If I Use a Ghostwriter, Is It Still My Book?

When I tell people I’m a ghostwriter, the most common question I get—if it’s not “So you write ghost stories?”—is an essential question of ownership: If I hire you to write my book, is it still my book? The short answer: Most definitely, yes! For the same reason that if you hire someone to draw a tattoo onto your forearm, it’s still your tattoo. For the detail-oriented, here’s the long answer: First, I appreciate why people have this concern. In the current culture, it’s important to be “real”—we post details of our lives online for all to see, and there’s a fear that comes from being outed as inauthentic in those details. You’ve surely seen or read about someone posting a picture of, let's say, a delicious looking dinner to Facebook, along with a story about how they slaved away making it, only to have it revealed that they stole the picture from somewhere else online or just unboxed and plated a takeout dinner, claiming it as their own.

But this idea misconstrues what ghostwriting is—a literary service offering. Unlike the Facebook example of stealing credit for someone else’s idea or product, you came up with the idea for the book, hired a professional to produce it, oversaw the execution of the details, and own the rights to the finished product. The book would not exist without your bringing it into being. It’s yours. Suppose you have a vision for how you want to remodel your house, from kitchen countertops to ceiling fans to claw-footed tubs, but you’re not a tradesperson or an architect. You wouldn’t think twice about hiring someone who can successfully execute your ideas in that case—nor should you when it comes to writing your book. If you hire a ghostwriter, your book still belongs to you:

  • Legally. When you use POV Certified Ghostwriting, you retain all credit for, rights to, and future profits from your book. (Note that some ghostwriters do work under the condition that their names appear on the book or the copyright and they receive a percentage of future sales and rights. There’s no correct or incorrect way to operate, but we don’t work that way.)

  • Intellectually. Your book sprung from your ideas, and you’ll delve into the fine details with your ghostwriter to ensure that the book says exactly what you want it to say. Your certified ghostwriter will never take the book out of your hands.

  • Stylistically. A certified ghostwriter expertly learns your perspective, along with your preferences on word choice, sentence structure, and logic, then synthesizes all that and more to capture your voice on the page. Here’s more on how that process works.

  • Emotionally. Your book idea is your baby—you’ve carried it around with you for some time, and you may be reluctant to trust someone else with its care. But rest assured that your certified ghostwriter understands your emotional stake in your book’s success. You’ll be involved in every step of the writing process (click here for a detailed explanation of the process), and your ghostwriter will not stop working until you are happy with the result.

If you’re ready to make your dream of becoming an author a reality, call (800) 717-3314 or email pov@povghostwriting.com for a free consultation.

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