For the next few weeks here at Accomplish Press, we are focusing on the topic of Ghostwriting. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what ghostwriting is, what ghostwriters do exactly, how the agreements are drawn up, how to find a ghostwriter, and so on. To help us understand it better, we have four featured Q & A sessions with four different ghostwriters. Every week, we will ask them about their work, and their experiences in this particular writing niche.
This week we’re featuring Seun Odukoya
What exactly is Ghostwriting? How did you get into this niche?
Simply put, ghostwriting is the art/practice of writing for someone else
What are the skills you need to be a great Ghostwriter?
Mostly the ability to think as someone else – to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and write like they would.
What is the pay structure like?
It mostly depends on the client – but it pays pretty well, depending on what you’re writing
What rights do you have over the work? Is it different from other ‘write-to-hire’ jobs?
I don’t think a ghostwriter has any right over the work – not obviously anyway. I would like to think that’s the point of the ‘ghost’ in ‘ghostwriter’ – you were never there.
Do you have to sign a confidentiality clause when you take on the work?
More than usually!
Who are the people most likely to be your clients? How do you find them?
It varies. Most of the work I’ve done has to do with songwriting (not a whole lot) – and I’ve written a screenplay too.
Do you need to do a lot of research in your work for other people?
It depends on the subject. Just as much as you would do for your work, I imagine.
Do you find it easier or harder to write for others as opposed to writing your own work?
Do you write fiction or non-fiction for your clients? Which do you prefer?
The little experience I’ve had is around fiction – I’ve only worked on one non-fiction piece before, a documentary. I think I’m more comfortable with fiction – but I do whatever the work dictates.
Do you find it easier to keep an emotional distance from the work?
It’s not so easy; emotional honesty is most important in what we do – but it’s the best practice – even in what we do. Writing.
How do you feel when the work gets published and becomes successful, but you can’t claim any credit for it?
It’s what the job entails. You have to learn to let go the moment you turn in the project – else you get carried away and put your professional ethics into question.
How do you manage your client’s expectations?
By following them as closely as possible; involving them in the most minute detail of the work – as that they do not draw you back after you’ve gone in so deep.
Any advice for writers who may be considering this niche?
Be creative. Be flexible. Be honest. And hardworking.
Seun Odukoya is a graduate of Educational Psychology, the award-winning author of the e-book For Days and A Night, e-comic Songs About AIDS, the online series Saving Dapo, the physical book Saving Dapo and another e-book Love Drops. He is also a speaker; he spoke at the first-ever TEDx Unilag in March 2015 on the topic Rape and Rape Culture in Nigeria. His writings can be found at www.seunodukoya.wordpress.com and he tweets as @seunodukoya.