A ghostwriter writes for someone else for a fixed remuneration. There are many reasons why a writer would like to take up assignments on someone else’s behalf. To truly understand the dynamics of ghostwriting, one has to know the publishing process. The publishing community is highly competitive. Publishers no longer have the time or the patience to read through the many thousands of manuscripts they receive for publication. Because of this, a culture of agents and agencies has mushroomed. To get published, one has to through an agent. The whole process can be quite frustrating and also time-consuming. Finally, very few aspiring writers find the proverbial pot of gold at end of the rainbow. This makes ghostwriting a good option.
How do the economics of ghostwriting business work out? Celebrity writing has become a money-spinner. A well-known personality has to approach a publisher and express their desire to write a book. Memoirs, scandals, exposure, and inside stories, all make for good reading. They even manage a handsome advance on the book project. But the problem is that these celebrities don’t know their vowels from adjectives. Here is where the ghostwriter comes into the picture. For a fraction of the contracted sum, a society symbol can hire a ghostwriter, who in turn churns out a best-selling memoir.
The ghostwriter can indulge in writing without having to undergo the agony of going through the publishing process. This scenario is prevalent in the book publishing industry. One should remember that the memoirs or books become best sellers due to the popularity or in some cases notoriety of the client and not on the strength of the writing. It is a win-win situation.
There is a whole new avenue for writers on the internet. Needless to say, there is a boom in the internet industry. There is a requirement for all kinds of writing ranging from simple articles, blog posts, web page content to search engine optimized written material. Many established writers are overwhelmed with work and prefer off-shoring it to other writers. This huge labor market in creating intellectual property is a ghostwriter’s paradise. Effectively for every genuine writer, there may be a dozen ghostwriters sweating it out in the background.
A ghostwriter always remains a ghost. They get no credit for the writing, nor can they aspire for celebrity status. But they can earn a livelihood through it.