Does anyone have experience ghostwriting? If so, how did you get started? Do you feel like it is a good way to earn some extra income from writing? I’d love to hear any thoughts or experiences people have
Ghostwriting of novels and book-length nonfiction tends to be arranged through book packagers, publishers, and agents. The ghostwriters are typically writers whose agents have (with permission) hooked them up with the person putting the project together.
My publisher approached me about ghostwriting several projects. I did one nonfiction series (short books) for them, and then turned down a standalone that would have been significantly more work but not significantly more pay.
I think it’s an excellent way to make steady money, as long as you understand that it’s work for hire. You won’t get royalties, and you won’t make more money if the book becomes a best seller, and you may not even get your name on the cover. Also, time spent working on other people’s books is time you’re not working on your own.
I’m not a ghostwriter, and I don’t think it would appeal to me, but one advantage I’ve seen a few of them mention is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on all the parts of “being an author” that aren’t writing. Whether this is actually an advantage depends on whether you’re someone who’d prefer to “just write” and let other people deal with all the business side, such as doing interviews and talking to agents and publishers.
I’m a freelance ghostwriter and I love it. It’s a great way to make money from writing without (as Steven pointed out) having to deal with the extra hassle of authoring. The way I see it is that’s my day job, until I can make a living writing my own stories, I get paid to write other people’s. Obviously I’m not getting any further recognition from writing the book than just a chunk of money, but I get the chunk of money and the book goes to the buyer and I never have to worry about it again. I work exclusively through Fiverr as a platform, so it’s all anonymous and I don’t even know who my buyers are, which makes it even easier for me to not worry about where the books are going afterwards.
A lot of concerns I’ve seen have to do with recognition, or I’ll get ‘don’t you want to publish that stuff yourself?’ But I have my own stuff going on, I write for myself and on Wattpad and I self publish on Amazon, and in order to fund being able to do that I still need to make money somewhere. And I’d rather be paying my bills from writing words than working out of the house somewhere. I find it also keeps my writing muscles working, so it’s easier to keep those creative juices going in my ‘off’ time when I’m writing for myself. I definitely found myself far more productive writing-wise after I started ghosting.
That being said, I far more enjoy freelance editing, because I get to be a part of the journey of the authors I work with and watch them blossom and grow. I get a lot more job satisfaction out of it, because I get to lend my skills to their project and help them nurture their baby. But until I can get enough of a roster of clients under my belt to make a living, ghosting is my main source of income. And I still do find it enjoyable, just in a different way.
Sorry for the ramble, lol! But I’m happy to answer any questions you have.
I enjoyed my recent ghostwriting experience as I really clicked with the client and I loved the story she wanted to tell. I was hooked up with the client through my boss when I was working as a publishing assistant for an academic press. I never considered ghostwriting prior, but it ended up being a great gig, and I would do it again if the right job came along. Ditto what has been said: I got to write. I got paid up front to write. I don’t HAVE to market the book (though I do promote it). I’m not dependent on sales.