These days, hiring a ghostwriter to write your book is hardly a matter of shame. In fact, it’s becoming a status symbol of sorts, a measure of having made it sufficiently to have some able-bodied writer do the job for you. One is either too busy to write one’s own book, or too smart, or simply too engaged in one’s success. From that vantage point, writing your own manuscript is almost passé. Who does that anymore?
But what about an author who is not only too busy to write his own book, but too busy to read it? I’ve come close to that predicament, but ultimately, the client buckled down and did his reading. But last week a ghostwriter told me he was stuck. His client didn’t like books, even his own, and refused to read the first few chapters written. He had no complaints about the ghostwriter’s work, he simply didn’t want to sit down and read. The client encouraged the writer to just keep going, but the writer was wise enough to understand that some level of response, approval and buy-in was necessary to move forward.
The situation was getting so serious that the writer’s next payment was going to get held up, so I suggested that perhaps the client could hire a ghostreader. We had a good laugh over it. This would be a sort of companion service to ghostwriting, and could be a significant additional revenue stream. Other related services might include a ghostmodel for the author shot, and a ghostpresentor for the author tour, should it come to that.
The real next level is hiring a proxy to live the experiences that would eventually be written about. After all, who’s got time to live all the experiences and be struck by all the insights and overcome all the adversity it takes to fill a book?
Providing these essential capabilities could be all part of a full service ghostwriter offering.
One thought on “Ghostreaders wanted: taking ghost-services to the next level”
This has happened to me more than a few times. And, it has happened to others in my firm. My experience suggests that if you are hired by an intermediary, with limited contact to the actual author despite author sign off on the outline for the piece, little can be accomplished. This spring we had a situation like this with colleagues from the Middle East and we had ghost readers. It is particularly frustrating if you also serve in an academic capacity, as a Principal Investigator with government and foundation funding. Integrity is difficult to leave at the door.
I suppose you could delineate expectations contractually, but if the main “author,” does not want to read his her own work despite a contract, well, we need more enforceable contracts. Best wishes on this. Good post.