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Academic ghostwriting

There is an old saying that you should never judge a book by its cover. Nowadays, this conventional wisdom has more meaning that ever. A noticible part of all written materials have not been written by people whose names are on the covers. Instead, they were written by ghosts, invisible and un-known people.

Feel astonished? The below article will enlighten you!

Before we proceed to academic ghostwriting, let’s discover what is ghostwriting in general. Term “ghostwriter” refers to someone who writes or edits, but does not usually get credit for the work. Wikipedia says, “the ghostwriter is sometimes acknowledged by the author or publisher for his or her writing services, euphemistically called a “researcher” or “research assistant”, but often the ghostwriter is not credited.” In other words, ghostwriters sell their words and, sometimes, ideas and remain anonymous.

Ghostwriting in the English-speaking world is big business. The term was coined by an American, Christy Walsh, who set up the Christy Walsh Syndicate in 1921 to exploit the literary output of America’s sporting heroes. Walsh not only commissioned his ghosts, he imposed a strict code of conduct on their pallid lives. Rule one: “Don’t insult the intelligence of the public by claiming these men write their own stuff.” (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/27/bestselling-ghostwriter-reveals-secret-world)

Examples of public figures using ghostwriters vary from popular bloggers to Hollywood stars to journalist and poticians. It is even believed, that Mozart was composing music for wealthy clients, who then did not attribute any credits to the real author. Most recent examples of ghostwriter’s job uncovered is the script for the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

If you look at the list of best-selling books, you will see quite a few books that were actually written by ghostwriters, especially in the non-fiction section. Tom Clancy? He works with ghostwriters. James Patterson? Yep. How else do you think a person phisically can do six books in a year? When Sheryl Sandburg, the COO of Facebook, published her bestselling book Lean In, she used a ghostwriter, too.

"Academic ghostwriting" is the writing service for students who need assistance in completing their essays, reports, term papers, etc. This segment of ghostwriting is quite large in volume, but is not as demanding and sophisticated as the high-end ghostwriting. Academic paper editing or writing services are affordable for virtually any student. However, a writer who is trying to build a portfolio of his work may find it difficult to do so if his works are only within the academic scope.

Ghostwriting is a form of freelancing, which means you must sell yourself and your abilities. To do so, you need a network, a convincing professional image, a resume, writing samples that speak for you, a Website that informs and is easy to navigate, marketing materials, references, presentation and speaking skills, academic skills.

There are two models of the client-ghostwriter cooperation:

  1. Ghostwriter just writes. Mostly used for celebrity projects. A client has a good vision of the finished product and has already put certain amount of thinking and effort into a project and has an outline, a sketch, a diary, audio or video materials, etc. Ghostwriter needs to organize, systemize and elaborate on the info. He needs to do the writing, but does not need to come up with the new ideas. Clients seeking this kind of service are usually busy with their other activities and cannot afford to get involved with the very time-consuming business of writing a full copy. Nevertheless, these kinds of clients are most demanding and result-oriented.

  2. Academic ghost writer generates ideas, does the research and writes. A client has a topic that needs to be written on. A client cannot or does not want to work on it and delegates the job to the ghostwriter. It is the easiest model for the writer as the clients are usually been guided and have vague idea of the final product.

The key skill for any ghostwriter is not as much the solid writing on its own, as the ability to become a true voice of their client, making the manuscript sound exactly as it would have sounded if written by the client.

This task is challenging and responsible... and is very well compensated, if you master it. Most reputable ghostwriters insist on big share of collaboration between them and their clients. Then the process becomes a mixture of coaching, consulting, and writing, not just plain writing.

Obviously, there are lower-end and higher-end ghostwriters and clients. For instance, celebrities wanting to write a book will address the best, most reputable and most expensive ghostwriters, who can guarantee not just high quality of writing, but also a complete piece of mind and absolute confidentiality. In this business, like in no other, prices usually completely resemble quality – you will most probably get what you pay for. So whenever somebody wishes to hire a ghostwriter and is shopping around, it is always best to go for the most expensive one within your price range. This is most likely to give you the best result you can afford.

Rates for the ghostwriting vary tremendously depending on a client, a project, a writer’s level of expertise, experience, grade of involvement, credits to be attributed and other criteria. A quick googling will give you a rate anywhere from just $0.50 per word up to $3 per word. Our essay ghostwriting service charges from $15 per page for longer-period deadlines up to $50 for shorter-period deadlines.

Besides their usual assistance in writing, good ghosts usually have networks with publishers and in many cases can be of great help in promoting a script. In a non-fiction work, a publisher wants to know two things. First, he wants to know that the author is a well-known expert in the field, which means someone who can be advertised well. Second, he wants to know that the book is well written. A ghostwriter who has earned a reputation for good writing fills in this second criterion.

There is an ongoing debate on whether ghostwriting is ethical as to the audience of the finished product as well as to the client and ghostwriter themselves. Most probably we would all agree that if a client and a ghostwriter completely agree on all terms of their relationship, it then becomes completely ethical and fair for the both parties. Demand creates supply – if there are people willing to pay other people for the creative process, there will be people wanting to do the job.

Ghostwriting is surely more ethical than plagiarism, when the real author is not only unknown , but is also deprived of any monetary compensation for his intellectual property.

The other question is whether is it ethical to make your audience think it was you who did a brilliant piece of work, when in reality it was not you at all. Let’s forget about writing for a second and think about clothing. It is not a secret that most branded clothes are produced in China, on generic factories that make clothes for hundreds of other brands. Designers, their ideas, level of quality control, branding and packaging, fabrics and styles are different, but hands and machinery working on the clothing are the same.

We do not know the names of those who really physically made, for example, a pair or pants, but we know by which brand they are now being sold. Except for the issues of unfair compensation, nobody ever debates over whether it is ethical to place clothing orders in China and brand it with US or European brands. It is just the way it is – market dictates it and we silently accept it. Same with academic works. Certain books, articles or even academic research papers are not actually written by the people whose names are on the cover pages.

The further we go, the more exciting it gets. Why do we have to think of ghostwriting in a negative way? In reality, the society benefits quite massively from the phenomenon. We all know people who have great ideas, know best practical ways of implementing them, but cannot speak and write in a way that gets attention. For instance, when some glamour queen wants to share her beauty and style tips, which might become absolutely essential for millions of ladies around the globe, or an athlete, whose biography might become quite inspirational, or even a politician with great thinking, but lacking skills of putting it all into clear and simple words – this is when some ghostwriting help would not hurt. The society will only benefit if a talented ghostwriter makes these exciting stories available for all of us.

Ghostwriting can be compared to surrogate motherhood. The writer does the hard work of bearing the manuscript and bringing the book into the world. Then, when a book or an essay is finally finished, he has to say goodbye. Ghostwriters sacrifice their creative freedom and right to credit, but they give a chance to deliver somebody’s message to the world. In essay ghostwriting, the role of the writer is even more responsible.

Professional academic editors and writers are people who influence academic carriers of others, hence their successful efforts are priceless to their clients, while failures are practically life-threatening.

There are people who do not mind to operate behind the scenes. They easily find fulfillment in writing for powerful and influential people. They may ghostwrite essays for students, or books for athletes, entertainers and other famous people, or they may write speeches for business leaders and politicians. These people often become rich and even famous, but most importantly – they really enjoy what they do!

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