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Karen S. Cole edited this book in 2013
for a US Marine serving in Afghanistan.
Click HERE for the latest edition!

Writing is a Lifestyle Preference

By Karen Cole
Word Count: 900

To be a ghost writer is definitely a way of life. I offer ghostwriter service, and consider myself to be a ghostwriter services provider. This article is about how freelance writing is a developable field. Most people seem to think it is solely about hiding “ghost writers,” making money, or otherwise pushing around extremely talented writers. Seriously, it is about taking the work up for overburdened people at low prices so they can afford to be our clients. They thus manage to keep the field of literature going in the face of “vanity publishing.” It’s really only self publishing.

On the other hand, there’s something to keeping your byline. I don’t take other people’s byline, or credit to their name, when they are considered to be a book author and I am only rewriting or otherwise writing their stuff; they get their bylines instead, and I might be credited somehow. When I write my own books, I use other names called pseudonyms due to various technical issues, but I’m currently working on the first book I ever have put out with my own name on it.

Writing is something you can just rattle off. It’s something you can make a coffee table book from too. But if you go for only money, chances are, you only host celebrities. Paris Hilton is not the only lifestyle in all of existence.

The thing to do mostly is to cram down as many books and as much writing enters your consciousness as humanly possible. But when you take up your pen, in whatever form it may take, it needs to hit “paper” and go somewhere lately. I made it there; you will make it somewhere else.

This is especially so when you’ve started to break into the field and you’re a ghost writer -- or ghostwriter -- who has never really ghosted a book for someone else before. You’re probably thinking big bucks, major book contracts, large amounts of cash advances from publishers and huge percentages from the books you will be anonymously writing for big time authors. You may need to slow down and reorder your priorities.

I make enough money at my regular writing projects to support my habit of preferring to work with the first time author crowd. Some of those people’s books do sell well over time, and it’s worth it to me to put the time and effort into ghost writing or editing them that it takes to really polish their work to a gleaming shine and make it productive and meaningful as timeless literature or educational material. A ghostwriter service or ghostwriter services is often the outlet for famous people, and also for the infamous as well. But I like to help those with great ideas who may never have been heard from before, by anyone!

This means more to me than a large check paid for the type of book I truly hate to see my name associated with, and I feel very proud to have more of the first timers’ works on my record than those. I guess in the end it’s a tradeoff: timeless creation of worthy literature versus timely production of flashy, self-gratifying stuff that may not make me feel good to write it. Not that I don’t regularly take on that kind of project. I need those books to get by and make money. But it always gladdens me when I can write something that really makes the author feel like he or she has produced a very fine book, and which is something that will truly lend credit and greater credence to my professional name and career as a writer.

People like that don’t need to face down what looks like to them to be a million dollar price tag – when what they are looking for is describable as a cheap ghost writer. They want an actual inexpensive ghost writer or ghostwriter who understands their needs, both budgetary and otherwise. Someone capable needs to be able to sit down with them and negotiate a fairly low amount of money to be paid out by them, so they can figure on at least getting some kind of returns from their own books.

These potential authors are not Presidents of the United States or famous movie actors, whose books are “guaranteed” to sell. Many of them find themselves “stuck” with what used to be called vanity publishing, and which is nowadays called self publishing. They won’t necessarily find a commercial publisher who wants to take a chance on huge returns from their books in today’s multifaceted but still challenging world of publishing. However, they still have a lot of hope to be read and heard from due to the millions of resources available to them through the ever growing and ever popular World Wide Web, otherwise known as the Internet. There is always hope to have your writing heard from. If you need to hire a freelance writer, a ghost writer, a copy editor, a proof reader, or all of the above to help you express your ideas and complete a book manuscript, that world is readily available to you through the auspices of my company, and many others.


Executive Director of Ghost Writer, Inc., Karen Cole writes. GWI at is a renowned affordable online professional copy writers, book authors, ghost writers, copy editors, proof readers, coauthors, rewriters, book cover creation, graphics and CAD, digital and other photography, publishing assistance and book and screenplay writers, editors, developers and paid analysts ghostwriter service. We also do presentation and pitch services for your book and/or screenplay ideas to major TV and film industry representatives.


Book Ghost Writers: the Original Boswell.

