Ghostwriting is the art and practice of writing for others.
For many, this is a really vague definition. Understandably so. Every person who calls his or herself a ghostwriter adds to and subtracts from this definition in their own unique way. Sometimes, morality and ethics come into play and the details of the writer/client relationship can be muddled.
LifeWrite does it’s best to live by a very clear, concise and honorable definition. For us, ghostwriting is the practice of giving voice to and writing manuscripts based upon another person’s words without written or verbal recognition or acknowledgement. Quite simply:
- We serve as scribes for people that want to share their story but do not consider themselves writers. Clients have full control over what material is included in the manuscript we help them create, as well as how it is presented and/or distributed.
- We record and interview individuals and use those conversations as the basis for the manuscript and story we write for them. Using therapeutic writing techniques, journalistic integrity and creative writing license, we practice the art of creative storytelling and memoir creation.
- We do not add or subtract from a client’s words. We do not impose our views, perceptions or influence over a client’s story*. Any creative license used in the final product is approved by the client.
- In our interviews, we ask clients questions that they might otherwise never ask themselves. We dive deep into who they are, what they want to say and HOW they want to say it. Because of this, our conversations can sometimes have a therapeutic effect. We encourage a positive, therapeutic environment but do not offer clinical or medical device. Our services should not be used as therapy.
- Additionally, unlike some more traditional ghostwriting practices, LifeWrite chooses not to make up material or write without client involvement. We will not write a manuscript without client involvement and then essentially sell it to a client. We collaborate with our clients, they themselves providing information/research while we provide creativity, interviewing skills and writing ability.
- We do not credit ourselves as the author of any manuscript. All copyrights, royalties and name recognition belongs to the client. The LifeWrite name does appear anywhere on the final manuscript, unless the client uses LifeWrite as it’s publisher and distributor. Only then does our imprint ( publishing house designation) appear on the book.
- Because LifeWrite holds no copyright to material created, it also holds no liability. Clients grant approval for everything written and hold all liability for the content created.
- Confidentiality is of utmost importance and value at LifeWrite. All information shared for the purposes of writing a life story is considered confidential from consultation until time in perpetuity, unless a client authorizes other use. Any information shared in a blog, media post or other written or electronic format needs approval from client in writing before sharing.
- To promote fairness, collaboration and transparency, the details of every ghostwriting relationship is spelled out clearly in our client partnership agreement. We do our best to make sure every client knows what to expect from working with LifeWrite.
* While we do not impose our views or personal perceptions over a manuscript, we also choose not to work with clients that promote hate, racism or violence within their stories. The decision as to whether a manuscript fits this description is reserved solely by LifeWrite and its designees.