Why Ghost Writing is Terrific!
Hi, I’m Karen Cole, an affordable ghost writer of books, screenplays, music and lyrics. I think that ghost writing is a fabulous field for freelance professional writers. This applies mainly to people who are already published and who have been in business selling their writing for some time; but it can also apply to new writers, too. Largely, it’s a matter of how much you charge for your services. New writers can charge less, and established writers can charge more. It’s really that simple, as you are working under a “you get what you pay for” system that way.
In order to start becoming a writer of any kind, you will need to build up a published portfolio of work. If you’re a screenwriter of any type, you will also need to begin entering contests and winning awards, so that your work can be recognized and you can begin getting your scripts optioned and produced by studios. You might be able to use a marketing service to help you approach some of the smaller studios that are looking for exciting new projects to produce.
Your portfolio can be in a briefcase, but it’s probably best nowadays to keep it all online, such as in MSN SkyDrive or another free storage product. There are a lot of paid storage and portfolio systems online, but they can cost a lot of money for a struggling writer who is just trying to assemble their first written works. But you might want to consider joining Writing.com and keeping your portfolio there, as it can look very professional and you can store quite a lot of files that way.
One thing: when you’re a ghost writer, you can’t take the credit in most cases for your work, so be aware of copyrights notices on the same pages as your published work. You don’t want to claim any copyrights that you don’t have the rights to, in any case!
Ghost writing is also terrific regarding the pay. Like I said, you will want to garner some published work under your own name at first, possibly by writing articles for news services, such as “op-ed” pieces or human interest stories, and by getting your fiction work published in online and print literary magazines. Most universities feature a literary magazine, so look up the lists if you write fiction and get your work published and seen by the public. But mostly, you need some portfolio items you can refer to that feature your best nonfiction and fiction work, to show off your writing talents.
But what about the pay, you are asking? Well, once you’re relatively established, you can put up your shingle as a freelance ghost writer. You will need to either list with services such as freelance writing websites, Guru.com, etc. – which may not be the best way in, as a lot of them feature bidding wars for the lowest prices on projects. But it still may be a useful door into the field for you. And as soon as possible, you want to put up your own ghost writing website, which advertises your services and showcases your writer’s resume and portfolio.
However you arrange things, ghost writing is a terrific way to build up your career as a writer – although it can be hard to list all of the work you’ve done. One way around this is to have your clients list you as a coauthor for their work, or you can ask for an “As told to…” credit on their book covers. Finally, if you want to keep it “on the down low” that you ever ghostwrote a book, you can simply list your name only as the “Editor” on the book’s acknowledgments page. This tells clients that you worked on a book without disclosing exactly what you did for the work.
But whether you take any credit for your own hard work, or you only take the pay upfront like most seasoned professional ghost writers, you will surely find that ghost writing is a terrific, wonderful field in which to showcase your writing talents!