Thomas Rowlandson: Walking up the High Street, 1786

Yes, one way or another, the original Boswell was the original Boswell, namely, James Boswell, the original Book Ghost Writer because he haunted Dr. Samuel Johnson just to write his biography for him. They look like a gay couple and probably were NOT one. James Boswell, on the right in your view, you see.......wanted to make money off of Sam Johnson's biography. So he could get married, have children, and get a life. It is really that simple, and no further, please!

Other than that, you sure have overactive imaginations about men who need money in order to go on living, in other words to "make a living," you might say. You too.

The European Inquisition was still around at the time, and they had a nasty tendency to burn gay men alive at the stake. At least, several dozen of those ACCUSED of such stuff, you see. So whoever you think you see above...illusions are common. So life is fragile, complicated, and complex too.


By Jorge Luis Borges - Author of A Thousand Years of Solitude, about South and Central America, where of course that cursed soldier Adolf Hitler supposedly sojourned - instead of dying for us........

Did you ever think maybe he did it to get OUT of having to join the Army? No? Well, try sticking that into your brain NOW AND THEN. Russia was indeed invading. You see, War in Europe is ONGOING, o universe.

Dr. Johnson was already fifty years old. He had published his dictionary, for which he was paid 1,500 pounds sterling—which became 1,600 when his publishers decided to give him one hundred more—when he finished. He was slowing down. He then published his edition of Shakespeare, which he finished only because his publishers had received payments from subscribers, so it had to be done. Otherwise, Dr. Johnson spent his time engaged in conversation.

