Opinions on Ghost Writing

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any opinions on being a ghost writer? I’ve considered becoming one but I’m not sure how I feel about it or how it’s viewed overall and wanted to know what the community thinks about it.

I haven’t done it myself, mainly because if I write something, I want people to know it was me who came up with everything.

At the same time, writing, getting paid, and not having to do all the publishing work yet knowing your work is out there even if it isn’t under your name? Seems like a pretty sweet deal. I can see why ghost writers would do what they do.


:eyes: that’s true… but imagine (if you sign an NDA) never being able to speak about it. Though, as long as you are fine with that, its kinda true. Not worrying about the whole process. But then there’s the whole business aspect where you need make connections and get your starting gigs.


Thank you both for your response. I want to break into the discipline of being a writer and I think being a freelance ghost writer would be beneficial. I wouldn’t write a story that is on a subject that I care deeply about because I would want people to know it’s mean but for quick romances and cheap thrillers I feel like I could handle that.

1 Like

I would personally hate the feeling of not being recognized for all the hard work you put into it. Yes, this other person came up with the idea, but they lack the capacity of writing the book themselves. In the end, you are the one who worked out the idea and turned it into a piece of art.


I agree with you. If I invest my talent and time, I should get the recognition for it. Payment is there but personally, it just doesn’t sit well there for me…


Ghost writing can provide something that writing fiction for yourself rarely can: a guaranteed, steady paycheck.

What kind of ghost writing are you talking about? Where would you find the jobs? A lot of it is done by book packagers and by publishers who are looking for people to write books under an existing brand. Both of those jobs, though, would go to published authors with a proven track record.

I, personally, see no problem with that sort of writing. I was a technical writer and then an instructional designer, and along the way I did a ton of freelancing (white papers, proposals, etc.). My “name” never went on those things. Those were jobs, not passion projects. But you damn well better believe they paid the bills.

Working for a book packager is similar to me, just a different type of writing. It would be a hell of a lot more fun! You just have to accept going in that the work isn’t yours EVEN if (like in the case of LJ Smith) they put your name on it.


I may be biased because I’ve always wanted to publish anonymously, so I am comfortable with it. There is an air of mystery to being a ghostwriter that appeals to me. Writing anonymously has been a comfort I’ve enjoyed for a long time bar my best friend who caught me; we rarely talk about it though, so not much has changed. I also like to separate the writing part of myself with my day job, so ghostwriting, given the chance, will work for me.

1 Like

For me ( not in any way a successful writer), it depends.

If someone asks me to write something but he gives me the idea or the concept, I’m down with that. Because it’s like I’m offering my writing skills but you give me the prompt. I will for sure love my work but I won’t feel as entitled to it because from the beginning I knew it wasn’t mine.

But if someone asks me to have a pre-made story be published under another person’s name, or even ask me for a concept then lets me write it and then publish it under another person’s name, I feel like the writer in me will be upset about it.

Writing isn’t my day job, so I do it purely to feel alive. My work is a part of me and so I want it to be presented right on my own terms.

BUT I totally get people who have writing as their day job, at the end of the day you gotta do what you gotta do. As much as writing is a passion, you have to be realistic as well.

Also, this thread made me remember Zoella’s book scandal. Anyone knows? Haha

1 Like

Thank you so much for your response and insights. Ideally I would like to do fiction writing. I’m not too sure about where to find jobs but I’ve considered the website Freelancer… I’m just starting out as a freelancer and just trying to get enough information together before jumping into it. I don’t plan on making Freelancing my full time job just something for extra income.

Who are you replying to? I can’t imagine why anyone would be so foolish as to ghost write for free.

1 Like

Ghostwriting for celebs I consider a detestable enterprise -it furthers the fantasy of this persons brand. Most of them are vaccuous airheads and cheapens things for those of use that actually hone our craft. However, for the writer that’s being paid loads of money for taking these idiots for a ride (because they often lack the intelligence / creative power to write their own)… why not? It’s a difficult subject - I’ve seen it happen in the movie industry where people will ‘play the game’ and star in ‘studio’ pictures just so they can get the revenue and track record so they can make their own pictures. John Cassavetes springs to mind…

1 Like