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View Full Version : How would one become a ghost writer?



KikiteNeko
03-26-2008, 09:02 PM
I'm not sure if this is the proper area to be asking this...

What are the qualifications, and to whom would one have to speak about becoming a Ghost Writer for celebrities/memoirs?

Torgo
03-26-2008, 09:05 PM
Those gigs usually go to established journalists, who may have a prior relationship with the subject of the book.

KikiteNeko
03-26-2008, 09:10 PM
How likely is it for an established novelist to ghost write?


Those gigs usually go to established journalists, who may have a prior relationship with the subject of the book.

Torgo
03-26-2008, 10:47 PM
I don't really know. I mean, if we're talking celebrity memoirs, I think they're most likely to be ghosted by a friendly journalist who has written about the celeb in question a lot. The kinds of skills you need - turning hours of interviews into readable prose, for instance - are journalistic skills.

bluntforcetrauma
03-26-2008, 11:05 PM
You gotta be dead first, dork! Anyfuleknowthat.

Gillhoughly
03-27-2008, 03:25 AM
As has been said, it's usually a closed shop with jobs put together by a publishing house. The editor puts the celebrity with a writer who has a solid track record of delivering publishable copy on schedule.

Ghost writing a novel for a regular person who has ideas but no writing skill is much trickier. For one thing, most won't have the money to afford a ghost writer. I've seen info where they get paid 15-25K to write a book, but Auntie Murgatroyd who wants someone to write her cozy mystery likely won't have that much cash in the sock drawer, nor will her mystery get more than 1-5K as an advance.

Of course, you can check out Craig's List but getting a job slinging burgers has more benefits and will be less frustrating.

One of my friends got stuck writing a techno-thriller for a dude with more connections and money than sense.

She wrote an amazing opening scene that had soldiers running for their lives as a reactor melts down, terrible things are happening, foreshadowings of more thrills to come were there. It was kickass and you wanted to see what happened next.

The dude told her to scrap that and open the book with the hero fixing his car. In detail. Right down to where he ordered the parts, what kind of pizza he had for lunch, and how tough it was to find a certain kind of steering wheelzzzzzzzzzzzz.

He signed the checks, so she did what he wanted and made danged sure that her name did not appear on any line in that manuscript.

Ghost writing may seem a good way to make some cash, but you have to be able to write what the client wants, turn it in FAST, and not care if they change things for the worse. The closest I got to it was doing work-for-hires. Never again!

IceCreamEmpress
03-27-2008, 11:21 PM
This (http://www.awpwriter.org/magazine/writers/btodd01.htm) is a very good article about ghostwriting.

Most people get into it by working their way up through progressively larger work-for-hire assignments. Some people get into it by writing profiles for magazines like People and Us, or for alumni and trade magazines.

Some ghostwriters of celebrity memoirs were chosen because their personal memoirs appealed to the celebrities. Lauren Slater worked with Rosie O'Donnell on at least one of her memoirs.

CACTUSWENDY
03-27-2008, 11:43 PM
We have one that I know of that is the founder of AW. Ask Jenna. She does that kind and also Co-writes.

Yeshanu
03-29-2008, 01:10 AM
I think that Jenna's not the only one--you might also want to post this question in the "Non-Fiction Books" section.

jamiehall
03-31-2008, 05:27 AM
I've heard that some agents will offer ghost-writing gigs to their clients. But you need to get an agent first, and if you can get an agent there are probably nicer ways to make money.

KikiteNeko
03-31-2008, 06:05 AM
This is true. It was just something I'd always been curious about. Although I suppose a fiction writer with a good fanbase might not do ghostwriting if they wanted to, since readers might recognize the prose.


I've heard that some agents will offer ghost-writing gigs to their clients. But you need to get an agent first, and if you can get an agent there are probably nicer ways to make money.

ravikiran
04-09-2008, 05:38 PM
You can as well refer to this blog post on "How to become a Ghostwriter (http://www.p2w2.com/blog/index.php)?" (www.p2w2.com/blog/index.php)