….The truth is, in spite of his numerous accomplishments, he had a natural tendency toward idleness. He preferred to talk rather than write. So, he worked only on that edition of Shakespeare, which was one of his last works, for he received complaints, and satirical responses, and this made him decide to finish the work, because the subscribers had already paid.
Johnson had a peculiar temperament. For a time he was extremely interested in the subject of ghosts. He was so interested in them that he spent several nights in an abandoned house to see if he could meet one. Apparently, he didn’t. There’s a famous passage by the Scottish writer, Thomas Carlyle, I think it is in his Sartor Resartus—which means “The Tailor Retailored,” or “The Mended Tailor,” and we’ll soon see why—in which he talks about Johnson, saying that Johnson wanted to see a ghost. And Carlyle wonders: “What is a ghost? A ghost is a spirit that has taken corporal form and appears for a while among men.” Then Carlyle adds, “How could Johnson not have thought of this when faced with the spectacle of the human multitudes he loved so much in the streets of London, for if a ghost were a spirit that has taken a corporal form for a brief interval, why did it not occur to him that the London multitudes were ghosts, that he himself was a ghost? What is each man but a spirit that has taken corporal form briefly and then disappears? What are men if not ghosts?”
….Johnson was in a bookstore when he met a young man named James Boswell. This young man was born in Edinburgh in 1740 and died in the year 1795. He was the son of a judge. In Scotland, judges were given the title of Lord and could choose the place they wanted to be lord of. Boswell’s father had a small castle that was in ruins. Scotland is full of castles in ruins, poor castles in the Highlands of Scotland, and as opposed to the castles of the Rhine, which suggest an opulent life with small but more or less lavish courts, these don’t, they give the impression of a life of battle, of difficult battles against the English. The castle was called Auchinleck. Boswell’s father, then, was Lord Auchinleck and so was his son. But this wasn’t, let us say, a native title, from birth, but rather a judicial title. Now, even though Boswell showed an interest in letters, his parents wanted him to go into law. He studied in Edinburgh and then for more than two years at Utretcht University in Holland. This was customary at that time: to study at several universities, in the British Isles and on the continent.
It could be said that Boswell had a premonition of his destiny. Like Milton knew that he would be a poet before he had written a single line, Boswell always felt he would be the biographer of a great man of his era. So he visited Voltaire; he tried to approach the great men of his time. He visited Voltaire in Berne, in Switzerland, and he made friends with Jean-Jacques Rousseau—they were friends for only fifteen or twenty days, because Rousseau was a very ill-tempered man—and then he became friends with an Italian general, Paoli, from Corsica. And when he returned to England, he wrote a book about Corsica, and at a party given in Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate the birth of Shakespeare, he showed up dressed as a Corsican villager. So that people would recognize him as the author of the book about Corsica, he carried a sign on his hat, on which he had written “Corsica’s Boswell,” and we know this because of his own testimony and that of his contemporaries.
There is something very strange about Boswell, something that has been interpreted in two different ways. I’m going to look at the two extreme views: the one of the English essayist and historian Macaulay, who wrote around the middle of the nineteenth century, and that of Bernard Shaw, written, I believe, around 1915, or something like that. Then there is a whole range of judgments between those two. Macaulay says that the preeminence of Homer as an epic poet, of Shakespeare as a dramatic poet, of Demosthenes as an orator, and of Cervantes as a novelist is no less indisputable than the preeminence of Boswell as a biographer. And then he says that all those eminent names owed their preeminence to their talent and brilliance, and that the odd thing about Boswell is that he owes his preeminence as a biographer to his foolishness, his inconsistency, his vanity, and his imbecility.
He then recounts a series of instances in which Boswell appears as a ridiculous character. He says that if these things that happened to Boswell had happened to anybody else, that person would have wanted the earth to swallow him up. Boswell, however, dedicated himself to publicizing them. For example, there’s the scorn shown to him by an English duchess, and the fact that members of the club he managed to join thought there could not be a person less intelligent than Boswell. But Macaulay forgets that we owe the narration of almost all those facts to Boswell himself. Now… in the case of a short composition a fool can utter a brilliant sentence but it seems quite rare for a fool to be able to write an admirable biography of seven or eight hundred pages in spite of being a fool or, according to Macaulay, because he was a fool.
Now, let us take a look at the opposite opinion, that of Bernard Shaw. Bernard Shaw, in one of his long and incisive prologues, says that he is the heir to an apostolic succession of dramatists, that this succession comes from the Greek tragedians—from Aeschylus, Sophocles, through Euripides—and then passes through Shakespeare, through Marlowe. He says that he is not, in fact, better than Shakespeare, that if he had lived in Shakespeare’s century he would not have written works better than Hamlet or Macbeth; but now he can, for he cannot stand Shakespeare, because he has read authors who are better than him. Before, he mentioned other dramatists, names that are somewhat surprising for such a list. He says we have the four Evangelists, those four great dramatists who created the character Christ. Before, we had Plato, who created the character Socrates.
