Posted by: Spirit Category: Authors, Ghostwriter

This month we take some time out to sit down with Ghost, the founder of the Ghostwriter Café, for a heart-to-heart about why he chose to become a ghostwriter and how his work is helping others achieve their dreams. 

You’re already a successful author with dozens of books published. Why ghostwrite for other authors?

First of all, I love writing and I love telling stories. I’m successful and I want to spread that success to other authors and make their dreams of becoming an author come true. That’s really the reason for starting the Café.

Tell us a little about your background. Is that really your picture?

Sure. I’ve been writing since high school which for me was 40 years ago. So no, this is not really my picture. As ghostwriters we have to maintain a professional level of anonymity for the benefit of our clients. On a public site like the Ghostwriter Café, all of our ghostwriters keep themselves anonymous behind pen names and images we buy from various image sites. Maybe I need to choose an avatar that looks older?

I have a lot of experience in graphic design and technology, but I really didn’t start writing professionally until a little more than a decade ago. Now I have over 30 published novels in six different series, along with some business books, even a few books about faith.

Why not just keep publishing under your own pen names? Why would you sell your work to others?

Mostly because I want to expand my reach into the market. Here is the dirty little secret about our industry. Publishing is a really wacky kind of industry. What makes a book a bestseller is often the serendipity of the author publishing the work and not really who wrote it. I know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true.

By ghostwriting for others, I actually expand and increase my own chances of seeing my work possibly become the next really big thing; and I don’t mind if someone else’s name is attached to it.

What happens if one of your ghostwritten navels becomes a major hit, like a million novels sold bestseller?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I hope that happens with all of our clients. Because it means they will come back to me for a sequel or maybe a whole series. I would love for one of our author clients to become mega-successful! Then we can collaborate even further. It’s a win-win for both of us.

And no one will ever know that this mega-successful novel was ghostwritten?

Not under the terms of our license agreement. No one has know that your novel was written by a ghostwriter. The thing is, a lot of successful authors, names you would recognize right away, use ghostwriters to pump out literally dozens of novels each year. No one writes that fast unless you’re employing others to write for you. It’s a well-established industry norm these days.

Let’s talk about this licensing. Isn’t ghostwriting a work-for-hire kind of thing?

It can be. First of all, an author should never employ someone to ghostwrite for them without some kind of license agreement in place. Without that, your ghostwriter can show up later and steal your success.

At the Ghostwriter Café, we offer a license that, first of all, prevents us from muscling in and stealing your success as an author. That’s number one.

Second, our license offers a way for all of us to share in the success of your publishing and marketing efforts. We cut our up-front license fees to a bare minimum; then we only take small minority percentage of your success leaving you with the lion’s share of the profits.

Finally, we don’t just sell you a novel without knowing what to do with it or how to publish the work. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to provide them with full-service publishing services and a marketing plan that maximizes their success. When you’re successful, we’re successful.

Tell us about the kinds of novels you write. Why would an author want to buy your work?

Of course. Every author is going to be different; everyone has what they like and gravitate toward. My work isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, so to speak. Mostly I love cross-genre stories in romance, fantasy and sci-fi, with some paranormal thrown into that as well.

My stories tend to be rather steamy relationships bordering on, if not crossing into, the erotic genre, and not every relationship is entirely straight or even monogamous. If you’re looking for a tidy little straight-up Hallmark-type romance, yea, that’s not me. [chuckles]

What sets you apart from the typical ghostwriter or author?

First of all, the Ghostwriter Café doesn’t employ amateur writers. I don’t want to sound snobby, but we’re all very experienced professional writers and authors ourselves, all of us have decades of experience. When you see a novel or series being sold on the Café, it’s going to be exceptional writing and storytelling. You have got to tell a compelling story, something that is going to resonate with readers of whatever genres.

I see a lot of ghostwriters trying to sell their work on Fiverr, Upwork, and other places online, and their work just does not compare to the caliber of work you get here. Also, a lot of people are trying to sell work written by an AI and that’s just plain fraud in my opinion.

What sets my work apart is that my stories take months to write; they are organic in their plot and the rich development of the people in the story. That’s not something you will get from an amateur who doesn’t have the life experience of a much more seasoned writer.

What kind of author would buy your work?

That is a great question. The kind of person who would be interested in my work is someone who is looking to break into the industry as a cutting-edge author whose work is going to be ahead of its time. The publishing industry is always playing catch-up. But we’re now seeing the romance genre break out into relationships that only a decade ago were considered too taboo to publish.

But now my kind of cross-genre story is becoming more and more popular with readers of all ages, especially in the UK and especially with male readers too. About 40% of my readers are men, which is a really good demographic to have for romance work.

A lot of your novels involve same-sex and even menage relationships. Is that going to limit your appeal?

Yes and no. For some authors, sure. But as I’ve said, my stories are a bit ahead of their time and I’m not writing for the Hallmark Channel.

More and more, we’re seeing readers looking for real-world relationships. Millennials and Gen-Z really don’t care if the hero and the hero’s love interest is straight or same-sex or even monogamous. A lot of my readers are older as well. 

But the key to storytelling is that the relationships have got to work with the story being told and not just show up because someone is trying to be edgy.

The massive success of E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey showed the world that readers are curious about all kinds of relationships, even if that kind of thing isn’t their own identity. The stories I like to write have all kinds of relationships. I’m not trying to push some pet political agenda; I’m just telling a story that shows people who we really are as real people—stories that are really as old as time.

But your stories aren’t just about the romance?

No. That would be boring. When Ghost writes a story it’s a deeply immersive plot, often with two or three subplots running at the same time. The people in the story are well-developed and by mid-way into the novel you have a connection with them, you want to see them succeed; or you want to see them dead, as the case may be with the villains.

I mix paranormal, sci-fi, or fantasy with steamy romance into an immersive story that rivets the reader to the page. I want you to be invested in the people in the story and not just read about sex; that’s not really what my stories are about. The romance is just one aspect of the story that draws people into it.

I also don’t write cliffhangers or kill-off beloved characters in the story. Readers really dislike that kind of thin in a story. The idea is to bring the reader back for more.

You’re looking for repeat clients …

Absolutely. If I’ve done my job, if you’re successful, then I will be successful as well and hopefully we’ll see you return as a repeat client. And that really is the whole idea behind the Ghostwriter Café: to make you successful as an author.


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