Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ghost Writing--Should You Become a Ghost?

As a kid, when I heard that something was "ghost" written, I figured that meant some sort of intelligent ectoplasmic being was carrying around a typewriter and creating stories. After all, one of my favorite writers was Carolyn Keene who wrote the Nancy Drew mysteries. When I discovered the Keene wasn't a real person, but a name used by a ghost writer, that made total sense to me. No wonder she could write such great spooky mysteries. Carolyn was nothing more than a ghost! She would know all about being spooky.

Of course, I did eventually come to the understanding that a ghost writer is just someone who writes a novel, article or blog, but doesn't get author credit. Oh no. In fact, they get something better.

They get paid.

Yes, they make money on their writing. Actual money!

It wasn't too long ago that I would read the term ghost writer and think, "Now why would anyone want to do that? Why would you put in all your time and hard work on something that isn't yours? What if it becomes a best seller?" Well, my circumstances have changed, and I now see the allure, the potential of ghost writing. With your own novel, once it's edited, you are faced with querying, and hopefully, marketing it. Even if you sell it to someone, there is still lots of work to be done that cuts into your actual writing time, not to mention your budget. Now for some writers, this isn't a big deal. But for those of us already living on a shoe string budget and in need of money to help promote their book, ghost writing can be a great source of income.

I'm not saying it's easy. You don't get credit for what you've written. Then again, you don't have to query it, market it, or deal with any kind of rejection either. You get paid and that can pad your own marketing bank account.

Ghost writing a full length novel can take away a lot of your time and if you are working a full time job already, that may not be the way to go. Consider ghost writing blogs for people or short articles. It still takes time, but the turn around for these projects is much quicker.

This may not be a good fit for you. It certainly isn't for everyone, but if you are interested in exploring this option further, a good source for ghost writing jobs is Elance. Just be sure to charge what you are worth! Or simply Google "ghost writer" and you'll come up with all sorts of job postings.

 Happy hunting!