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Writing Right: The Blog

WHY ARE GHOSTWRITERS SO CHEAP AT JOB SITES?

You know, a lot of people must be asking that question, and I'm not surprised, considering the phenomenal growth of some on-line professional job agencies of late. Everywhere you look, someone is promoting the idea of finding professional workers online.

 

Even though it's tempting, I'm not going to put down Fiverr or Upwork or any of those other job mills because some writers struggling to make a buck sign up there and, hopefully, earn a few dollars now and again. As others have said, though, professionals (I mean the time-tested pros who can write any genre in any voice and do so successfully) don't. When I'm not working hard on perfecting my own books for publication (and articles, scripts, etc.), and when I'm not out photographing, designing book covers, critiquing and reviewing books, or painting or sculpting, I take a ghostwriting or book-doctoring job now and again. When I do, I devote my full attention to the task at hand because I know the author who hired me wants to see the finished product as soon as possible. The perfect finished product.

 

I can't work for jobbers and make the kind of money I'm forced to charge because the quality of my work demands a huge amount of my time, skills, and energy. People who go to an agency looking for someone to hire are looking for top quality professionals at bargain-basement rates. They usually find them—the bargain-basement rates, that is. Top quality professionals? Uh-uh. Don't even go there.

 

When I take on a project, I take it on all the way through publication. I hook my client up with a suitable, reliable, professional literary agent, make sure the property is ready to begin shopping around, work up a pitch letter for the agent to use as a starting point, enact any requested changes from interested publishers, and do everything else that's required before the author signs that publishing agreement on the dotted line. All for one set price.

 

My advice to others after my half a century in this business: If you want the best and won't settle for less, ask around. Check with agents, published authors, acquisitions editors, and publishing personnel for recommendations. You'll find out where we hang our hats soon enough. And you'll do so not through an employment agency that stays in business by cranking out sales but through satisfied customers whose books are in print and stirring demand.

 

Agencies and top-rated professionals are pretty much mutually exclusive. Where you find one, you won't find the other. It's like the difference between buying a Ferrari and a Honda. You'll find one shopper at one dealership and another shopper at the other. See what I mean? As for me, I've always been more of a Ferrari than a Honda guy. Just the way things worked out.

 

Hope this helps, and ...

 

Smoke if you've got 'em.

 

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D. J. Herda is author of the new ebook series of writing advice, About Writing Right, available at amazon and at fine booksellers everywhere.

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