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The Art and Economics of Ghostwriting Books

December 6, 2010

Tags: books, ghost writer, ghost writing, publishing, writing

"With the rise in self-publishing and the popularity of celebrity books, demand for ghostwriters has increased dramatically," writes Joni Rodgers, ghostwriter of bestsellers, in a story for Daily Finance: The Art and Economics of Ghostwriting (11-29-2010). "And with the downturn in the publishing industry, many talented, experienced writers are turning to ghostwriting to make ends meet. Truth is, there's risk and reward on both sides of a collaboration." Rodgers offers a primer on the ghostwriting gig:

She begins: "Obviously, baseline writing talent and solid knowledge of the craft are required for this job, but a good ghostwriter is also a good listener, meticulous researcher and all-purpose book nanny, with the ability to keep the client's secrets, build a bridge between the client and publisher, and completely set ego aside. Ghostwriting is a personality type as much as it is a skill set. Natural nurturers are in like Flynn; control freaks need not apply." this is a positive, enlightening story from a woman who makes ghostwriting celebrity memoirs and other books very appealing. It balances some of the more negative stories we hear in the hallways at writers conferences.

Learn more about Joni Rogers at Red Room ("where the writers are") and at Joni Rodgers blog. I like this excerpt from a guest blog Nancy Brinker talks about the writing of Promise Me and the power of stories: "Looking at my life and the breathtaking scope of the work done by Susan G. Komen for the Cure in this broader context, I’m humbled and elated. All around me every day, stories pour down like rain, bringing fresh life to everything we do. When I sit down with friends and strangers in all corners of the world, I still start by saying, 'Let me tell you about Suzy.'"

It works. I'm ordering a copy of Nancy Brinker's Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer.
See: Links to more stories on book ghostwriting and collaboration


  1. April 27, 2018 2:21 PM EDT
    “People are complicated,” she said. “Didn’t they teach you that in biography school?” ~ Frederick Weisel, in Teller, his novel about a ghostwriter of best-selling celebrity autobiographies. (He is also married to my cousin.)
    - PM
  2. June 12, 2018 11:45 AM EDT
    Tips for Finding Clients for Life Story Writers and Personal Historians, and More
    Listen to this interview with ghostwriter Derek Lewis, who ghostwrites business books. (Podcast episode 12, The Life Story Coach)
    - PM