Take a deep breath. Fill your lungs with the (somewhat, here in TX) cool October air, and enjoy it. As you may or may not know, during the month of October we’ve been trying to focus on horror and fantasy as genres and Breast Cancer Awareness. Don’t worry, more horror and fantasy genre posts are coming soon, but to warm up the theme we thought we’d start with an appropriate topic—ghostwriting. See what we did there?! Today’s post is part I of a two-part post from Elizabeth Rains. Elizabeth is a friend of Kbuuk’s and stellar writer and editor who is available for freelance work if you’ve reached that junction in your writing. Be sure to check out her helpful tips for Choosing an Editor. Now, BOO! I mean, enjoy.
Ghostwriting – Part I – What is Ghostwriting?
Ghostwriting—while it doesn’t entail disembodied spirits, it is all about embodying the spirit of a writer through writing. Ghostwriters are typically associated with non-fiction (i.e. “with,” “and,” or “as told to”), but can be just as helpful for fiction writers. Ghostwriters get a feel for your voice and mission in order to replicate them as accurately as possible—this may be accomplished in multiple ways, from reading samples of your writing, to interviewing you, to poring over every bit of public information you’ve made accessible on your Facebook profile. Ghostwriters take pride in skillfully taking on a variety of writing styles and writing content that impacts and entertains or informs their readers. They are often also experienced in editing, proofreading, and publishing, negating some of the hassle for you.
In terms of cost and level of ghostliness, some ghostwriters receive no public credit. They never include those pieces in their portfolios and you are the only two who know you didn’t actually write your book, disproving the theory that two can only keep a secret if one is dead. For a truly ghostly ghostwriter, you may need to negotiate with a higher fee. Recognizing your ghostwriter on the acknowledgments page may be more cost-effective, and including the ghostwriter’s name on the front cover of your book will most likely start you off with the lowest fee (but also the lowest level of ghostliness).