy titles, or internal linking.
- They are extremely skilled. Ghostwriters are highly versatile in their writing; they can produce novels, sure, but also case studies, blogs, biographies, letters, or any other kind of document.
- They are affordable. Ghostwriters charge a good fee; I’m not gonna lie. But considering the benefits of saved time and the return one gets (especially with novels), they are cost-efficient.
- Ghostwriters work quickly. In fact, they are far quicker than most actual authors due to the amount of practice they get by offering their ghostwriting services. I wonder if anyone has informed George R. R. Martin or Patrick Rothfuss about the existence of ghostwriters …
- They know how to make personal brands. Ghostwriters are good at promoting a particular brand, bringing out its most striking qualities and framing it in a way that makes content attractive, which is not always the case with the creators of those brands. Not everyone is born with a silver tongue.
Highly professional and easy to work with, ghostwriters make people’s lives easier. While some may question the ethics of it, there are good reasons to hire a ghostwriter, and the process is completely legal and acknowledged as a decent profession.
Since we’ve cleared up the legality and ethics problems, here are some of the best ghostwriting companies around the world. These guys have a long-standing tradition and great reviews, testifying to their professionalism.
- Vox Ghostwriting. US-based, this well-established company offers a variety of ghostwriting services from nonfiction to fiction, as well as book editing and formatting. There are people, like yours truly, who despise editing and formatting their work, which is when companies like this come in handy.
- GhostBookWriters. This company specialises in book writing. If you have a great idea for a novel but can’t seem to bring yourself to execute it, you can contact them for an offer, no strings attached.
- BookWriting.Inc. Similar to GhostBookWriters, this company focuses on all sorts of longer texts. In addition to fiction, they also have writers who produce business books and memoirs. An extra benefit of working with them is that they help with the publishing process, which is a nightmare on a different level. On the whole, good value for money.
- Ghostwriting Services. In addition to the wide array of services offered, these guys have a good sense of brand-creation as their own logo is a ghost 😊. They’ve been internationally acknowledged and awarded as the top ghostwriting service. Of particular interest are their grant-writing offers. However, I would like to warn you of such offers: grant applications should always be personalised, and no ghostwriter can know you better than you know yourself. (Before you spend your money, you can learn all about scholarship applications from us 😉.)
- Delta Ghostwriting. What I particularly like about this company is their transparency with who writes for them. You have an overview of their writers’ work experience and the type of texts they specialise in. This ensures that you have agency in who you want to work with and get to choose an expert that suits your needs.
Before you go off to hire a ghostwriter, I would like to inform you that ghostwriters usually don’t and shouldn’t write any sort of university tasks or assignments for you. This is illegal and can result in your expulsion. If you’re struggling with writing scientific papers or unsure how to conduct research, you can check StudySmarter’s guides on these topics.
Name a Famous Comedy Ghostwriter! You Can’t Because They Get No Credit for It!
Hang on; I have another one:
What’s a ghostwriter’s favourite play? Romeo and Ghouliet.
OK, I’ll show myself out.
Jokes and ghosts aside, many famous comedians use ghostwriters to create their scripts. Despite what they want people to think, there’s no such thing as impromptu genius humour – at least not for extended periods of time. One may be clever and talented enough to rip a great one-liner occasionally, but for the most part, stand-up shows, various talk series, and similar comedy-based content is often produced by ghostwriters.
Is There Such a Thing as a Music Ghostwriter?
You already know that most famous singers don’t write their own songs. Sia made quite a career by writing songs for other artists before she decided that she had one hell of a voice and started singing herself. Bruno Mars wrote ‘Right Round’ for Flo Rida and ‘F*ck You’ for CeeLo Green and THEN went on to catch grenades all over town.
Of course there are music ghostwriters! Writing a song may be different from writing a book, but it’s still fundamentally writing. From lyrics to notations, there are specialised companies and services that help people create music. It is a bit more difficult to keep everything under wraps in the music business, and sometimes we find out who has written certain songs, but nevertheless, it’s a profitable way to work behind the scenes in the music industry.
Become a Freelance Ghostwriter with These Easy Tips
In case your attention was grabbed by that little hint about making good money, you may be wondering how one actually becomes a ghostwriter. I wasn’t lying when I said that ghostwriters earn a great deal, but before you start dreaming of untold riches, you have to make yourself known in the world. The income comes from royalties and the extra cash one gets by giving up the credit for their own work, but if the spotlight is not of interest to you, the trade-off is worth it.
Here’s how you can become a ghostwriter:
- Practise. Firstly, you need to be good at what you’re doing. And to get there, like with everything else in life, you have to practise. Write as much as you can, try out different styles, and experiment with genres.
- Read. I cannot stress this enough. Writing is not some divine talent. You should have a talent for it, but you won’t get far unless you work on honing it. Reading is the best way to improve your writing skills, alongside regular writing practice. Read every book that comes your way, explore different genres, and read good reviews of books that’ll point you towards their key aspects. Check out our LGBTQ+ reading list for a great insight into queer literature.
- Learn about literature. Take a literature course and go deep into the structure of famous books. Check out our literature explanations and do some snooping around the internet for good recommendations (I suggest joining Goodreads). You cannot write well unless you understand how literature works.
- Build a website. Or hire someone to do it for you. You need a good, SEO-optimised website where you’ll promote your services.
- Create a portfolio. Show off your writing samples. You don’t need to put up whole stories or essays, but you won’t attract customers unless you show them what you can do. Protect your writing by giving your website anti-copy-paste features.
- Be present on social media. Like any freelance work, you must promote your skills and services. Get ready to spam your friends across various platforms in order to gain attention and get customers.
- Join freelance platforms. Places like Upwork, Contena, and FreelanceWritingGigs are a good place to start. You can offer your services to people looking to hire ghostwriters.
- Deliver on your promises. Do your work well, be cooperative, and build a base of regulars before you take off to the world. Stay consistent with the quality of work you’re producing.
- Stay consistent and keep an eye out. While you’re working, always check whether a good opportunity may appear. You’ll get your lucky break eventually!
Being a Ghostbuster Doesn’t Pay Off – Ghostwriter Does!
To recap, ghostwriters are people producing content for another person. People hire ghostwriters to write books, emails, letters, or business proposals for them as it is time efficient, affordable, and guarantees quality content. Ghostwriters can produce any type of content, from celebrity biographies to music lyrics or compositions.
To become a good ghostwriter, you should:
- Always strive to improve your skills (through reading and writing).
- Make your own brand.
- Promote your services.
- Seek opportunities.
- Deliver on your promises.
If you have a writing talent and a desire to write, you should give ghostwriting a chance – it’s a good freelance opportunity that will teach you a lot about writing and publishing. While ghostwriters cannot write your papers for you, you can write books for other people. Cheers! 😉