I get asked this question a lot. People always wonder what it is I do, how I do it and why I would want to write books that other people get the credit for. So I figured that I would write a post explaining what is truly my heart and intention as a ghostwriter.
Some ghosts write strictly for money. Their clients contact them with a book idea, the ghost does all the research, writing and hard work and then the client gets all the recognition. All rights are owned by the client and the ghost has no future stake in the publication or use of the manuscript. Part of the motivation for these clients sometimes stems from laziness and lack of work ethic. The upside to this situation is that the ghost can charge ridiculous amounts of money. I have heard of ghosts making 50-60,000 for a single manuscript.
That is not what I do. As a ghostwriter, I consider myself to be a secretary and co-storyteller when I partner with a client. Compared to those simply not wanting to do the work, I work with so many people who either can’t find consistent time to write or they have so many thoughts in their heads that they can’t seem to place them into any kind of cohesive order. I am motivated by clients who are confused about where to start or simply are paralyzed by fear. I co labor in calming these fears and helping to bring their stories/messages to life.
What I do on a daily basis is sit down with my clients and listen to them, helping them to see, feel and verbalize their story. Sometimes I record the conversation as they speak and other times I give them questions to think about as they wade through their memories and imaginations. Particularly when it comes to writing memoir and life stories, a large part of my job is simply bringing to light the major theme and story of their experience. After this, I transcribe their thoughts, bring order to their thoughts and then do the actual typing.
I do not give people their stories or their books. Nor do I charge ridiculous amounts of money for something that on their own, people can do themselves. I help people to dig stories up out of the earth and make my time affordable help while placing them on paper. One of the skills I have developed over the years of telling stories is that of being a listener and it is in the listening that stories and books and tales are born.
As ghostwriter I am a storyteller.
As ghostwriter I am a listener.
I will dive into the debate over the morality of ghostwriting in another post but feel free to ask any questions you may have for me in the comments. You can also shoot me an email.