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What is ghostwriting and how does it work?

If you’re someone who has just heard the word “ghostwriting”, you are probably very confused about what it means. In simple Wikipedia term, it means “A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author.” Basically, as a ghostwriter, you are supposed to write a blog, article, book, memoir, biography, speeches, social and digital media content, etc and then not take credit for it.

When someone hears this concept for the first time, they find it an absurd concept. Why would someone work hard for a write-up and then give the credit and praise and everything else to someone else? Mostly there are contracts that bind the real author from taking credit for their work. Once you write the work, the author has permission to edit and modify it as per their convenience. This was initially done for books; people who had inspiring and interesting stories to write but had no time hired these ghostwriters that would work for them. In such cases, the ghostwriters work very closely with the client involved and often develop a tasteful relationship with them which helps in networking. Ghostwriters are even hired for political reasons. For example, almost every big politician has a team of speechwriters that curate the perfect material keeping in mind the crowd and the goals. However, when we see the speech on tv or elsewhere, we usually credit the politician of the excellent chosen words. This same concept is applied in the musical world also. Songwriters may hire other people to give lyrics to their song but the credit is not usually given to them. Scriptwriters hire ghostwriters to edit, draft or even write their script. The scope of ghostwriting goes as far as the scope of writing does. Not everyone who is blessed with a creative story and have the genius to pen it down and there comes the role of the ghostwriter.

The most natural question that arises in peoples mind is that why would you write something that you cannot include in your list of work. Especially as a writer, this question is permanent when it comes to ghostwriting. If you’re a new writer trying to build your name, it becomes difficult to do so. You won’t land up genuine clients as often and the pay is not so good. One of the reasons ghostwriting has been so famous since centuries are that they pay you well. Using your work to credit themselves, this whole thing demands good pay. Therefore, when you accept ghostwriting offers, make sure to hike your price by at least 10-15%. The other reason writers do ghostwrite is the personal connection with a client. You read the mind map of the client, work around their ideas, system, and beliefs and try to understand things and the story from their point of view. Once you have successfully done this, you develop a material that they are likely going to approve. Amidst all this, the connection with a client is strengthened and most often than not, the client will contact you again if they need more articles. They might even share your other articles across the social media platform to help you gain more trustworthy employers and contracts.

The only thing about ghostwriting is that you need to be comfortable with someone else receiving your amount of praise and credit. If you’re morally strong enough to do so, ghostwriting has a huge scope and you can kick start your writing career from here and get paid more than usual.


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