Even a “Duck Dynasty” Star Uses a Ghostwriter

Even a “Duck Dynasty” Star Uses a Ghostwriter


Most ghostwriting clients approach the process of finding and hiring a ghostwriter or collaborator very methodically. They begin with an idea for a book or a message they want to impart and the realization that they need help in articulating that message or, more commonly, that they don’t have the time to write a book-length work themselves.

Such was the case for Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the hit A&E reality show, “Duck Dynasty.” According to today’s Wall Street Journal, Robertson was approached by publisher Howard Books about writing his memoir. Replying that he didn’t have time to write a book, presumably because of his responsibilities managing Duck Commander, the family business based in West Monroe, Louisiana, the publisher offered to pair Robertson with a co-author. With support in place, Robertson agreed.

Enter sports journalist Mark Schlabach, who reportedly met with Robertson for 10 hours, left, and wrote the book. This past spring, Happy, Happy, Happy: My life and legacy as the duck commander, became a No. 1 bestseller, with 680,000 copies in print. The first print run of 300,000 sold out and the publisher has gone back to print 12 more times. Robertson claims to never have read it, but that doesn’t seem to matter to his legions of fans.

Publishing is one more profit center the Robertson family seems to be adding to its already expanding empire, with Robertson’s wife Kay releasing a cookbook in November and “Weird Uncle Si” debuting Si-cology 1 in October.

What does this mean for you, a ghostwriter? It means reality TV stars should be on your list of target clients. Clearly there is an audience for such memoirs and there are plenty of reality TV stars too busy to pen their own life stories.


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Marcia Layton Turner

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