Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What Is the Downside of Ghostwriting/Collaborating? (Part 4 of 4)

As a ghostwriter, we not only don't get publicity, but many have no editorial rights. That depends on the contract.

During my early years, I wrote manuscripts and after the celebrity okayed everything, I mailed them to the publisher. No one consulted me about any editing. I wasn't always pleased when I saw some of the changes, but there was nothing I could do.

Another downside is that a few authors demand endless rewrites. One famous leader insisted I sit in his office with him and his secretary. He read every sentence aloud—which took hours, while I followed on my laptop. The two of them discussed every sentence and decided whether to keep, delete, or change it.

On the spot, I made the changes they wanted. A month later, we went through a second oral reading. And finally a third. He was demanding in other ways, but that was the worst.

Despite such downsides, I've enjoyed a lucrative career as a ghostwriter. And I believe God has given me the temperament to work with others who want their stories or ideas written.


  1. Thank you for these informative posts on ghostwriting. What do you do with a demanding client that takes far more time than most - can you request more income or is it a case of biting the bullet and not working with that person in the future? Also, how do you keep the "author's" voice without part of how you write and think impeding?

  2. Heather asks 2 questions. In answer to her first question what do you do if the client demands more time than you anticipated?
    What does your contract say? (And of course you have a contract.) If you made no provision for such an contingency, I suggest you tell the client that this has become more involved (takes longer, deeper material--whatever the issue). I'd then add that because of this, you would appreciate additional compensation.

    State it in a way that implies that, regardless of the response, you will do you best.

    You second question is a bit opaque to me. Do you mean that you become so caught up in the author's voice, you can't leave it after the project?
    Answer: I don't know, except to suggest you keep asking yourself if it's coming from who you are. Id you stay tuned to your inner self, you'll sense when you're not being tru.


What are your thoughts?