How I Learned What Ghostwriting Is: Uncover The Truth Today

Always Make Sure Your Business Writing Is:

Benefit Focused

What does the person who needs your help need to hear?

Simple and Concise

Are you using words that anyone could understand?

Authentic and Honest

Do you stay true to your voice? Are you honest about your results?

How I Learned What Ghostwriting Is: Uncover The Truth Today

Ghostwriting happens when someone hires a professional writer not just to write something for them, but to write it in their specific voice. If I’m being honest, ghostwriting snuck up on me.

It was never something I had planned to do. Why? Because I didn’t think it would be something I enjoyed. I had a friend who was a fiction ghostwriter, and she was constantly complaining about how picky her clients were. They didn’t want her to write well for them if that meant they couldn’t get exactly what they wanted. Often, her clients didn’t care about her MFA in writing. They thought that if they were paying her, she should ditch best practices to better honor their art.

And sometimes they would withhold payment. I wasn’t about to enter that kind of work willingly the way she described it.

But when my business pivoted to writing for businesses, something totally unexpected happened. People started approaching me to write their business nonfiction books for them. I hadn’t advertised myself as a ghostwriter at all, but people were still trying to hire me as one. Looking back, I can see the connection. I had already written quite a few books to grow my own business at that point, and when people found those books, they thought “Why shouldn’t I have something like this for my business?”

And since the pandemic was causing issues with our family finances, I decided to go for it. I could have them pay a deposit, and even if they got mad at me and withheld payment like some clients had done to my friend, it would help us keep our heat on so our pipes wouldn’t burst.

The results were mixed. One of the guys who hired me complained about everything. His first revision request was literally full of red text. He didn’t care about my proven first-chapter formula or my years of publishing experience. He wanted what he wanted, even if it wasn’t something that would resonate with his target audience. He hired an 18-year-old to edit it because he didn’t want to work with my team after I gave him the tiniest pushback against his unreasonable amount of wanted changes. That person introduced at least 10 egregious errors into the table of contents of the book. I couldn’t stand to read the rest.

My other client, though, trusted me with his story and let me take the lead. His book became a multi-category bestseller. People called it a unicorn of a book for his industry. He used his book to grow his business and get on local television and be featured in magazines.

And when I realized how well his book had worked to do what he wanted it to do, I was hooked. Composing his book had been one of the most satisfying professional experiences in my life.

Real ghostwriting happens when you have a story you want to tell and vision you want to share, and another person downloads your voice into their head and writes in it.

It’s not something I intentionally tried to learn, but after 15 years of writing in my own voice, I knew where I stopped and other writing voices started.

Plus, my experience as both a developmental editor and a certified copyeditor combined with my degree in Comparative World Literature made me a book formula nerd of the highest order. And with my training as a copywriter, I understood how to add sales psychology in without the book seeming skeezy. Yes, that’s a technical term.

I had already spent time reverse-engineering Malcom Gladwell’s nonfiction writing method for my own business books, and now I could use that same superpower for my clients.

How I Learned What Ghostwriting Is Uncover The Truth Today

What Is Ghostwriting?

There are different kinds of ghostwriting, but as far as business nonfiction, the odd combination of skills you need to create a compelling book that does everything a business owner needs to do is something I stumbled onto accidentally. But then I went and found help to make sure I was doing everything I could for my clients. I actually found a mentor who was an expert in copywriting who had formerly worked as a ghostwriter.

So if you’ve ever wondered “What is ghostwriting?” now you know that it’s when a professional writer comes in and writes on behalf of someone who isn’t a professional writer with super specific goals in mind.

Ghostwriting doesn’t have to happen at such a huge scale like it does when a ghostwriter creates a book for someone. It can be as small as writing an article for them. But whatever you hire a ghostwriter for, make sure they specialize in getting results that match up with your specific goals.

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