What Is a Ghostwriter?
Updated: Apr 30
A ghostwriter is someone who writes text that is officially credited to another person; that is, they write for someone else. This may seem illegal or like it is cheating or dishonest, but it is, in fact, a business technique that is used across multiple industries.
Many professions use ghostwriting. In the literary world, publishers use ghostwriters so they have several people writing under an author’s name in order to increase the number of books they can publish under one author in a shorter period of time. Not to mention that sometimes celebrities want to tell their story but they are too busy to have time to write it. Musical artists, such as Elton John, have ghostwriters for their lyrics. And with social media exploding, people hire ghostwriters so they can have content ready at their fingertips 24/7.
It is also a good way for somebody with poor writing skills to get their work published. Many people have great ideas or great stories to tell, but they lack the creative means to put them into words. A ghostwriter is skilled at making a story come to life.
But what’s in it for the ghostwriter? Quick and guaranteed money for one. A ghostwriter doesn’t have to wait for their work to be published before they get paid. They get paid by the person commissioning the work. They also don’t have to deal with any of the headaches that come from trying to find a publisher. Secondly, many times it forces you to research something you know little-to-nothing about, and this stretches you as a writer and will serve to benefit you later with your own work. Also, some people just like to write but don’t want any attention for themselves. It’s a creative outlet for them, a way for them to do what they love, make money while doing it, but remain anonymous.
Ghostwriters are an important part of the writing process. They turn stories hidden in one’s mind, with no way of being expressed, into reality. Many people have great stories to tell, and a ghostwriter has the ability to tell it.
On the other hand, while it is a legal practice, there are instances where ghostwriting is not ethical. The best example is if it is used to write academic papers. Paying someone to do your work and submitting it as your own typically goes against policies and standards of a college or university. In some cases, it may be considered plagiarism, which at most colleges is grounds for failure or expulsion.
Is ghostwriting the same as copywriting?
The concepts of ghostwriting and copywriting confuse people, and it’s easy to see why. While they serve different writing needs, they also have areas where they may overlap, such as with blogs.
As previously stated, ghostwriting is when a person writes a literary work for which another person gets credit. Copywriting is when a person writes copy, usually for advertisements or marketing materials for a company, and gets credit for the work. With blogging, companies outsource their writing needs because they need volumes of material in a short period of time. So is this ghostwriting or copywriting? It could perhaps be considered either one in this instance. Many times they hire a copywriting service where many writers contribute work and nobody gets recognition for it. While this seems like ghostwriting, it also accurately describes the work of copywriters.
I hope this explains what a ghostwriter is. In case you want to learn more about my Greek ghostwriting service, feel free to contact me. And stay tuned for more articles!