Being a Ghostwriter

Editing-Books-Suzanne-Sherman-Editor-Writing ConsultantA ghostwriter gets to walk in a lot of different people’s shoes. It’s like being an actor. I’ve been a professional singer, a scientist, a philosopher and theologian—and the list goes on. As a ghostwriter I have to sound like my client and then help them sound even better.

Good editors do this, too. It’s how I’ve worked in so many fields when my one field, really, is language. It’s why in my twenties I could be an editor at Women’s Sports & Fitness magazine when my most athletic endeavor was ice skating with friends on Friday nights. It’s how I became associate editor of The Birds Around Us for Ortho Books, improving the words of renowned ornithologists including Roger Tory Peterson when the most I knew about birds was the difference between a sparrow and a robin.

A ghostwriter gets to walk in a lot of different people’s shoes. It’s like being an actor. As a ghostwriter I have to sound like my client and then help them sound even better.

Healing the Rift: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Spirituality was a draft of a book proposal when it crossed my desk, and I learned about physics and metaphysics while I found ways to shape this scientist’s mind-bending thoughts; Queen of Hearts: The Life of a Sexual Pioneer, was a very personal story and it needed a lot of tender coaxing to get to its heart. Fearless Fish Out of Water: How To Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You was a new idea for the businesswoman who contacted me for help.

Every time I start a ghostwriting project I have to get in fast and find and understand the core message, hear the cover author’s voice, and then write or co-create a book that will be everything my client wants. When the book is published, I don’t do the promotion, but I share in the joy of publication. It’s like being an aunt. And I love being an aunt.