Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

4 years ago · 1 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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The Travails of Ghostwriting

The Travails of Ghostwriting

I am learning the ropes of ghostwriting. We have some wonderful writers here on bf847774.jpg, 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. 086a3f98.jpgI 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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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.

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

"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.

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.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #18

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!

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?"

I see little upside to ghostwriting as it does not help you build your brand and portfolio. The compensation would have to be significant to make up for this.

I have been published under my name. Most has been free. I've never been a big one for making a buck. Now I need money and I have a skill for sale. Bigtime publishing is a bear. There are many, many writers out there to compete against. Seeing your name in print gets old fast. I simply have a love for the craft and now have the opportunity to get paid to do what I love. Yea--I have a big time story to sell on the sidelines, but I'm having a hard time finishing it up. In the meantime, eating becomes extremely important. Yea--I agree--you watch too many movies. is a very careful legal dance. I printed out a copy he could see with all the supportive documentation printed out. (I know people don't often click on links.) This was essentially my resume. Any lawyer can see why I constructed it as I did.

Loved it, Gerald.

I'm probably too soft. The guy wanted to flip me out a check for the entire rest of the year, but my superego stepped in and said wait until you see the first blog. I had urged him to check out two of my blog entries here and he did, I suppose. I just want to be sure he doesn't kick himself later. I know I'm good, but it's been a while since I traipsed around law books.

Thanks, Deb.

Great, Gert. Thanks for taking the time to search for me.

chuckle and a half, Gerald. You are certainly evil. I just want to make a living doing what I love. I have a book woven into my word processor that I need to finish up, but it's on heinous child abuse, and the topic is emotionally straining. I love the idea of doing something as innocuous as ghostwriting.

I've landed the work as I mentioned in here I'm ghostwriting one blog at the moment; hopefully, that will translate into more. This is all great information. I was hoping for such stuff. I found it difficult to be stumbling around trying to figure it out on my own. Paul \ gave me the lowdown after I asked him some questions after I realized I could not reference the work as mine in any way.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #7

Since you've asked for suggestions, Joyce, here are a few. 1) Technically, Ghostwriting is only when you write under someone else's byline. And it is only then when you may be restrained from disclosing that the work was yours. 2) If you're writing content that is published with no byline by a company who hires you, then the matter of later disclosure (say, in your portfolio of work samples) goes either way, depending on your agreement with the client. However, keep in mind that if you create a "work for hire", the copyright to the work often (although not always) passes to the person who paid you for the work. 3) When you're writing for hire, it's always advantageous to see if the client will agree to it being published under your byline, because that gives you a legitimate work sample of your writing for hire. I recently wrote and published an eBook for a business management software development firm, under my own byline, but also under the firm's logo. They use it for marketing purposes, but by arrangement, I use it as a work sample. cont Pt II

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #6

Joyce -- Pt II 4) When it comes to hunting for legal writing work, I recommend looking at what some specialist professionals do to present and promote themselves. It just so happens that one of the top-published "legal" writers in Canada is my sister-in-law, Bev Cline, who has written hundreds of legal pieces for bar associations, law firms, major newspapers, and magazines. I recommend taking a look at her website at 5) You can showcase your work using LinkedIn and beBee, but I have found it useful to create a portfolio of work samples to provide a potential client with an overview of the breadth of my non-fiction writing work. It's helped a lot when talking to prospective clients. 6) Finally, I agree with Paul "Pablo" Croubalian, when he advises not to work for free. Any samples a prospective client may want in order to judge your work and capabilities can be supplied as a portfolio of past work. Giving current work away just establishes that you do not value your labor. And if you don't, no prospective client ever will. Good luck... and cheers!

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #5

Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee I would not know anything about ghostwriting but if you google "tips for ghostwriters" there might be something helpful. Here is one article I found: I wish you the best with this assignment.

Thank you, Paul. A new Twitter feed will have to wait until I generate enough income. I can't afford you for both *smirk* Maybe I can just work one myself for a while. Great advice overall though.


Many people consider themselves to be writers--not just lawyers. I think unless you have gone through the education surrounding writing, people don't have a clue. I think, for me, until I went through my one-on-one course with an English professor, I did not have a clue. What a shock it was. I just happen to be lucky I have a degree in psychology that can help me help others understand that it's okay to be an expert in one thing and not be an expert in all things.

I love the law, and I love writing. I absolutely love the idea of traipsing around a law library and have located one close. The problem will be more about ripping myself away from the books long enough to write. I hope to develop a clientele of lawyers. I hope my first client will be like the hub of a wheel gaining me enough clients to support myself.

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