Ghostwriting–what is it?

At a recent writers’ critique group, the subject of ghostwriting came up. One of the members has been hired to write a book for someone else.  In her online bio she mentioned that she is ghostwriting and named the person who has hired her.

ghostwriting

I questioned this, saying that I thought a ghostwriter was anonymous.

Here is what an online search of the term ghostwriter reveals.

A ghostwriter is a writer who writes books, articles, stories, reports, speeches or other texts that are officially credited to another person.  At one point, I even did some ghostblogging for a colleague.)  This other person is assumed to be the author of the work.

The degree of involvement the ghostwriter has may vary.  It can range from editing and clean up a rough draft to doing most of the writing based on an outline provided by the credited author. At times, ghostwriters do a substantial amount of research,

The ghostwriter is paid a sum of money to write the material needed and hand it over to the payee. The person who has paid for the work will then assign his name or someone else’s name to claim the work as his own.

The ghostwriter is sometimes, but rarely, acknowledged by the author or publisher for his or her writing services.

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