Yesterday I watched the show, Shark Tank, and a guy by the name of Michael Levin, owner of BusinessGhost was asking for backing. He writes books for celebrities and others and was there to help his business grow. Of course, none of the sharks were biting and he left without a deal. The Sharks didn’t see a profit in the business because there are plenty of others out there who ghostwrite.
I have mixed feelings when it comes to ghostwriting. On the one hand, it’s a great opportunity for seasoned writers to make a living. It’s like any other business; you offer your expertise and services for a fee. What I don’t like about it is that it echoes all around the world that writing can be bought. It doesn’t matter whether you can actually write or not, you can be a published author. Even though ghostwriting has been around for many years, it has become popular in current times. I know that people have a right to pay for this service, but I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of other creative arts being done by another person. Maybe my search and thinking is off…maybe there are ghost artists or ghost musicians. There are artists who create for companies (advertising), and musicians who write songs for other musicians, yet it’s not to the extent as writing. I feel like publishing a book is no longer a big accomplishment.
Granted I self-published, and to some that might mean my book isn’t good enough for big houses. I wrote, edited/revised (with the assistance of a paid editor), formatted my book for paperback and e-book, put together the book content, got my own ISBN, created my own bookmarks, website and book trailers, published and promoted my book. My hands got chapped and dirty. I didn’t pay someone to write my thoughts and ideas so I could put my name on it. I practiced writing before I wrote my novel, and then I refined it for a year to make it shine.
To me, ghostwriting is a double-edged sword. It provides profit for writers, yet it diminishes the integrity of publishing. Gone are the days where true writing talent was published through the big traditional houses. The Snookie’s and Sarah Palin’s have taken over promotions and bookstore displays, and everyone knows that neither one sat their butt in a chair and wrote. So instead of great talent publishing with Random House, Doubleday or Penguin, you have words of another publishing for big name profits. This is partly why I didn’t bother to go through traditional publishing—too disappointed. I have a very different opinion of traditional publishing than I did 10-years ago.
I’m sure there are many out there, fists pumping in the air, disagreeing with everything I said. And I’m sure I might have ruined any future chance of publishing with a big house because of my opinions, but I’m fine with it. I think this is a very important topic to discuss with everyone. Life is about learning, and part of that learning is discussing other points of views.
For those of you who are and have gone through the hard work of writing, seeking representation, publishing and promoting, how do you feel about ghostwriting?
For those who have said, “I’ve always wanted to write a book”, would you want someone to write your story, fiction or non-fiction?
Ghosts and writing,Bea