- By Art Gib
- Published 10/29/2009
Ghostwriting is a common practice that has been around for centuries. Services include writing books, essays, articles, and blogs for clients who will ultimately receive most of, if not all of, the credit for the completed work. That is not to say that the ghostwriter actually creates or writes every item from scratch; the assignment may simply be to edit and streamline a body of work that an author has already written, until the desired level of satisfaction is reached. A ghostwriter can be useful to other writers as well by editing a manuscript or rough draft or by providing the writer with the ideas or inspiration necessary to complete their stories. Celebrities and politicians may have fascinating lives, but writing about them may prove difficult. Employing a professional ensures that the completed autobiography will be formatted correctly and will appeal to readers, especially the general public. By putting a celebrity’s name on the finished product, the publishing company knows the book has a much greater marketability and the celebrity knows he or she will gain more exposure to the public.
Similarly, a politician may hire a ghostwriter to produce magazine and newspaper ar
ticles as an election nears in order to create buzz and increase the politician’s visibility and, perhaps, even likability. When it comes to works of fiction, ghostwriting allows an author to reproduce an already familiar story, such as a fairy tale. The writer may choose to put their own spin on the story or to add details that they think will improve the story. Doctors and scientists have employed writers when publishing papers for scientific or medical journals. Students have also utilized these services when writing term papers or theses. Even popes have used individuals to create text for them, including writing letters or declarations (called encyclicals) to be sent out to bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the more famous of these are Humani Generis Unitas, which was written by several Jesuits (including the American Jesuit, John Le Farge) and Pascendi, which was written by Joseph Lemius. Ghostwriting services are also common in the music industry. The writer, often a seasoned songwriter, may simply aid another singer in the creation of a song or album or may write an entire song in a style that is different from their own to be sold to another singer.
With such a wide variety of services, ghostwriters are an invaluable commodity.