What is the Difference Between Ghostwriting and Co-Writing?

What's the difference between a ghostwriter and a co-writer?

What’s the difference between ghostwriting and co-writing?

When you hire a ghostwriter, he can serve you in one of two capacities–as a traditional ghostwriter, or as a co-writer/editor.  As a ghostwriter,  he handles all the research, writing, and proofreading.  The ghostwriter interviews you thoroughly and then produces your book based on those interviews and the ideas you share with him. Usually a ghostwriter will then need no more than one hour per week of your time to make sure he’s on track as he completes your book over the next 3-6 months depending on the length of the book. You go about your business and in 3-6 months, you have your book with your name on it.

A ghostwriter functioning as an co-writer/editor will help you write the book.  Perhaps you are confident in your writing ability or style but you’re not so confident about organizing your material, checking your facts or self-editing. As an editor, the ghostwriter can make sure you stay on point and focus your material to the needs of your audience, the publisher, or agent. When a publishing house offers you a contract, they also assign you to an editor that performs a similar task as an employee of the publisher. If you have no contract, hiring a ghost to cover this function for you can help make sure your book measures up to professional standards before submission to a publisher or agent.  A co-writer can also handle research and feed you information for the book. If you feel less confident in your writing but very confident about how to say what you want to say, your co-writer can do the writing under your careful guidance rather than independently. A co-writer will also get credit on the book with you and share in the royalties, which may mean slightly lower upfront fees. The co-writer relationship is much more intimate and time-consuming. You partner with your co-writer for the 3-6 months (or however long it takes given your schedule) to complete the book. In other words, both your time commitment and the amount of work you do is significantly higher with a co-writer.

Professional ghostwriters in either capacity can also help get your book published.  Hiring a ghost  is the easiest way to get your book completed in the shortest amount of time and with the least effort. Utilizing the ghost as a co-writer means you can both branch out and connect with different publishing companies.  When you share the credit and royalties, your co-writer helps market the book. This can broaden the audience of the book and allow you to make more money.

The only limitation to using a ghost as a co-writer is whether the ghostwriter feels your book falls within the genres and markets he desires to be known for writing. In such cases a ghostwriter may choose to use “as told to” or “with” on the cover or may choose to decline the co-writer opportunity. In the case of a denial, however, a professional ghostwriter will usually be happy to refer you to another ghostwriter who can help you. Of course, if you have a contract with a publishing house, the publishing house will usually find the ghostwriter to help you with the book or may assign one of their editors the job of co-writing the book with you.

When it comes to writing a book, it is smart to seek help.  Whether you decide to work with a ghostwriter as a  co-writer, or hire a ghostwriter to complete the book for you, your chances of securing a contract for publication or having the book received well in the market improve greatly with the help of a professional writer. When you are ready to talk about your book, take advantage of the no-cost, no-obligation book consultation by clicking this sentence.

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T.R. Locke

Author and Ghostwriter at Your Ghostwriter Online
I am a bestselling author and ghostwriter who loves helping others tell their stories through books. I have written more than 20 books and proposals for professionals including professors, motivational speakers, UN peace negotiators, pastors, athletes, celebrities, politicians, humanitarians, lawyers, doctors, brokers, and thought leaders from around the world. I'm happy to help you, too.
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