BOOK GHOST WRITER AKA BOOK GHOSTWRITER
A good or great book ghost writer is necessary if you don’t really know how to write. But what is ghostwriting a book? And does it help to sell your books?
How long have book ghost writers been around…When did the whole thing actually begin?
By Karen S. Cole, book ghostwriter and editor of over 50 books, plus work on some 300 books.
James Boswell in his 20s
Biographer and Ghostwriter
Dr. Sam: Johnson, “hero”
First subject of a modern biography
Obvious, isn’t it? A professional writer lending his pen to the works of others. Yet, this was unknown until recently among the general public.
In the past, ghostwriters were behind most formal speeches. Also books by famous authors and many popular songs – in ways you couldn’t begin to imagine.
What is the history of book ghostwriting?
To this day, there remains a great deal of controversy over exactly who wrote what. Meanwhile, rap musicians are often ghostwriters, which is a constant storm in the music industry. A book ghost writer may turn to rap ghostwriting, but usually they stick with books. Music and rap ghostwriting are whole other industries. You canhere.
There is a brewing literary farce over whether H. P. Lovecraft ghostwrote. If so, he and a partner were book ghost writers around 1925 for Harry Houdini. It’s an unfinished 31-page manuscript, worth $25,000 to $40,000. But the actual book project, The Cancer of Superstition, was cancelled in 1926 by the death of Houdini. When it comes to published book ghost writing, we have to go further back. To the year 1791, the time of Boswell and Johnson. Amusingly enough, Boswell from “Charlie’s Angels” is based upon the book ghost writer in this case. The relatively famous James Boswell and Samuel Johnson lived and wrote around the time of the American Revolution.
Book ghostwriter Boswell was more of a loose biographer than a strict ghostwriter.
The former ghostwrote for a “moral hero” named Dr. Johnson or Sam: Johnson. Presumably Johnson was a medical doctor, which made him heroic. The book was called The Life of Samuel Johnson. Conceivably, it’s the first noteworthy ghostwritten work. James Boswell was Johnson’s underplayed biographer. The reason this book could be considered “by a book ghost writer” is the additional research and wildly varying liberties Boswell took with Johnson’s information. I think of Boswell as a book ghost writer, even though he “did his own thing” with Johnson’s ideas.
Since it’s largely a collection of Boswell’s diary entries, I’ve been a book ghost writer for many similar works. Including one of my earliest clients. I structured his book in that manner. It was the original version of “A Life Less Ordinary,” back in 2004. Boswell’s book is considered to be an important stage, though, in the development of the work known as a biography. I can tell you that a memoir, a biography, an autobiography and a ghostwritten book can all be remarkably similar. A memoir is about a certain period of time in someone’s life, a bio or auto-bio is usually about the person’s entire life story, and a ghost may write a book about nearly anything.
A book ghost writer often writes memoirs or life stories, including bios and autobios
Lots of people hire a book ghost writer to pen their life stories, due to a need for professional assistance. Another such volume is The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It was actually written and published well after the book author client’s death. Although Mr. Shabazz (Malcolm X) wrote much of the book, he had a journalist colleague named Alex Haley. Haley managed to put the book together professionally, thus he was an example of a book ghost writer. He stayed in the background, and Malcolm X was in the foreground as his book author client.
This was back in the Sixties, when men were men standing around waiting to get shot. Well, there was a point to that, promoting the ideal of World Peace. In the face of concentration camps and the Atom Bomb. It was worth writing about, so Alex Haley of “Roots” fame became the first truly modern book ghost writer. In some ways, at least, under my professional consideration.
What’s it like: Book ghost writer, or book Ghostwriter?
Being a book ghost writer involves a special set of skills. You must already be a type of freelance writer, really, in order to go into the profession. Meanwhile, it involves confusing spelling patterns and a lack of perfection. In short, it customizes to suit the author client and the book ghost writer. You have to bend to every project. When something new comes up, you need to accept any sudden changes. Rather than arguing with things, you kneel mostly to the client, and you take on the workload of considering what is best. For both the client and the writer, and also for the person overall in charge. It’s best for smooth sailing that way.
You have to figure out what’s occurring, on the fly and not at a relaxed pace. You do set your own hours and are your own boss. But in the end, the author client writing the book is the boss. Other than giving your professional opinion, you will find they need to do things their own way every time. So as a book ghost writer, it’s paramount to feel out exactly what the author client wants. It’s learn as you go, adapt to the changes of scenery. You don’t want to be either a stick in the mud or a slow moving catsup when you are a book ghost writer. It’s needed to change, grow, learn new things every day. Each day you must bow to the world, whenever you are a book ghost writer.
I am on the Internet as an affordable, NYT or New York Times and Amazon bestselling ghostwriter. Also as a rewriter, copy editor and proofreader of book manuscripts. Over the years I have performed many other types of freelance ghostwriting and editing jobs. Usually I only take credit as the “editor” when I ghostwrite for an author client. My fees are lower than industry standard rates for experienced professional book ghost writers. This includes rewriters, book coaches, copy editors and proofreaders. I also do professional manuscript formatting for ebooks and print books. And POD or offset printing, traditional softcover and hardback printing, etc.