The author gives below a brief insight into the professional field of a ghostwriter.
“Ghostwriter” as a job title is not protected – anyone can call themselves that, and usually a business card and a website are enough to earn that job. For this reason, there is no royal road to ghostwriting. The lives and experiences of the writers are as diverse as their personalities and fields of activity.
In order to fill the job with content, apart from the business card or the website, some requirements have to be fulfilled: Apart from interest in the topic, it is important to have a good sense of language, fun to formulate and conscientious work. Whether a ghostwriter can write in the style of his client also depends on whether he can empathize with his way of thinking and expressing himself.
As a rule, ghostwriters are not experts who understand “more and more of less and less”, but generalists who can quickly and efficiently get involved in a wide range of topics. The ability to work creatively and independently is just as important as the know-how in online and offline research.
Ghostwriters often come from areas that also have to do with writing: they are authors, journalists and academics. They are oldies, autodidacts and attentive observers of current affairs, who find their way around politics, business and society and who perhaps also write books on IT solutions, music or gothic architecture.
Anyone who wants to advertise on their own for customers, helps a good networking. Maybe the brother of a friend knows someone who is looking for a writer. If personal recommendations are not sufficient, it is recommended to apply to a larger agency that has a sufficient customer base and a continuous volume of orders.
Duties of a ghostwriter
The task spectrum of a ghostwriter is initially geared to the needs of the customer and includes all the steps that are necessary for free writing.
From the idea to the research to the finished text, there is no area that is not required of a ghostwriter sooner or later. Some customers have nothing to show except a broadly-defined topic, others have already tried themselves on a text, others are just about not losing track and staying up to date. The ghostwriters respond to customers, meet them as much as possible and also take on advisory activities. So it happens that some clients have illusory ideas about the possibilities of a text, or are mistaken in details – the ghostwriter is then sometimes lecturer, consultant, copywriter, coach (and in some cases also pastor!) In one person. For many jobs, however, it is sufficient to independently research and write. Above all, this means the daily routine of gathering information, whether on the Internet, in the library, in the newspaper of last week or, in rare cases, also in the bookseller’s shop around the corner. Ghostwriters write all types of text, from biography to copywriting to speeches and academic works. Her clients include officials who need a booklet for her agency, managers who do not have enough time to put their ideas into book form, and older people who want to keep their memories. Every customer needs individual advice. Those who only have to write for lack of time, must be treated differently, as a customer who can not formulate himself or understands little of the topic. Just as there is no sure recipe for creating a book, there is no universally valid method of writing for others – but instinct is always in demand.