Then we have Boswell, who created the character Johnson. “And now, we have me, who has created so many characters it is not worth listing them, the list would be almost infinite as well as being well known.” “Finally,” he says, “I am heir to the apostolic succession that begins with Aeschylus and ends in me and that undoubtedly will continue.” So here we have these two extreme opinions: one, that Boswell was an idiot who had the good fortune to meet Johnson and write his biography—that’s Macaulay’s—and the other, the opposite, of Bernard Shaw, who says that Johnson was, among his other literary merits, a dramatic character created by Boswell.
….So, now we will return to the relationship between Boswell and Johnson. Johnson was a famous man, a dictator in the world of English letters (at the same time he was a man who suffered from loneliness, as do many famous men). Boswell was a young man, in his twenties. Johnson was from a humble background; his father was a bookseller in a small town in Staffordshire. And the other was a young aristocrat. In other words, it is well known that men of a certain age are rejuvenated by the company of the young. Johnson was, moreover, an extremely unkempt person: he paid no attention to what he wore; he had a gluttonous appetite. When he ate, the veins on his forehead swelled, he emitted all kinds of grunts, and he didn’t respond if somebody asked him a question; he pushed away—like so, with his hands—a woman who asked him something, and grunted at the same time, or he’d start praying right in the middle of a meeting. But he knew that everything would be tolerated because he was an important figure. In spite of all this, Boswell became friends with him. Boswell did not contradict him; he listened to his opinions with reverence.
It is true that at times Boswell annoyed him with questions that were difficult to answer. He asked him, for example—just to know what Dr. Johnson would answer—“What would you do if you were locked in a tower with a newborn baby?” Of course, Johnson answered, “I have no intention of answering such an inept question.” And Boswell jotted down this answer, went to his house, and wrote it up. But after two or three months of friendship, Boswell decided to go to Holland to continue his legal studies, and Johnson, who was very attached to London … Johnson said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Johnson accompanied Boswell to the boat. I think it is many miles south of London. That is, he diligently tolerated the long and—at the time—difficult trip, and Boswell says he stood at the port watching the boat sail away, waving goodbye. They wouldn’t see each other for two or three years. Then, after his failure with Voltaire, his failure with Rousseau, his success with Paoli—which might not have been difficult because Paoli was not a very important person—Boswell decided to dedicate himself to being Johnson’s biographer.
Boswell conceived of the idea of an extensive biography, one that included his conversations with Johnson, whom he saw several times a week, sometimes more. The Life of Samuel Johnson, by Boswell, has often been compared to Conversations of Goethe, by Eckermann, a book that in my opinion is in no way comparable, even though it was praised by Nietzsche as the best book ever written in German. Because Eckermann was a man of limited intelligence who greatly revered Goethe, who spoke with him ex cathedra. Eckermann very rarely dared to contradict Goethe. Then he’d go home and write it all down. The book has something of catechism about it. In other words: Eckermann asks, Goethe answers, the first writes down what Goethe has said…. Eckermann almost doesn’t exist except as a kind of machine that records Goethe’s words. We know nothing about Eckermann, nothing about his character—he undoubtedly had one, but this cannot be deduced from the book, cannot be inferred from it.
On the other hand, what Boswell planned, or in any case what he carried out, was completely different: to make Johnson’s biography a drama, with several characters. There is [Sir Joshua] Reynolds, there is [Oliver] Goldsmith, sometimes the members of the circle, or how would we call it, the salon, of which Johnson was the leader. And they appear and behave like the characters in a play. Indeed, each has his own personality—above all, Dr. Johnson, who is presented sometimes as ridiculous but always as lovable. This is what happens with Cervantes’s character, Don Quixote, especially in the second part, when the author has learned to know his character and has forgotten his initial goal of parodying novels of chivalry. This is true, because the more writers develop their characters, the better they get to know them. So, that’s how we have a character who is sometimes ridiculous, but who can be serious and have profound thoughts, and above all is one of the most beloved characters in all of history. And we can say “of history” because Don Quixote is more real to us than Cervantes himself, as Unamuno and others have maintained. …. And at the end, Don Quixote is a slightly ridiculous character, but he is also a gentleman worthy of our respect, and sometimes our pity, but he is always lovable. And this is the same sensation we get from the image of Dr. Johnson, given to us by Boswell, with his grotesque appearance, his long arms, his slovenly appearance. But he is lovable.
