by Kim Niemi
If you’ve been a writer for any length of time, the subject of ghostwriting has probably come up. As discussed when I covered the #BookGate scandal a few weeks back, ghostwriting sometimes gets a bad rap. That got me thinking that perhaps not everyone has a clear picture of just what ghostwriting is.
Basically any writing that you do without receiving credit, or while giving another person or entity credit, is ghostwriting. Memoirs and celebrity autobiographies might be the types of ghostwritten work most commonly known to the general public, but every day millions of lines of content are authored by ghostwriters all over the world.
Starting this week we’re going to take a look at some of the most common ghostwriting opportunities you probably never realized were ghostwriting.
ITEM DESCRIPTIONS FOR CATALOGS/WEBSITES
Seinfeld fans will remember Elaine briefly crafting exotic imagery for the fictitious “J. Peterman” apparel catalog. In reality, copywriters – who tend to provide more of a marketing focus than do content writers, if you’re wondering about the distinction – do the exact same thing for every item for sale in retail catalogs, both printed and online.
Contracts for this type of work may differ – sometimes you may be allowed to claim the work for your portfolio, other times not – but the bottom line is that your name will not appear in the finished product as an author. That makes it ghostwriting.
Come back next week for a look at another ghostwriting category you may not have thought about. Or drop a line and ask me a question about ghostwriting. I’ll include answers in upcoming posts.
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