William Hammett, Independent Ghostwriter

Paperback Writer

My friend Joe is a ghostwriter who was hospitalized for several months due to illness. When he was discharged, he had no money to create a website or advertise his services. He was a good ghost who'd earned the nickname "paperback writer" because he was a fan of The Beatles.

Joe called up a ghostwriting company to see if he could find work so that he could get back on his feet. The company knew who Joe was and embraced the idea of his joining their "team."

"How much work can you give me?" Joe asked the chief executive during a telephone conversation one morning.

"Hmmm, not really sure, Joe. It depends how many clients we reel in from the website and how much they're willing to pay."

"How much do I get paid for each book?"

There was a pause at the other end of the line.

"Well . . . gosh, that's not something I can tell you until you sign our contract. Our entire operation is proprietary."

"But I need to budget myself," Joe countered. "Everybody does."

"Yeah," said the executive, "but here's the deal. Some of our writers work, and some of them don't. We put them on our staff because it looks good."

"But what would I do at the office if I'm not writing?"

"Hell, you would work at home."

"But your website says that your writers primarily work at your office."

"Yeah, primarily is the operative word. Actually, they work from just about anywhere. Every now and then someone here at the office writes a book. Does that count?" The executive laughed.

Joe was puzzled. "Will I be an employee or not?"

"Not in the conventional sense."

"No benefits? No health insurance or pension?"


"So I'd be a subcontractor then?"

"No, the company contract will designate that you're one of our staff writers. We don’t use the word ‘subcontractor.’ It’s bad for business."

"Staff writer? But I would work from home, would not technically be an employee, wouldn't get benefits, and would never be assured of work."

"Now you're catching on, Joe! When can I send you the contract?"

Joe wisely declined to sign with the company. The paperback writer wanted to write books, not simply be listed on a website.

If you're searching online for a ghostwriter, you've never heard of Joe or his story. Now you have.

Read more about Ghostwriting Companies here.

I also invite you to download your free copy of my book How to Hire a Ghostwriter, which is available on this site.

Dream big.

Write a book.



Click here to download How to Hire a Ghoswriter

Only 4% of those who call themselves ghostwriters are qualified to write a book. If you're not familiar with publishing or online ghostwriting, you'll probably choose the wrong writer. Discover the realities of an industry that has no regulation or oversight. Download your free copy of How To Hire a Ghostwriter to gain valuable information and save thousands of dollars. Get an insider's view of a little-understood profession and the knowledge you need to select the right ghost.

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