….Now, in the same way that we have seen how Johnson is similar to Don Quixote, we have to think that just as Sancho is the companion Quixote sometimes treats badly, we see Boswell in that same relation to Dr. Johnson: a sometimes stupid and loyal companion. There are characters whose role is to bring out the hero’s personality. In other words, often authors need a character who serves as a framework for and a contrast to the deeds of his hero. This is Sancho, and that character in Boswell’s work is Boswell himself. That is, Boswell appears as a despicable character. But it seems impossible to me that Boswell didn’t realize this. And this shows that Boswell positioned himself in contrast to Johnson. The fact that Boswell himself tells anecdotes in which he appears ridiculous makes him not seem ridiculous at all, for if he wrote them down, he did it because he saw that the purpose of the anecdote was to make Johnson stand out.
There is a Hindu school of philosophy that says that we are not the actors in our lives, but rather the spectators, and this is illustrated using the metaphor of a dancer. These days, maybe it would be better to say an actor. A spectator sees a dancer or an actor, or, if you prefer, reads a novel, and ends up identifying with one of the characters who is there in front of him. This is what those Hindu thinkers before the fifth century said. And the same thing happens with us. I, for example, was born the same day as Jorge Luis Borges, exactly the same day. I have seen him be ridiculous in some situations, pathetic in others. And, as I have always had him in front of me, I have ended up identifying with him. According to this theory, in other words, the I would be double: there is a profound I, and this I is identified with—though separate from—the other. Now, I don’t know what experiences you might have had, but sometimes this happens to me: usually at two particular kinds of moments—at moments when something very good has happened, and, above all, at moments when something very bad has happened to me. And for a few seconds, I have felt: “But, what do I care about all this? It is as if all of this is happening to somebody else.” That is, I have felt that there is something deep down inside me that remains separate.
And this, surely, is what Shakespeare also felt, because in one of his comedies there is a soldier, a cowardly soldier, the Miles Gloriosus of the Latin comedy. The man is a show-off, he makes people believe that he has acted bravely, and they promote him and he becomes a captain. Then they discover his trick, and in front of the entire troop they pull off his medals; they humiliate him. And then he is left alone and says: “Captain I’ll be no more; / But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft / As captain shall: simply the thing I am / Shall make me live.” “No seré capitán.” He says simply, “the thing I am shall make me live.” That is, he feels that above and beyond the circumstances, beyond his cowardice, his humiliation, he is something else, a kind of strength we all have within us, what Spinoza called “God,” what Schopenhauer called “will,” what Bernard Shaw called “life force,” and Bergson called “vital impulse.” I think this is also what was going on with Boswell.
Perhaps Boswell simply felt it as an aesthetic necessity that to better showcase Johnson, there should be a very different character alongside him. Something like in the novels of Conan Doyle: the mediocre Dr. Watson makes the brilliant Sherlock Holmes stand out even more. And Boswell gives himself the role of the ridiculous one, and he maintains it throughout the entire book. Yet, we feel a sincere friendship between the two in the same way we feel it when we read Conan Doyle’s novels. It is natural, as I have said, that this would be so; for Johnson was a famous man and alone, and of course he liked to feel by his side the friendship of a much younger man, who so obviously admired him.
There is another problem that comes up here, I don’t remember if I have already mentioned it, and this is what led Johnson to devote his last years almost exclusively to conversation. Johnson almost stopped writing, besides the edition of Shakespeare, which he had to do because the publishers were demanding it. Now, this can be explained in a certain way. It can be explained because Johnson knew he liked to converse, and he knew that the gems of his conversation would be recorded by Boswell. At the same time, if it appears that Boswell had shown Johnson the manuscript, then the work would have lost a lot. We have to accept the fact, true or false, that Johnson was unaware of what it contained. But this would explain Johnson’s silence, the fact that Johnson knew that what he said would not be lost. Now, [Joseph] Wood Krutch, an American critic, has wondered if Boswell’s book reproduces Johnson’s conversations exactly, and he reaches the conclusion, in a very believable way, that Boswell does not reproduce Johnson’s conversation as a stenographer would have done, or a recording, or anything like that, rather that he produces the effect of Johnson’s conversation. In other words, it is very possible that Johnson was not always as epigrammatic nor as ingenious as he is presented in the work, though undoubtedly, after meetings at his club, his interlocutors retain memories much like that. There are sentences, in any case, that seem to be coined by Johnson.
Somebody said to Johnson that he could not imagine a more miserable life than a sailor’s, that to see a warship, to see the sailors crowded together, sometimes whipped, was to see the nadir, the lowest depths of the human condition. And Johnson answered, “The profession of sailors and soldiers has the dignity of danger. All men feel ashamed at not having been at sea or in battle.” This is in tune with the courage we feel in Dr. Johnson.

