Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee in Communications and journalism, beBee in English Public Speaker • RAINN May 22, 2017 · 1 min read · 2.2K

The Travails of Ghostwriting

The Travails of Ghostwriting

I am learning the ropes of ghostwriting. We have some wonderful writers here on, so the path is easier. Some of the realizations that have smacked me in the head have come hard. It has given me the basis for questions to ask those of you more knowledgeable in here.

One of my head-slaps is shit—I can’t tell anyone I wrote this. How do I develop a reputation if I can’t point out what I’ve done?

So far I’ve told my first client that ghostwriting is like Attorney/Client privilege. (He’s a lawyer.) I cannot point out anything I’ve written as mine—it’s his—he paid for it.

So my strategy was to accept a fraction of what I am worth and do a terrific job, so I could start my reference list. But I am a ghost. I essentially don’t exist. What reference list?

I am hoping I am fortunate. My first client is a relative. He is a consummate professional. He has viewed my writing and believes I can do this for him. I believe it, too. He has given me the topics he wants me to cover, and he is not going easy on me.  I want to believe he will recommend me if I wrap myself around explaining the law to the common man. I have found my resources, and embark on a journey to surround myself with books in a law library in the coming days. I am a consummate researcher.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian gave me some understanding of what occurs as a ghostwriter, but there must be more I need to know. I’m asking those of you in the know to share your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge when it comes to ghostwriting. Are those trade secrets?

Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen

About the Author:  Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker.  Inquiries can be made at
Sobre el autor: Joyce Bowen es un escritor independiente y orador público. Las consultas pueden hacerse en

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#27 I had this experience. I was engaged as a blogger. Then, they asked if they could run some of the posts "uncredited". Next thing they are crediting their own employees as the writer and some content appeared on other sites. That's when I put my foot down.

Rates from now on will be clearly spelled out 2X the rate I gave them for the uncredited pieces, 4X if they want to credit an employee.

If they want to run it on another site, it will be 1X the rate per usage if I am credited, 4X the rate if uncredited, and 8X the rate if they want to credit it to an employee. A full buyout will be 12 times the rate. I am really not interested in doing ghost writing.

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#30 many thanks to @Paul "Pablo" Croubalian and @phil friedman for information. I think coupled with what I've learned, we've got it all.

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Gerald Hecht May 23, 2017 · #30

#20 @Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee The comments generated by this piece are proving to be a treasure trove of useful (for me anyway) tips and information! I think I've learned more about writing, the "ghost paradox" (of your post), and pragmatic solutions for it...and how to more effectively use SM (in general) --all in one engagement session; than I've ever learned. Thank you for initiating this exchange/seminar (and I'm NOT joking) Joyce!

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#24 "Why me?" has been haunting me all night. It's because if the story is not told, it can happen again. The children's stories break my heart. I am still in touch with one--now grown into a wonderful, angry woman. I can give her some peace. I can grab all the victims and give them a literal hug. It's for them.

I drove myself to learn writing for them--not for me.

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#27 understood. If I do do the job I am hoping for with this client, I am hoping he will promote me. He is a sweet intelligent man. I adore him like a son. I am so very proud of him. My wish to do the very best job I can for him stems from the family connection. I know once I experience this I can do the very best job possible for any client. I can make a living at something I love. He has given me a great opportunity. He is a wow lawyer. I push him to use at every opportunity.

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Lynne Black May 23, 2017 · #27

I've done both ghost writing and freelance writing and I find often clients don't disclose to you that you're hired as a ghost writer and later you see your work published that you don't get credit for. It's a catch 22 - ghost writing can help build your resume, however you don't get the notoriety that you would on articles you publish or write for clients. Even though you're presently working as a Ghost Writer for your relative that is a lawyer, you should continue to pursue other freelance writing opportunities and not put all your eggs in one basket - this is only one job.

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Lisa Gallagher May 23, 2017 · #26

It has to be a catch 22 to be a ghost writer. Congrats to you for garnering a job with your relative who's a lawyer. I'm going to guess that if you write for the right people then your reputation speaks for itself and word spreads. Keep it up, you just be beginning a new chapter in your life!

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#24 Okay--some of what @Timothy welch was true. "Unless you don't like the notoriety nor want your name everywhere..." I've been in the spotlight. I've been in the news. I didn't like it. I've been in seclusion for decades hoping people would forget. I now realize while I'm waiting for people to die off, I'm dying off, too. My post Deception lays out the bones of the story I have to finish. I just really want to live a quiet life and make enough for food and shelter. If I finish my book and get it published, my brand would be complete, but any chance for a quiet life would be gone. I know the story should be told, but, "Why me?"

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