One of the most asked and frequently confused questions is the difference between freelance and ghostwriting. I am a freelance writer that is different than being a ghostwriter. Most people do not understand the difference. Want to know more about freelance and ghostwriting?
A freelance author is hired to write a story. A publisher finds writers to write books on a quick time table, according to an idea or outline pre-determined by the publisher, and which the copyright is in the publisher’s name. The publisher will pay the writer a one-time, agreed upon amount. The writer will not receive any more money, no matter how well or poorly the book sells. The copyright is in the publisher’s name, and the writer is giving them all rights to his/her work.
Pros of freelance writing:
- quick turn-around in getting books published
- sometimes faster payment for your writing
- a good way to add to your writing resume
- authors are credited for writing the story
- a great way to get into the writing business working with an editor
Cons of freelance writing:
- one payment, no matter how well the book does
- giving up rights
- fast turn-around of manuscripts, meaning it can be stressful
By definition, ghostwriters are “professional writers who craft material for others, taking a client’s vision, story or idea and creating a polished, publication-quality product that the client can attach his name to and call his own.” You might associate ghostwriting with celebrity memoirs, autobiographies, novel series and nonfiction e-books. Ghostwriting is popular for business writers as well, such as press releases, blog posts, opinion pieces and speeches.
Pros of ghostwriting:
- Ghostwriters earn income while working on your own projects
- Assignments can cover almost every topic under the sun
- You are responsible only for writing, nothing more.
- Ghostwriting can be lucrative once you are established
Cons of ghostwriting:
- Ghostwriting is a competitive field
- You do not receive author credit for writing
- You write for someone else
- There are strict deadlines and fast turnaround times
- The writing might not be interesting to you
I thoroughly enjoy being a freelance picture book writer. I love writing children’s books and freelance writing is a great match for me. The outlines I receive provide guidance as far as the concepts or information they would like included in the story. I think the only drawback for me is not being able to work with the illustrator or at least have some input with the illustrations. I am impatient to see the illustrations until the book is published. Otherwise, I truly enjoy being a freelance picture book author.
I leave the decision to you. Would you prefer freelance or ghostwriting? or Maybe you are a freelance or ghostwriter? What have you experienced? I would love to hear from you!
I am so glad you’re here and so grateful that I can share my writing journey with you.
I’m looking forward to helping you as a children’s book writer in any way that I can. Speaking of helping — please leave a comment below and let me know what questions you have about picture book writing. This will help me to tailor my posts to your needs.
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Our new book, Two Wins for Wiley, is now with the book designer. We are still on target to launch the book on October 18th. We are excited to share this terrific story with you! More updates next week.