Ghostwriters and Coauthors: What’s the Difference?

Ghostwriters and Coauthors: What’s the Difference?


Both a ghostwriter and a coauthor can help you write your book, but the two roles have less in common than you may think. If you’re thinking about hiring a ghostwriter or coauthor to assist you with writing and publishing a book, you should be aware of the primary differences between the two.

Whose Book Is It Anyway?

If you choose to hire a writer as a coauthor, the resulting book will only be partially yours. A coauthor can help you write and publish a book, but that book will be based partly on your vision and partly on hers or his. A coauthor is not just a writer—she or he is also an author.

On the other hand, a ghostwriter is the writer but not the author of your book. Writing is an art, but it is also a craft. A ghostwriter, like any other craftsperson you could hire, is concerned with satisfying your vision for the end product as completely as possible.

Who Gets Credit for Book Authorship?

The names for these two different roles are pretty good indications of how authorship credit works. A coauthor is credited as such. That is, a coauthor is considered an author of your book, and his or her voice and creative vision are acknowledged as a part of the book that is produced.

A ghostwriter is not credited as an author (notice the lack of “author” in the title)—but more than that, she or he is a “ghost” as far as credit goes. Essentially, a ghostwriter does not normally receive any credit for your book because when you hire a ghostwriter, the published book is yours alone. While a coauthor is invested in the client’s vision and in the book as his or her own creative project, a ghostwriter is invested primarily in the client (that is, the author) and the client’s satisfaction with regard to the manuscript. When you hire a ghostwriter, the roles of author and writer are split. A ghostwriter will handle the mundane work of stringing words together, while you maintain complete authorship: controlling all final decisions about the ideas, tone, and vision of the book.

What Happens After The Book is Written?

Even after a manuscript is completed, a coauthor may have personal motives apart from your desires for the book. Because the coauthor may have specific career plans and ideas, she or he may take the book in certain directions with regard to marketing and genre categorization that could very well be different than your vision. A ghostwriter wants you to succeed and be happy with your book just as you imagined it, so she or he will give input to support you but leave the final decisions up to you. While a coauthor may try to steer your book in the direction of their choosing, a ghostwriter can provide as much or as little professional advice as you want.

But Is Ghostwriting Ethical?

If a ghostwriter doesn’t get any credit for authorship, does this make ghostwriting unethical? Is ghostwriting like plagiarism? Not at all! Ghostwriters can help you make your book a reality the same way that you could design a building, but would probably need to hire a contractor to build it. A good ghostwriter will work as a skillful technician, working closely with you to coax your book out of blank pages and onto bookshelves.

Hire a Ghostwriter

If you’re looking to hire a skilled ghostwriter, you don’t need to look much further. The ghostwriters on staff at Kevin Anderson & Associates are the best of the best, and our whole team is eager to help you with your book. You can read more about our ghostwriting and editing services, and contact us to get your book started!
Give us a call today: 1-844-997-4837 / (844-9-WRITER)

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