What is Ghost-writing?

What is Ghost-writing?

by author

If you’re a Hip-hop fan, then you might have heard rappers calling each other out for having ghostwriters all the time.

The most iconic one? Drake and Meek, of course, the internet was divided when Meek called out Drake for having a ghostwriter and then Drake’s infamous ‘Back to Back’ diss track was released.

But, what is Ghost-writing?

To put it simply, Ghost-writing is when a writer is hired to write a project by someone for which they aren’t credited. Sounds unethical? Well, technically it’s not because the writer willingly hands over the content to the concerned party.

The aim of the content writer is to carry out its client’s vision. While ghost-writing is a profession often associated with celebrity memoirs, it may come as a surprise to a lot that there are many other types of ghost-writing, including:

  1. Business books
  2. Lifestyles books
  3. Book proposals
  4. Speeches
  5. Blog posts
  6. Social media posts
  7. Newsletters

And plenty more!

Is Ghost-Writing ethical?

Now, if someone bought your book under the impression that you wrote all the words because you’re credited as the author — they’re unaware that it has been penned by a ghost —  does it mean you’ve misled that reader? Have you been deceitful to your audience? It all depends on circumstances, but there are two aspects to answering this question:

The effect the work has on people and the intent of the credited author:

Let’s say someone has spent his whole life researching a certain topic and now they wish to publish their work, but don’t have the flair to pen down the expeditions. Then they hire a ghost-writer that helps them write the book. In this case, the readers receive a well-researched and exclusive information that wouldn’t have been possible without the help, thus this makes it okay for the author to have a ghost-writer.

Now here’s an example of when ghostwriting wades into murky territory: Assume a person ventures into a new business because they think its lucrative but then they realize they know nothing about it, and they hire a ghost-writer to portray themselves under false pretenses as an ‘authority’ to attract clients. Then “author’s” intent here — to take advantage of readers — is indeed unethical.


If ghost-writing aligns with your ethics then you can go ahead with it. At the end of the day it all comes down to your choice. And we at Imagine Works believe that you should always follow your dreams.

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