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Why I Am a Ghostwriter

By Keith Long, Ghostwriter Supreme

ckeithIn the past 18 months, I have written four nonfiction books, yet their titles and “voice” are not mine; my name doesn’t appear as the author on any of their covers. I am a ghostwriter. The real authors of these books are my clients who have had their story curated by a collaborative process called
ghostwriting.

A secret I like to share with my clients is that every book we write together becomes a shared journey whose final destination is revealed only when the last page is written. Along the way, their narrative finds new paths and the journey takes unexpected and exciting detours. While working together we discover new perspectives and new ways to communicate their unique message. It all comes together almost magically on the pages in front of us. That is the power of the professionally-written word.

Ghostwriters enhance an author’s brand. Don’t take my word for it, I know many best-selling authors who work with ghostwriters: the late Ian Fleming {new Bond novels are now written by a ghostwriter}, Robert Ludlum {author of 27 thrillers}, Tom Clancy {spy series}, and many, many more. In the nonfiction genre, where I work, people are surprised to learn that Hillary Clinton {Living History} and Ronald Reagan {An American Life} authored best sellers thanks to their collaboration with ghostwriters.

Each client’s story develops a unique relationship that pays dividends for each of us. I submit every chapter for my client’s review and approval before moving on to the next. By the time the last sentence is written we have built a platform of knowledge, inspiration, and expertise that could not have been anticipated in our first draft.

A professionally-written book is for readers to share the author’s and ghostwriter’s adventure. That is the value-added a ghostwriter brings to a story. Our adventure becomes part of the story. There is good reason the book’s cover identifies my client as the author. An author’s name declares ownership of the book. When readers talk about it, when reviewers comment, it is the author’s name that attaches to the message and content. A ghostwriter reviews grammar, encourages development of themes, and finds new ways to express the author’s message, not unlike a mechanic who checks out a car’s engine before a long trip. The vehicle has a name on its registration that identifies ownership and that is the way it should
be.

Today’s publishing landscape is welcoming and invites authors to share their message and stories with the world. There are no fences, borders, or obstacles in today’s publishing landscape for those of us who have stories and the desire to share them. Professional journalists like me help navigate and mentor those with stories to share and we help shape their message to reach the widest audience possible. A ghostwriter opens gates that invites new authors into the exciting world of books.

Keith Long is Ghostwriter Supreme at emersongroup. Click here to learn more about Keith.


2 Comments for this entry

Pat Iannuzzi
April 26th, 2016 on 11:45 AM

In the second to last sentence in paragraph five…why not use “like” instead of “not unlike?”

Pat

Michael McMahon
April 26th, 2016 on 12:28 PM

I’m compelled to reach out Keith as this is a very interesting idea that might dovetail with a project that I’m working on.

Hope to speak with you soon.

Michael