Is ghostwriting deceptive?

According to a tweet today from Pastor Rick Warren, “Using a “ghost writer” is PRETENDING to be an Author & claiming credit for another’s work. It’s deceptive & dishonest.”

Oh, really? I humbly disagree. A ghostwriter is not someone who comes up with an idea for a book and sells that idea to someone else who then puts their name on the cover. The role of a ghostwriter is to help a client articulate a message, relate a story, or share a concept – not make everything up and then publish it under someone else’s name.

At least that’s my personal opinion.

The projects I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to work on were for honorable people who lacked the time or believed they lacked to skill to produce a book-length manuscript. Truth is, nearly all of my clients have been very capable communicators. However, they may have forgotten some English grammar rules or simply didn’t enjoy the process of writing. So they hired me to assist.

By stepping in to help them organize their thoughts, sift through their research, and pull together tens of thousands of words on a particular topic, I’m more midwife than anything else. The baby is theirs, I’m simply helping to deliver it. And just as a midwife or doctor does not attach their name to a newborn baby, I don’t attach mine to the books or articles or blog posts I help create.

Is that dishonest? I don’t think so. But what do you think?

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Marcia Layton Turner

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