How is it possible that anyone with a book deal is an author? Book deals are very common if you happen to be a public figure. There is a tremendous amount of work to be had for ghostwriters. That’s great and it pays well but I would want credit. Writing is a skill. I studied it for years and for some public figure to run away, claiming they are an author, is bothersome. At most, the public figure may have dictated some stories or written down some basic facts. That doesn’t make someone a writer or an author. It used to be pretty clear that an autobiography was by the hand of the subject and a biography was by another person writing about said subject. Now, if you have a book deal, you can claim authorship or call it a memoir, which doesn’t mean anything. I have enough skill and command of the English language to understand how to write a book. What I don’t have is celebrity status. It’s called a degree. I’m okay with that. There are probably millions in the same boat as me. We work really hard on our writing skills. It’s very insulting to see an actor or anyone else that has a book deal that doesn’t mention their co-author. Sometimes they do in very small print under the name of the celebrity. That’s demeaning but better than no mention at all, which is typical. I understand it’s negotiable and ghost writers are fine with their anonymity, but the public should know about the writers that make it happen. We are missing an ethical standard, when we let credit be taken by others because of the pay. It hurts writers everywhere that may not have the good fortune to be working. If someone wrote about me, for me, and I turned it in for a grade, I could be thrown out of a university for plagiarism. It’s taken very serious at University. I do know a famous author of non-fiction and I love that she is all about giving credit where it is due. She readily admits that she has a tough time with book formats and organization. She’s a brilliant, respected academic, but not a trained writer. She has a co-author to help put the words on the page. I love that she is so honest without considering otherwise. It’s just the right thing to do. A person lucky enough to get a book deal should give writers credit. For those that ghostwrite and don’t care, I guess good for you. It’s a bit selfish because people should know that writing is tough. You can have an innate talent, but training is just as important. Monet was a talented painter, but he still went to art school to help realize that talent. It’s irksome to see people take credit for the hard work of others. Especially when it is a public figure with a book deal that swaggers around claiming they are a writer or an author.
By: Paul L.