Tag Archives: ghostwriter

Working as a ghostwriter

The recent publication of Confessions of a Ghostwriter by Andrew Crofts shines a rare spotlight on what can seem a hidden world.

Crofts has ghostwritten around 80 books, a number of which have climbed into the bestseller lists. With this sort of track record, it’s no wonder that his fees average six figures.

But most ghostwriters won’t earn anything near that amount, but they can often earn more than most publishers would pay in an advance.

Some people with stories to tell will approach a ghostwriter expecting that they will write the book for peanuts or, worse, for free.

I remember meeting a policeman who was about to retire from the Met. He’d had an interesting career, working in the drugs, robbery, and murder squads, and seemed to think his story would make him a fortune.

“The first thing we need to do is to talk about money,” I said when I sat down with him in a west London café.

“Oh, don’t worry, that’s not a problem,” he said with a shake of the head.

“But have you a figure in mind?” I asked.

“I was thinking of about five hundred quid. But we’ll go fifty fifty on the royalties.”

When I told him the true cost, his mouth fell open. “I can’t afford that – I’m going through a divorce,” he said.

No ghostwriter is going to work on the basis of future royalties, which, unless someone is a big name, are likely to be non existent.

Writing someone else’s story requires a huge amount of work. You have all the interviews to do, tapes to transcribe, research to carry out, a structure and theme to come up with (no, we don’t just write down what someone says), and then the writing and editing.

I hope Andrew Crofts’ book might lead a greater understanding and appreciation of the skills of a ghostwriter. And for those who might be thinking of hiring one, I hope they are more realistic in what it will cost them.


Looking for a ghost writer?

n2MnwNRCkmuelLkEJT0jlEAGm2KeXuiQ2N5p8yK7Ig4 copyIf you are someone who has reached  a stage in your life where you want to write a book about it, but don’t have the skills to do it, or the time, then Greg Watts can do it for you.

He is an experienced ghost writer who has helped a number of people to tell their story in an engaging and entertaining way.

It might come as a surprise, but many of the books you might read are not actually written by the person whose name is on the cover. Sir Alex Ferguson, Bear Grylls, Sharon Osbourne, and Victoria Beckham are just a few of those who stories have been ghosted. It’s also a way of leaving a legacy. 

Telling your life story, or writing about a part of it, say your career, (what’s known as a memoir) allows you to share some of your experiences and insights, which might inspire or help others. 

If you want to discuss a book you have in mind, whether it is one for publication or one just to be read by family, friends or business colleagues, then contact Greg for an informal chat.

About Greg Watts

Greg Watts is an author and ghost writer.  His books include the 2018 comic novel The Man Behind the Menu, the award-winning Ole! Ole! Passion on a Plate: The Rise of Spanish Cuisine in London, and biographies of Rembrandt and Mother Teresa.  Among the books he has ghosted are Don’t Drop the Coffin, with undertaker Barry Albin Dyer, Your Seat is at the End, with former trade union leader Baroness Margaret Prosser, and Meeting the Guv’nor with unlicensed boxing promoter Alan Mortlock.

He has also written for numerous publications, including The Times, London’s Evening Standard, and British Journalism Review, and has worked in TV and radio.