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Ghost writing
by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com.au

Witches and ghosts, monsters and elves - legitimate characters and themes to write about, but they have nothing to do with ghost writing!

As a business owner, you may well have heard of someone getting a ghost writer or even had someone suggest you get a ghost writer. It is a real option for you, and can be an excellent choice in many situations.

What is a ghost writer?

Very simply, a ghost writer puts the words together for you but you get to put your name to the work. A common example of this is where a good writer writes the story of a celebrity as if it was an autobiography.

Ghost writers don't just work in fiction, though. Many business owners hire a ghost writer to write articles they put into magazines or onto websites as a promotional tool.

Why use a ghost writer?

There are a number of reasons a business would use a ghost writer instead of writing the work themselves.

  1. It saves time - you can be doing something else while the writing is being done. An even bigger time saver for people who finding writing a slow process or need many drafts

  2. It saves stress - it is one less thing you have to do, and saves you the stress of writing if you don't like writing

  3. It is well written - if you are not sure of your writing ability or worry about your spelling and grammar, this is the easy way to get a well written document to use

  4. A more objective result - sometimes, you will get caught up in your topic and want to include too much information or forget to explain the basics. Someone outside of your business will have a clearer perspective, especially if you are writing for a novice audience

How does the process work?

Ghost writers will operate in different ways depending on their personal preferences and the projects they undertake. However, in the business context, a ghost writer will usually function in one of two ways:

  1. You provide the ghost writer with an outline of what you want written, including the main points and technical details. In other words, they will put your ideas and facts into good sentences and paragraphs. This is generally quicker and cheaper, and particularly useful if the writing is somewhat technical.

  2. the ghost writer uses their own knowledge or does some research and then writes the document for you. this obviously saves you the most time and allows the writer to add their perspective on good topics to cover, but it will take longer and cost you more.

Of course, you can read the documents and request changes whichever way the ghost writer works.

What legal issues are involved?

As the ghost writer actually created the document, they own the copyright and moral rights of the work.

Generally, as part of the writing fee, the writer will assign the copyright to you. however, they may only assign limited copyright to you which means you can only use the work in certain ways. For example, you can use the article with your bio box online but not include it in a book or receive payment for it in a newspaper.

Note that the moral rights remain with the writer forever, which basically means you can't change the work and attach the writer's name to it.

Once the writer is paid and you own the full copyright, the writer can't use the work themselves in any other way - even in their portfolio, it should only be included with your permission.

Remember that you are paying for the copyright as well as the writer's time and skills, but be sure that it is clear who owns what copyright before the writing starts.


 Clear communication is critical to the success of any business, but it is often left to care for itself in many businesses. Tash Hughes is a professional and skilled writer who makes technical and otherwise boring information accessible for everyone a business needs to communicate with. Next time you need webcopy, articles, newsletters, reports or any other business document, visit www.wordconstructions.com.au to see how Tash and her team can help your business succeed.

 

 

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