What is Ghostwriting?
Simply put, ghostwriting is when an individual writes a book for someone else and gets paid a flat fee for it. If we look for a technical definition, then ghostwriting can be defined as a profession wherein an individual hires a writer to pen down their ideas/ stories under a legal contract while also retaining credit.
Why do People Hire Ghostwriters?
Going by Maya Angelou’s famous words, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you,” – everyone has a story to tell. However, not everyone with a story has the capability to write one. Writing is an art that takes years to inculcate and may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
One of the most well-known ghostwriting stories is that of master blaster himself, Sachin Tendulkar. A cricketing career that has spanned over two decades wherein he inspired over a billion people with his game. Tendulkar wanted to tell the story of his triumphs and failures by giving the readers a glimpse into his life as a sporting legend. In order to publish a book that was professionally written, Tendulkar needed an author but also someone who was well versed in the cricketing world. In comes Boria Majumdar, a sports journalist, and an author, with an impeccable history of helming some of the most cherished books on Indian sports. With Majumdar’s help, Tendulkar was able to produce an autobiography that essayed his journey and it went on to become a best-seller.
Another instance when a ghostwriter was roped in was in the case of The Vampire Diaries book series after its original author L J Smith was fired by the publisher, Alloy Entertainment, over creative differences with the editors. The ghostwriter, whose identity has been kept a secret to this day, wrote three novels under Smith’s name. Alloy Entertainment received severe backlash from staunch supporters of Smith and some even boycotted the ghostwritten novels.
Where To Find Them?
Many renowned personalities, whether politicians or celebrities, who have a novel under their name have at some point or the other availed the services of ghostwriters. Many of these personalities are approached by publishing companies who provide ghostwriting services from their end as the return on investment is usually high if it is a well-known individual.
It is uncommon for publishing companies to provide ghostwriting services from their end to individuals who aren’t well-known personalities. Some authors who do require ghostwriting services for various reasons such as to meet deadlines, or require help as they are writing multiple books at a time, hire ghostwriters on their own dime. Self-published authors also have to resort to a similar option and look for freelancers on their own.
Finding and hiring ghostwriters may have been tedious probably a decade ago, but due to the digital revolution, authors are now exposed to multiple platforms that provide various services for writing and publishing online. Platforms such as Linkedin, Truelancer, Upwork, and Freelancer are just some of the many online platforms that can connect authors with individuals who provide ghostwriting services in India. If one wishes to work with companies then look for self-publishing or indie publishing firms that provide consultations along with ghostwriting.
Who Can be a Ghostwriter?
Hilary Liftin, a well-known ghostwriter, who has penned down multiple celebrity novels and memoirs, once quipped, “No one grows up thinking they want to be a ghostwriter. No one plans for that job.” After all, who wouldn’t want their name to appear on the cover of a book that they worked on? However, there is a fair share of writers who are well versed with the craft but lack the storytelling abilities unless they are presented with an idea. Their true talent lies in working on research material or inputs and weaving a narrative out of it. Choosing the path of ghostwriting gives these individuals an opportunity to follow their passion while also earning a substantial amount and pursuing the field of their choice.