Fiction Ghostwriting Is Bigger Than Ever
Adam Rowe - Contributor
I write about the future of books and the business of storytelling.
Gotham Ghostwriting has a network of more than 2,000
editorial and publishing specialists. GETTY
Ghostwriting agency Gotham Ghostwriters recently launched a new arm dedicated solely to ghostwriting creative fiction. Why? Because its fiction clients are on the rise. And instead of the corporations that used to solicite ghostwritten fiction, the new clients are often individuals with a dream for publishing a novel – and possibly launching a multimedia franchise along with it.
“I’ve been ghosting fiction for 15 years now, so I think the demand has always been there to some extent,” says Dr. Jennifer Banash, a New York Times-bestselling ghostwriter and director of the Creative Writing group.
“What I think has changed is that the practice has shifted from being the brain child of publishing houses or packaging companies, who routinely farm out successful series’ on the down low, to everyday people who have either harbored dreams of making it big in the publishing world, or who just want to simply get their story out there.”
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So what’s driving the average joe’s dreams? This shift could be driven by the disruptive technology that powers our social media-reliant world, according to Dan Gerstein, founder and CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters.
“My theory is that it is largely driven by the ongoing democratizing of storytelling and publishing,” Gerstein tells me. “First off, social media has made everyone with a Twitter or Facebook account an author and a publisher, and the instant validation people get for the stories they put out to the world is a potent force in encouraging people to want to share their stories to a wider universe. Second, the explosion of self-publishing options and the rise of disruptive platforms like Wattpad has largely decimated the barriers to entry for a class of authors who could never get published before. These folks look at the amazing success stories of Fifty Grey Shades of Grey and The Martian — both of them self-published — and they understandably say, ‘why not me?’”
“Fiction clients are generally most interested in simply getting their story told,” Dr. Banash says. “Most often they’ve dreamed of writing a book or being published for years, but don’t have the necessary skills to get them across the finish line. They’re dreamers—and it’s part of our job to make those dreams of holding their own book in their hands a reality. And in our current technological culture where everything is available at any time, this attitude has begun to extend to books as well. Have a great idea for a novel (and literally everyone these days has one) but don’t know how to conceptualize it? Or write it? Well, that’s where we come in.”
Franchise ambitions are on the rise
I’ve written before on why books are the quickest way convert a good idea into a copyrightable format. They’re a great way to beta-test a new IP that might turn into a multimedia franchise if it’s popular enough. “The book is the foundational anchor for movies, TV properties, even video games,” as Gerstein puts it.
Gotham’s fiction clients seem to agree. Gerstein says they tend to break down into two different categories: “The first group come to us major ambitions — they want to publish the next Divergent or Dark Materials and do whatever they can to get a movie deal. The second group comes to us with much more modest aims — they have a story burning inside of them and they just want to get it out into the world.”
A wonderful piece from October of 2014 > Not s--t but wit:
“It’s a travesty,” legendary MC, Grandmaster Caz (aka Casanova Fly) says. “…no way you can even stand in the same room as an MC if you don’t write your rhyme, plain and simple.”
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