Donna Barker is a writer, but chances are you’ve never seen her name on a book (not counting her debut novel “Mother Theresa’s Advice for Jilted Lovers”.) That’s because Donna is a ghost writer – which is an area of writing shrouded in mystery. I for one didn’t know much about it until I interviewed Donna for my podcast.
What is a ghost writer, you may ask?
Well, it’s those people who don’t mind putting in all the hours of work that it takes to write, re-write and then re-write a book a few more times until it meets an editor’s exacting standards – without ever receiving the credit for all that hard work. Someone else’s name will appear on the cover, and the ghost writer will quietly move on to the next project.
So why be a ghost writer?
That’s what I wanted to know. If you’v e ever written anything other than your private journal entries, you’ll know how much work is involved in crafting even a half decent blog or book. It’s LOTS.
But… it turns out there are advantages to this way of writing. If the book fails miserably, well, it’s not your name on the cover, is it? However, if the book is a rip roaring success, then it’s still not your name on the cover. So you’d be doing this sort of writing for reasons other than world fame, I would imagine.
Ghost writing can be a lucrative field, but you must have a passion for the area that you’re writing in. (And really, who among us would be able to write an entire book/course/document, knowing we’ll never get credit for it, while at the same time hating the topic we’re writing about?)
Another positive aspect to being a ghost writer is that you might be able to slide into this field without needing to take time out of your day job or daily schedule to do it. For instance, you might be able to do some ghost writing for your current job, depending on what you’re doing of course. That’s how most ghost writers get their start, according to Donna, by writing for the company that they’re already working at.
Is ghost writing a viable option for you?
It sounds like it might be easier to break into the ghost writing field than into regular publishing, and the pay is better than the royalties most writers earn from their books. Other than not becoming famous, it sounds like a viable option for people who want to write and earn money doing so.
If you want to know more about ghost writing, then you can listen to Donna’s interview for “The Not-Starving Artist – How she does it” podcast by clicking on one of the links below.