As it is the week of Halloween, I thought it may be appropriate to write about how to become a ghostwriter! Unfortunately this is not when you write spooky stories but rather is when you write in another person's name and then they get all the credit for the excellent articles, scripts or books! For example, if Mr A is a ghostwriter and is hired by Miss B to write a book, then on publication, Miss B is always recognised and the ghostwriter may choose to remain anonymous or have their name alongside the ‘author’. Any copyright is the property of Miss B as she is the ‘author’, as are the royalties or proceeds received after the book or articles etc have been published and sold. However, payment is usually negotiated at the start of the contract and all contracts will be different depending on the type of work you are doing.
Ghostwriters are professional writers that are usually highly skilled and who have writing experience. It is helpful to have had some work published in your own name, perhaps writing articles or plays, editing and knowledge of how to create different types of content successfully. A positive aspect is that there are many jobs available online with different types of remote jobs that can be scheduled around your 9-5 job. Writers often write for pleasure and it can start as a hobby so by securing some writing work you will be merely doing more of what you love. Some creative people paint pictures or bake cakes as a way to relax, to enhance their skills or indeed as a way of earning extra money, with many individuals enjoying writing for pleasure.
Ghostwriters do not necessarily have to have devoted years to gaining various qualifications but it does help enormously to show that you have been continuously learning and that you are a forward thinking and dynamic person who has armed themselves with a sound knowledge of modern, contemporary and classic literature. Additionally, you must be able to demonstrate your competence with regards to creative writing skills, punctuation, grammar and the varying structures of writing to name but a few. Focus on self improvement and high standards.
Being open to criticism and rejections should not deter you. Always remember some of the famous writers who were continually rejected such as JK Rowling and Alf Wight (James Herriot).What they have in common is they never gave up and they persevered doing the thing they loved, believing in themselves and remaining steadfast during hard times.
Of course, by gaining a degree, focusing your studies on becoming a writer and having real dedication and commitment to achieving your goal, will go a long way to gaining entry into the world of writing, journalism or whatever niche you have your heart set on.
However, many ghostwriters have flaunted their talent by approaching companies, newspapers, magazines and shortly afterwards have found themselves in print. This is when you can start to produce your own portfolio of work whilst taking advantage of appropriate online platforms, not only to sell yourself and get yourself noticed but to gain advice and guidance from others already in the industry.
Many ghostwriters are hired by celebrities or influential people from all different industries around the world. You may find yourself having to embrace new writing styles and to have several ongoing projects at any given time so you must be adaptable and willing to switch from one style of writing to another with ease. The ability to be non judgemental and to communicate with people from all walks of life is essential as you need to be able to convey in writing exactly how the other person speaks and how they feel their emotions.
Salary and payments can vary so much that it is impossible to predict an average salary but with experience and determination, it can be a very lucrative and rewarding way to earn a living.