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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ghostwriting: a quick guide

If you have a story to tell but no time to write it down, maybe you need a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter will do all the work while you get all the credit. Some common questions about the ghostwriting process are answered below.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter edits, writes, collaborates, and researches on behalf of someone else who becomes their client. Many biographies of celebrities and television personalities have been ghostwritten.

Why would I need a ghostwriter?

Many people feel they have a story to tell or an experience to share. Not everyone knows how to or has the time to turn an idea into a book. A ghostwriter is a professional who has the time to turn your thoughts into a polished manuscript.

How does ghostwriting work?

You give the ghostwriter your ideas; s/he tells your story. Most people provide notes or recordings. Some may even have drafts of chapters or the whole book and ideas about characters and dialogue. The more information and material you provide, the closer the final product will be to your original idea. The ghostwriter turns your idea into something that people will enjoy reading.

Will the ghostwriter steal my idea?

No, that wouldn't be professional. Any ghostwriter who did that would soon be out of a job. A reputable ghostwriter will usually be happy to sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement.

Who gets the credit for my finished book?

It's your idea, so you take the credit. Many ghostwriters work behind the scenes. Of course, in some instances, you may want to share the credit - that's why many biographies are credited like this: Major Celebrity with Ghostwriter or Major Celebrity as told to Ghostwriter. But you call the shots and can opt to take all the credit.

See you in print!

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