WHAT IS A GHOSTWRITER? Types & How to Become One


Have you ever questioned James Patterson’s ability to produce so many books each year? Or how, 90 years after the first Nancy Drew mystery was published, Carolyn Keene is still writing them. You may have noticed CEOs reading a few productivity books and wondered how they found the time to do so. It’s not just you. You might be surprised to learn that the person recognized as the principal author of thousands of books didn’t write them. That person received some assistance from a ghostwriter or another writer. Here you can learn all about what a book ghostwriter is, what their job entails, how to become one, and how to use their app in this guide.

Who Is a Ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is hired to write works that officially credit another person as a book author. Ghostwriters typically sign a contract with the credited author requiring them to maintain the secrecy of their work, frequently through a nondisclosure agreement.

A ghostwriter typically receives no credit at all. However, if the credited author wishes to highlight the contribution of their ghostwriter, they may do so by naming them as a co-writer, research assistant, or researcher, frequently near the end of the book.

Why Do Authors Use Ghostwriters?

ghostwriters support authors by streamlining the writing process and accelerating the production of content. They are frequently employed by well-known individuals who want to produce written content, including politicians, business executives, consultants, news witnesses, and celebrities. There are numerous justifications for using a ghostwriter for a book.
The two most frequent excuses are either lack of time or belief that one lacks the writing abilities necessary to publish a book or article.

Government representatives hire ghostwriters for a variety of purposes, primarily to save time and sound more persuasive. For everything from official correspondence to autobiographies, speeches to policy, they employ ghostwriters. Celebrities frequently work with a ghostwriter to assist them in writing an autobiography or memoir. Such publications may provide them with additional sources of income and exposure.

How Common is Ghostwriter?

There are more ghostwriters than you realize. It’s challenging to determine with accuracy the percentage of writing that is ghostwritten due to legal paperwork.

Countless novels have been ghostwritten, some of which date back to the fourteenth century. It’s not an unusual technique; you just don’t often see what goes on behind the scenes. Most acknowledged authors don’t want to divulge this information, and ghostwriters are frequently obliged to keep their work a secret.

Ghostwriting as a Career

Many ghostwriters specialize in “disappearing” in the reader-friendly writing style. They can blend their thoughts, tone, and word choice with that of the person they are writing for because they are skilled impersonators. For people with this special ability to blend in, ghostwriting can be a successful profession.

Being a good ghostwriter requires time, practice, and persistence, just like in any other line of work. However, in a few years, you’ll be able to charge a fair price for your services. Additionally, you’ll get to spend hours conducting fascinating interviews or imaginatively developing storylines.

How to Get a Job as a Ghostwriter

To become a book ghostwriter, one can choose from a variety of routes. Before you can get hired, you must, of course, be proficient in the type of writing you are giving. The first step in beginning any writing profession is compiling a portfolio of your writing, such as blog articles or manuscript drafts. You can begin looking for work on a freelance job board, apply for a position with an organization or publisher, or launch your venture.

How to Become a Ghostwriter

Being a good writer and listener are prerequisites for working as a ghostwriter. For the words on the page to “sound” like their client while they are speaking, a skilled ghostwriter can capture their client’s voice. If you think you’d be a good fit for this line of employment, think about doing these actions:

#1. Pick the proper location.

The majority of American publishers, including those who need ghostwriting services, have their headquarters in New York City. But living in New York specifically isn’t the secret to a prosperous ghostwriting business. It involves having access to the types of persons who require book ghostwriting.

#2. Create a network.

So how can you get these potential customers’ attention? There is no denying that having personal relationships may be quite beneficial. Word of mouth might spread to potential clients who are looking for ghostwriting services if you network with the proper people.

#3. Request for recommendations.

Additionally, it’s critical to let people know that you’re actively hunting for ghostwriting jobs. Word-of-mouth has a strong track record of changing people’s behaviors, but this only works if your social networks are aware of what you intend to do. Make your goals known to those who have links to the publishing sector in particular. If you know a freelance editor or an accomplished author, they might recommend you.

