The Difference Between a Ghostwriter and an Author

I once met a man who told me that five books he’d written had hit the bestseller list…but that no one knew his name because he’d ghostwritten all five. He seemed very bitter about the lack of recognition. I wanted to tell him he was in the wrong business. If he couldn’t let go of his books at the end of the project, he needed to stop ghostwriting!

He seemed to have forgotten one of the key differences between a ghost and an author: Ghosts write the work then disappear. Authors build the platform for the book’s sales and market the work.

I have had clients ask if I will go on tour with them after ghostwriting their books. I tell them they’re the experts; readers want to see them, not me. And with the new focus on branding for all authors, really a ghost can’t help with the marketing aspects. The author is the brand, not the ghost. No matter how high on the charts the book climbs.

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