ghost2I’d like to talk a bit about ghosting. Not “why don’t you return my calls?, why don’t you reply to my texts?, why did you block me on Facebook?” ghosting.

Ghostwriter ghosting.

I’ve always known ghostwriters exist. Celebrities hire them for autobiographies. Entrepreneurs with no writing talent hire them for how-to books. Sometimes people who want to tell a true-life story hire them because, again, they have no writing talent. I totally get that. And I’m not criticizing ghostwriters for making a hard-earned buck.

I don’t expect a self-help guru to also be a bestselling author. I wouldn’t expect a survivor from the Titanic to write their memoirs without help from a professional author. But if someone is throwing fiction books they claim they wrote, but in reality were written by someone else not acknowledged as a co-author, up on Amazon and calling him/herself an author, what the heck?!

Although I’m often accused of being cynical, I’m sometimes surprisingly naïve. I had no idea this was even a thing. I mean, seriously, why would someone do this? Do artists pay ghostpainters to create landscapes? Do vocal artists release albums actually sung by ghostsingers? (Milli Vanilli don’t count as vocal artists, and kind of prove my point.) Why is it okay for so-called “authors” to publish books they didn’t write but say they did?

If you have a great story idea but can’t form a coherent sentence, co-author the damn thing with someone who can write. Acknowledge them on the cover. And split the royalties with them. Fairly. Stop lying to readers, scamming the system, and hurting real authors, all in the name of the almighty dollar.

True writers pour their hearts and souls into their stories. They work long and hard; physically, emotionally, mentally. They sacrifice time with their families, time for other interests, time sleeping. They do this because they are artists who want to share their creations with others. That’s who real authors are. Real authors write their own books.


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