I posted a couple of weeks back about what seemed suspicious responses from the Penn Group regarding ghostwriting. While I have decided to pass on ghostwriting and do my own work because of monetary concerns (I've published some short stories), I continued to get emails from companies I contacted, plus some independent ghostwriters. Even though I'm passing on ghostwriting, I thought I'd pass along my conclusions because I didn't like what I saw.
Arbor Books used to be Floating Gallery. The owners are the same. One freelancer said he'd seen the work of Floating Gallery and that it had grammar and phrasing mistakes at the grade school level. One can only imagine why Floating Gallery went out of business--or speculate as to what the heck Arbor is now offering.
I found that Pantheon Literary used to advertise as Manhattan Literary. The website design seems to be identical. One wonders why these name changes occur, though it isn't hard to speculate.
My brief contacts with Penn, Arbor, and Pantheon/Manhattan revealed that these firms do not have "New York writers with close ties to the industry," at least not from what I could tell. The writing seems to be subcontracted out to freelancers all over the country. Also, these companies all claim to have agent contacts, although no one at any company would tell me who these agents were. Arbor claims to publish and promote as well as ghostwrite, though their prices are staggering for the whole enchilada. Yet they claim they write best sellers. Right. I bet they have swampland in Florida as well.
Of the freelancers and independent ghostwriters I contacted, some had good qualifications and samples to offer, some didn't. The ones who did, however, all warned me about large ghostwriting companies, though they refused to name any specifically (except for the woman who named Floating Gallery and told me it was now Arbor), nor would they go on record.
Caveat emptor. I was fortunate. Having published short fiction in literary journals, I had some editors who helped steer me away from what seemed to be used car pitches. They told me to take my wife out to dinner instead.