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Ghostwriter Services

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A “ghostwriter” is someone who writes under the name of another person who authorizes it. Celebrities usually contract ghostwriters to write their autobiographies for them if they lack writing talent or if they are too busy to undertake the task themselves. It is also a solution for people with vision or motor disabilities.

Name authors, capable of selling books just through name recognition, may also hire other coauthors, granting them credit. Such is the case of Tom Clancy, whose most recent book carries the names of two people on the cover—Clancy’s in bolder type and that of his coauthor. At times a professional writer will get partial recognition, as indicated by such phrases as “as told to”. Credit may also be provided through an Acknowledgment, or in a Prologue or Preface. Strictly speaking, if the role and name of the least-famous writer is recognized clearly in the work to be published, then we are not talking about a ghostwriter, but rather a joint effort.

The fact that book was written by a ghostwriter does not necessarily imply that the named author did not contribute significantly to the work, as a ghostwriter is generally hired to polish and edit the written material, or to work directly with the named author in putting together the book from start to finish.

However, the opposite also seems to hold true: the estate of Viriginia C. Andrews, a romance novelist, hired a ghostwriter to continue writing novels after her death, under her name, in a style similar to that of her original works.

A related concept is that of a pseudonim, in which case a series is attributed to a sole author to hide the fact that the series was written at the hands of many. This practice is differentiated from that of a ghostwriter in that the named author is usually not a real person. Among the most prominent examples, many of which originated with a publisher named Stratemeyer Syndicate, are Carolyn Keen (“author” of the suspense novels of Nancy Drew), Franklin W. Dixon (The Hardy Boys and Ted Scott Flying Stories), as well as Maxwell Grant (The Shadow).

Famous books written by ghostwriters

  • John F. Kennedy, it is rumored, utilized his adviser Theodore Sorenson, in the writing of his Pulitzer Prize-winning work Profiles in Courage, although both denied the accusation.

  • Barbara Feinman was the ghostwriter of It Takes a Village and Other Lesson Children Teach Us, by Hillary Clinton.

  • Many believe that Truman Capote was the ghostwriter in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

  • William Shatner took advantage of a ghostwriter for his science fiction books.

  • H. P. Lovecraft worked as a ghostwriter for many famous people of his day, Harry Houdini among them.

  • The novel version of Star Wars (attributed to George Lucas) was written by Alan Dean Foster.

  • The five-volume memoirs of Einar Gerhardsen (Prime Minister of Norway from 1945 to 1965) were probably written by journalist Egil Helle.

  • The last part of the series of children horror stories Goosebumps was written to a great extent by ghostwriters.

  • It is known that TV preacher Pat Robertson uses ghostwriters in his publications.

  • Aleister Crowley was the ghostwriter in some astrology books by Evangeline Adams.

If you have material to write a book, and the will to do it, and for whatever reason you find it impossible to finish it, Alexandria Library can do it for you, with or without mentioning the writer that helped you finish it. One of the easier ways to do it is by recording interviews with you, the author, to be later transcribed and polished by our ghostwriter. Contact us


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