Excerpted from “Class 10: Samuel Johnson as Seen by Boswell. The Art of Biography. Johnson and His Critics. Monday, November 7, 1966,” in Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature, a compilation of twenty-five lectures Borges gave in 1966 that has been translated into English for the first time by Katherine Silver. It will be published by New Directions on July 31.


How to Become a Ghost Writer

how to be a successful ghostwriter

What is the point of ghost writing, editing, or being the author of a novel, book, memoir or screenplay if nobody else reads it?

AT LEAST ONE reader does an experience make whether it is a ghost writer book, ghost writing screenplay or author memoirs. The point has always been the reader, your readers. You think when you ghost write a book between the many of you, what am I going to be an author or screenwriter about, how am I going to have a ghost writer talk, and how am I making ample money for my business, for my family, for myself – how about simply caring about your readers for a change?

What do they want, what sells you to them, how would you go about being a ghost writer or book author client for your readers? Whether you are a ghost writer or book author, it tends to be the case that your readers get awfully lost in the shuffle. The mental picture is somebody so important; they have their pick of all media on the face of the planet – why would they want to view yours?

You do have to pick out your audience instead, aiming for something a bit shorter than best sellers, a bit longer than eBooks that make ten cents for you if you don’t aim it, hugging and arming instead a smaller group. Who would be interested in reading your idea book the most and whom are you as a ghost writer or book author writing it for?

It’s not a matter of what you want to say, it’s not a matter of satisfying your own selfish desires. It’s not a matter of how well your book is going to sell; it’s a matter of the nature of your audience. What are their needs? If you haven’t got an idea yet, what do you think is a Big Idea out there, what would appeal to a vast audience? If you do have an idea and you need to fulfill it, who needs that idea, who needs to be a ghost writer for it, who needs it? It’s not a matter of who you already happen to be – it’s largely a matter of where you can take a realistic appraisal. This is what I want ghost writers to consider.

Not the thing everybody else is doing, not the best rewrite, not the kitchen sink of each book or screenplay author's prose that can be found somewhere else. Something else that is news to your readers, your audience. Not the past, not the present, not the future. Not sexual matters, not war, not how to make peace in our time by selling million dollar babies. Understand this example – books on self-help have sold like hotcakes because they have a readymade audience, namely people who need help. Who needs help, who beseeches a way to find that help, who hires a ghost writer who needs to help an author achieve an audience – who actually needs you?

You should be able, as either a ghost writer or book author, to think about somebody else for a change. Go find your people, and write, draw, plan, dream and implement fantasia for a pared down, niche, select series of groups of them. When you are a ghost writer, find somebody and write only for them – see it now. Give it your all, or give it something, but don’t just write for yourself – unless you really must pass it around to your family, friends and colleagues. Which can be the fairest audiences of some smaller types, of a different drummer, as long as you do realize that you are writing? Who are you a ghost writing team of – you, or all of those others?

Executive Director of Ghost Writer, Inc., Karen Cole writes. GWI at is a renowned affordable online professional copy writers, book authors, ghost writers, copy editors, proof readers, coauthors, rewriters, book cover creation, graphics and CAD, digital and other photography, publishing assistance and book and screenplay writers, editors, developers and paid analysts service. We also do presentation and pitch services for your book and/or screenplay ideas to major TV and film industry representatives.



How to Find and Hire Ghost Writers

How do I hire a Ghostwriter? And how do I

find one?

By Anonymous the Ghost

how to find a ghostwriter

Many people nowadays have websites, and they need to have professional content written for them. In order to do that, they will need to hire ghost writers. The fact is that ghost writers are people who are specialized in writing any piece of work, as long as it involves information that is easily accessible on the internet. Upon completion of their projects, the ghost writers will be paid for the pieces they have written, yet they will not be given any credit by the buyer.

How to find and hire ghost writers:

1. First of all, clients need to define the scope of their ghost writing projects. Buyers who hire ghost writers must be specific about the topics they want the ghost writers to research and write about, the number of words the projects will contain, the styles of the pieces, and if the buyers have special instructions, they should tell the ghost writers about them. Depending on the number of words the buyers request, the ghost writers will charge them accordingly.

2. It could be that the buyers will hire ghost writers who have experience within their niches. This will further increase the prices of their projects, so they need to be aware of this. Such ghost writers are perfect for those looking to have ebooks written, as well as printed books and screenplays. If the topics are highly technical, hiring ghost writers who are proficient at ghost writing in such styles is recommended.

3. Coming up with a realistic budget for each project must be considered. The budgets should allow buyers to get the best ghost writers. More experienced ghost writers will charge more than newbies. Success will depend on the expertise of the ghost writers, and that is why hiring experienced ones should be a priority.

4. Before hiring any ghost writers, it's recommended that people check out their portfolios and also references, if they can find them on the Internet. This way, buyers can assess the skills of those ghost writers and decide whether or not to go with their ghost writing services.

5. Last but not least, if the buyers agree to hire one or more ghost writers, contracts must be drawn up. Each one must specify who gets the rights and recognition for the work, the method of payment, and the total cost of each project.

Finding ghost writers is not hard, but it requires buyers to do some research before going with a ghost writing service. Choosing ghost writers who don't have experience in needed subject matters and hoping for them to deliver quality ghost writing work at low prices is unrealistic and should not be attempted. The quality of ghost writers is always more important than a few extra dollars.