Friday, May 17, 2013

What Does a Ghostwriter or Collaborator Do?

I want to make one further distinction about being a collaborator. I've written four books for Don Piper. The first one lists Don as the author "with" Cecil Murphey.

The other three are Don Piper and Cecil Murphey. Here's the difference. Collaborating (or ghostwriting) means the author provides the ideas and concepts. The writer does the writing—and meets the requirements of the author.

Starting with book two, I added a great deal of material. Sometimes I'd have Don Piper say, "My co-writer tells a story . . ." or something similar. The word and on the by-line established that I added content to the book.

Thus collaboration can mean simply that the writers' name is on the spine of the book (using with before the writer's name) or it can mean that the writer contributed materials (using and before the writer's name).

Do buyers understand that distinction? Probably not. But I do, and so do most editors. Even if no one else understands, to put my name on the cover of books I write is honorable and honest.

Readers may not know the distinction, but I do. 
Therefore, it's important to me.

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Writer to Writer: Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing, Cec's new book for writers, is now available through OakTara, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

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