#4. Make your craft better.

Hard work can also get you far if you lack social connections. Getting writing samples out there is the most crucial thing you can do. One option to do this is to self-publish your books. You can start a blog or create a podcast series of your own.

#5. Improve your interviewing techniques.

In-depth interviews between the writer and their ghostwriting customers are the norm at the start of a ghostwriting job. In certain instances, the credited author and the ghostwriter lay out the main points of each chapter as they proceed through the entire intended book. Some subjects will even go further because they are aware that their name is on the byline; as a result, they may have specific drafting and editing suggestions.

#6. Create your style.

One job can rapidly lead to more recommendations, so if you can establish your name with a certain publishing house or within a network of professionals (such as actors or athletes), you can earn an entire career out of ghostwriting books. Keep setting aside time, if you can, for projects that you write in your style.

Ghostwriter App

 A text editor employing the Markdown syntax available for Windows, Linux, and macOS is known as a ghostwriter app. The files produced by a ghostwriter app are plain text files that may be edited on any OS, whether on a PC, smartphone, or other device. This improved portability might make it incredibly practical for taking notes or transferring documents.

A distraction-free writing environment with a full-screen mode and a simple user interface is offered by a ghostwriter app. You won’t have to be envious of your friend’s fashionable Mac OS X Markdown editor anymore, right?

Here is a list of ghostwriter app features:

  • Markdown syntax highlighting
  • headers for document navigation
  • Full-screen setting
  •  check your spelling with Hunspell,
  • Using keyboard shortcuts to edit quickly
  • Focus mode that highlights the current sentence, line, three lines, or paragraph
  • Two built-in themes, one light, and one dark
  • Theme creator for custom colors and background images
  • MathJax support writing math equations
  • A Live word count

The Ghostwriter app is completely free and open source, which is its biggest feature. Over the years, free and open-source software has substantially helped the creator, who felt compelled to return the favor. A ghostwriter is thus made available under the kind GNU General Public License v3.

How Much Do Ghostwriters Get Paid?

As a ghostwriter, you can get compensated in a variety of ways. The amount charged varies according to the text’s length, the author of the work, the ghostwriter’s expertise, and the client’s notoriety. You may demand a flat fee, an hourly rate, a rate per word or page, accept a percentage of royalties or advances, or accept a mix of payments.

If they deal directly with a publisher, ghostwriters typically earn between $40,000 and $70,000 for a 30,000-word book. However, if you’re a freelancer, a shorter book might bring in about $15,000. Some publishers of romance only pay $65 for each story. A competent ghostwriter can make between $100,000 and $250,000 for each book, which is at the other end of the spectrum—especially if they are writing for a well-known public figure.

What Distinguishes a Ghostwriter from a Copywriter?

A ghostwriter typically works on articles for magazines or newspapers, books, or speeches for which they are not given author credit. Contrarily, a copywriter creates content for marketing or advertising, frequently on behalf of a corporation or organization. While their name may or may not be associated with the information, they are not bound by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), so they are free to claim credit for the work. Copywriters might also find employment through a content writing agency or as independent contractors. Copywriters and ghostwriters essentially do the same tasks. The main distinction is whether they are given credit for their effort or not.

Reasons to Hire a Ghostwriter

A ghostwriter is a qualified freelancer with the ability to produce excellent writing for “author” clients and companies.

#1. Memoirs

Some people may wish to publish their memoirs or have a concept for a book but lack the writing skills to accomplish so. Writing a book is a time-consuming process that calls for dedication, concentration, and writing skills.

#2. Ghostwriting for business

Publishing a business-related nonfiction book can assist build the author’s reputation as a brand and an authority in the sector. The book can be used as a promotional item or a sales tool during seminars or webinars. To boost their professional reputation, certified authors might self-publish on a site like Amazon.
To create a book that is consistent with your brand, a ghostwriter adjusts to the tone of your current marketing materials.

