Is Ghostwriting Legal?
There seems to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding using ghostwriters for official works because people just aren’t sure whether it’s legal or not. The short answer is yes, ghostwriting is completely legal. We’ll go on to add that it’s far more common than you'd think, and doesn’t only apply to books. Here we’ll break down what exactly ghostwriting is, where it’s used, and how you can harness its power to build your self-publishing empire. So let’s get into it.
What is Ghostwriting?
Ghostwriting is the term used when someone writes something on behalf of someone else. The writer doesn’t own the rights to anything produced, and gets no credit for the work. For this reason, a ghostwriter earns a once-off payment for their work, and has no claim to future earnings of the product.
What do Ghostwriters do?
Contrary to popular belief, you can hire a ghostwriter for more than writing a book. Their skills can be applied to pretty much any written content. This includes speeches, social media posts, blogs, articles, and even technical papers.
When it comes to books, ghostwriters can be hired to write fiction, non-fiction, and even memoirs. The relationship between you and your ghostwriter depends entirely on the scope of the work. For instance, an autobiography requires a significantly personal approach. The writer will need to conduct in-depth interviews, collect letters and photos, and anything needed to really dive into the life and times of the client. This is to ensure the autobiography lends authenticity to the author’s voice while simultaneously projecting an honest depiction of their life.
Ghostwriters in fiction have a lot more freedom then, considering that they require very little to create a quality book. Often all you need to provide is a basic plot idea within your chosen genre, and they’ll be able to flesh things out from that point.
How Common is Ghostwriting?
The practice of ghostwriting used to be veiled in secrecy, but in recent years has become more of a norm. A survey conducted in 2019 found that about half the memoirs on the New York Times bestseller lists from 2014-2019 were ghostwritten. Because of the amount of research required in non-fiction writing, it’s not surprising that this is the category where ghostwriting is most common.
However, fiction ghostwriting is on the rise, which is mostly due to the boom in e-books and self-publishing. We’re in a special age where you don’t have to be a writer to have a book, and you don’t need a publisher to get that book out there. Added to that is the fact that we’re writing to the largest reading audience we’ve ever seen, thanks to digital platforms like Kindle.
Why Hire a Ghostwriter?
Well, the obvious reason here is that writing a book isn’t easy—whether fiction or non. You’ve heard the stories of authors who take several years to pen one novel (George RR, we’re looking at you), and this happens to people who are actual writers! So what about people who aren’t? What ghostwriting does is provide the opportunity to have a great story to your name, and to get it out in a timely fashion whether you have the skills to do so or not. You don’t have to worry about endless battles with motivation and inspiration, or how a semi-colon works. These people exist to dedicate their expertise and time to your project so you can focus on the good stuff, like dreaming about royalties.
If you’re interested in getting your self-publishing career off the ground, then our affordable ghostwriting services is the perfect place to start. We can help you through the whole process—from concept to book launch, and guarantee an effortless entry into the wonderful world of publishing.