Re: Ghostwriting

Subject: Re: Ghostwriting
From: Sarah Lee Bihlmayer <tecscrib -at- SIRIUS -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 1996 12:18:55 -0700

K.D. Fisher asked about ghostwriting. Although I've never been asked to
ghostwrite articles for a professional journal, I've had a good half-dozen
ghostwriting gigs. All were for commercially available computer books. In
each case, I've received a percentage of the gross profits (i.e.,
royalties), and credit for writing assistance and/or editing on the
acknowledgments page.

The projects break down very neatly into two categories:

1. The author needs to get a book published for professional reasons and
is doing well enough financially to give up a portion (15-30%) of the

2. The author is an SME who signs a book contract with a publisher,
collects (and spends) the advance, and then can't deliver usable copy. In
this case, I'm retained by the author to do a developmental edit and total
rewrite of massive proportions. Since the purpose of hiring me is to avoid
a breach-of-contract lawsuit, I'm able to negotiate a royalty percentage of

In either case, I sign a collaborative contract with the author that
stipulates the percent of the royalties I receive. And since I receive
credit in print, there is no problem using the books as samples of my work.

|"God is in the details." --Frank Lloyd Wright|
| Sarah Lee Bihlmayer * Print/Online/WWW Documentation Specialist |
| Technical Writing * Technical/Developmental/Copy/Production Editing |
|Indexing * Technical Illustration * Electronic Prepress * Graphic Design |
|POB 27901-312 San Francisco CA 94127 * 415-207-4046 * tecscrib -at- sirius -dot- com|

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