Ghost Writing

If you are expecting a horror or a thrilling story, this article is not about that. I am going to talk about the concept of Ghost Writing.
As per definition, Ghost Writing is nothing but writing for a different author. The work gets published in the name of usually the more famous author. However, all the research, the writing, and the editing are done by someone else who is called a ghostwriter. Since his name is not mentioned anywhere, the idea came to be called as a ‘Ghost Writer’
There are several reasons to do this:
Say an author is extremely popular and all the book can sell thousands of copies merely because of the popularity. The publisher is happy and so is the author whose name goes with the book. The author who does all the work does get some money for his effort but never gets his or her name published. Several advantages and disadvantages come up in this.
The key advantage is that several books can be worked on simultaneously by several ghostwriters thus ensuring a big volume of work gets ready for publishing. Sometimes even after the author is no longer writing or even dead, his work keeps getting published and printed. Good idea to capitalize on the author’s popularity even beyond his death. The author or his family keeps getting the royalty so it’s a win-win situation for both parties.
The big disadvantage is that the readers often can make out the difference between the original writer and the ghostwriter. If they accept the ghostwriter, its great. But there is a risk of rejection which could make a mark on the original author’s popularity. Dialogues like “the new book by this author has got nothing that even comes close to his earlier work” are good contenders to identify ghostwriters at play.
I remember my childhood favourite series of Hardy Boys by Franklin. W. Dixon has many adventures published and I loved some and did not like some of them. I must have read as many as I could get my hands on. Many years later, I came to know that several authors had contributed to this syndicate franchise of the Hardy Boys. My shock at that time must have been evident as I remember I had given out a small shout and my colleague had turned around to check if I was ok.
In today’s social media connected world too, ghostwriting is popular and in demand. Bloggers are available to ghostwrite: they do all the work and submit their blogs or articles which get published under the name of someone else. In my current work, I too had a number of opportunities to work as a ghostwriter. My work would get published on the client’s websites under someone else’s (their editor) name. Reading your work and seeing some other name as the author does leave a small dent on your mind.
Till you get popular and till people start considering your writing as something that appeals to their inner voice, ghostwriting will give you enough practice.
PS: In spite of several requests and urges to get this article ghostwritten by some other writer from our team, I have resisted that and written this one myself.

20 thoughts on “Ghost Writing

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