I have acted as a ghostwriter or co-writer for successful cultural, political and business individuals, for Canadian and U.S. publishers. I’ve also worked with professionals who wish to publish books for posterity or as vehicles to attract clients and further establish their brands. In addition to books, I’ve ghostwritten articles and speeches. Typically, I’m involved in:
- Generating and shaping ideas
- Organizing the material and creating an effective structure
- Writing and editing
- With a versatile writing style, capturing the author’s voice
- Providing creative feedback
What is a ghostwriter?
A ghostwriter is the unseen hand behind many books that are produced every year, the collaborators who help authors tell their story. Co-writers do the same job, but their name appears on the book’s cover, usually as “with” the client.
What does a ghostwriter do?
The ghostwriting process is a creative collaboration undertaken by two people. In some cases, the ghostwriter interviews a subject at length before taking those words and integrating them into cohesive chapters. In other cases, people have written some, or all, of a rough manuscript but understand they need help to bring the prose to a professional level (or may not have time to continue working on it). Either way, the goal is to capture the client’s unique voice. Clients often have supporting documentation relating to the project, which supplement the interviews. Ghostwriters almost always conduct original research to broaden the context and enrich the material.
The ghostwriter and client may meet in-person or via phone, Skype or email. (Although seldom used today, let’s include snail-mail on the list, shall we?) Often the process involves a combination of the above.
The client then reads the chapters and suggests changes, both for accuracy and to perfectly capture their voice on the page. Unless the book is being self-published, the editorial staff of a publishing house is also involved in the process. (In the case of self-published books, clients are wise to hire a copy editor and proofreader.)
As the word suggests, ghostwriters are meant to be invisible. Confidentiality is often requested, and is respected.
These two books were co-written:
Don’t Listen To Everyone With An Opinion: 20 Lessons Over 20 Years of Investing
by Wayne Deans with David Hayes
(Echo Memoirs, published April 2013)
The Passion to Skate: An Intimate View of Figure Skating
By Sandra Bezic with David Hayes
(Turner Publishing Inc./Opus Productions Inc.)
Hardcover, published October 1996