Like high pay? Have self-confidence? Know food; write well? Ghostwriting may be a career move for motivated writers who are willing to write for high pay but no credit or byline.
Simply put, a ghostwriter is someone who writes a book, speech, article or editorial that will be published under someone else’s name. Celebrity autobiographies are usually written by ghostwriters and established novelists have been known to supply the plot and outline to a ghostwriter who takes the book the rest of the way to publication.
People who need ghostwriters are those who have a recognizable name or business and either cannot write well enough for publication, or do not have the time to write for publication. In a ghostwriting foodie’s dream, a celebrity chef will give the idea, notes, outlines and rough drafts to the writer who will write, rewrite, research, interview and edit the manuscript heading to a publisher.
The celebrity chef’s name and photo will grace the book cover. Her recipes and tips, and the ability to get her book in bookstores everywhere as well as the cachet to get booked on Oprah will get the book published and marketed.
What’s in it for the ghost writer? Anywhere from $100 per finished page to a split of the royalties.
Ghostwriters need to keep their connection with their work confidential, and have a willingness to work around the client’s travel and work schedules. As in every writing assignment food writers win, strong writing and editing skills are essential. Most ghostwritten books are promoted as written by the client, so a strong ego able to withstand reading the praise of the client’s writing is also a must.
When looking for ghost food writing work, be cautious with the auction sites. Neophytes bid low for jobs; you don’t want to bid a book that nets you only $1 a page. Instead, visit sites that list jobs – writersweekly.com, writing-world.com, craigslist.com – or find an editorial firm that does ghost writing and see if they are hiring out any work.
Break into ghost food writing by contacting trade magazines with your writing samples. Dazzle them with your writing and the editors are likely to match you with an executive chef or restaurateur who can’t write but will bring prestige to the magazine.
Food writers can turn their culinary knowledge into ghost writing by looking for jobs ghostwriting cookbooks for famous chefs, penning speeches for food executives, writing trade articles for food research scientists, blogging for a local culinary artist, and creating “autobiographies” for owners of food manufacturing firms and Food Network hosts. Keep working behind the scenes and you can build up a lucrative career as a ghost food writer.