Think of all the autobiographies published currently. More than ever, readers are buying works penned by famous people, but of course many are written by those other than the subject of the book. So how do these celebrities find a ghost writer? One can imagine that there are plenty of authors queuing up to write for; world leaders and top sportspeople, actors or singers. It may be a little more difficult for B-list celebrities or unknown people to find someone who can pretend to be them in a book format. Some who employ such professionals do so because they do not have the time to pen their own book, but want to get one on the shelves. But more likely it will be due to the fact they do not possess the skills required to turn their interesting life into something people want to read. Imagine how difficult it is for those who do not even have an interesting life, or worse still, anything interesting to say? One of the most important qualities will be the ability to research well. However it does not always follow that well qualified researchers are necessarily good writers and this is where ghost writers come into play.
Where Will These Professionals be listed?
There are specialists for almost all kinds of subject areas, as well as people with skills in the genre for which it is intended. There is a great difference in the ability to compose fiction as opposed to non-fiction. Having all the facts can be a great help, and a good journalist can usually put a suitable piece together regardless of the subject. However fiction, be it fantasy, Sci-fi, crime or any other genre takes a lot of imagination and talent. Of course you may want to just have someone polish up something you already have up your sleeve. If this is the case you are probably looking for a good editor. Many of these professionals employ agents, or are listed in journalism reviews or online writers’ forums.
The Reverse is Authoring under a Pseudonym
The use of pen-names (also known as nom-de-plumes) is the reverse of the use of another authoring someone’s autobiography. ‘Anonymous’, who wrote The Bride Stripped Bare, did so for her own reasons, probably to save her embarrassment at allowing her private life to be dissected. That she was ousted as the well-known novelist Nikki Gemmell rendered the use of the nom-de-plume even more salacious and interesting. Gemmell was essentially penning an autobiography under a pseudonym. This gives another aspect to the use of a ghost writer. One of the most famous of these was George Eliot, the Victorian writer Mary Ann Evans, who lived in very much a patriarchal world where this profession was not open to women. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) was among many talented authors using other names. Many authors were serious essayists who adopted pen names for genres once considered beneath them. Others wrote romance, considered flummery and not worthy of serious authors. So today’s ghost writers are in very good company.