#3. Writing a book proposal

It might be challenging to put up a professional book proposal if you are unfamiliar with working with publishers. If so, you can use a ghostwriter who knows about making a book proposal for a publisher. A ghostwriter can “pack a punch” into a proposal, communicating the essential details for grabbing a publisher’s attention.

Even if you have already written the book, using a book ghostwriter now could mean the difference between having your book proposal accepted by a publisher or being rejected.

#4. Writing blogs

A lot of companies use ghostwriters to create articles or blogs. It’s a good technique to regularly update material on websites. For instance, a lot of public people and celebrities work with a ghostwriter to meet the demands of their readers and fans for content. Ghostwriters will work closely with their clients to develop a comprehensive content strategy, but they are frequently trusted to produce content that accurately represents the client’s tone of voice and brand.

#5. Speeches

It takes practice to create a polished speech, thus today’s most well-known public personalities may pay ghostwriters. A powerful presidential speech that evokes strong feelings among the populace likely has a ghostwriter on staff.

How to Hire a Business Ghostwriter

It’s time to negotiate the contract now that you’ve carefully considered your options and decided on one. The majority of ghostwriters employ typical contracts. That’s great; you probably don’t need lawyers, but there are some transaction terms you need to carefully negotiate:

#1. Cost and terms of payment

Make sure you are crystal clear on the amount you are paying and the due dates for those payments. There are several methods to pay, but the vast majority of competent ghostwriters will operate on a flat rate basis, which means you pay a predetermined sum for a book of a predetermined size or scope.

#2. Deliverables (total word count, revisions, and length)

The topic of payment will also include a discussion of the deliverables. When spending $100k+ for a work, the best and priciest ghostwriters can afford to be a little more lenient with this. You are paying them to just take care of everything, and for that sum, they are willing to.

#3. Royalties and rights

Ensure that you maintain complete ownership of your book’s rights. In addition to copyright, there are also print licenses, film, TV, foreign, and adaptation rights. Never, ever allow a ghostwriter to attempt to retain any rights to your book.

#4. Plagiarism protection

With a skilled ghostwriter, this won’t be an issue, but make sure you have insurance to protect you in case they plagiarize your work. Since a professional ghostwriter wouldn’t consider doing this, they won’t have any trouble including the clause in the contract.

#5. No subcontracting

Some organizations and even lone ghostwriters will use their credentials to sign you and even do the initial interview, but they will then hand the writing off to a far lower-caliber author.

#6. Termination rights

You should keep the rights to your book even if you break the agreement for any reason (apart from not paying).

#7. Privacy

Make it clear whether or not you want their contributions to the book to remain anonymous and protected by an NDA. This need not be stated in the contract. Since many ghostwriters will want to take credit for their work on books (and rightfully so), they will typically charge more if you prefer anonymity.

What Exactly Does a Ghostwriter Do?

A ghostwriter is a person hired to write a book that will be published under someone else’s name. Simply put, you are hiring a writer to write your book.

Are Ghost Writers Illegal?

Yes. Although uncommon, ghostwritten content is regarded as legitimate for the same reason that outsourcing any other service to a specialist is acceptable.

Why Do Authors Use Ghostwriters?

Famous authors occasionally employ ghostwriters to continue churning out work when they lack the time, skills, or desire to do so themselves.

Who Is the Highest-Paid Ghost Writer?

The most well-paid ghostwriter in the industry is 57-year-old J.R. Moehringer.

Who Is the Most Famous Ghost Writer?

Most well-known historical ghostwriters:

  • Alan Dean Foster. 
  • Peter Lerangis.
  • H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Raymond Benson.
  • Andrew Neiderman.
  • Ryan Nerz/Daniel Ehrenhaft.
  • Mark Twain.
  • Aleister Crowley.


hiring a ghostwriter to write your book may save you a ton of time and also be a profitable business choice If done correctly and only if you have a plan in place to use your book to advance you (and your business).


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