Ghostwriter Rights…What is the REAL Story?

I get to talk about many and intriguing books from many clients. I enjoy meeting and learning about people and their lives. It is an honor to talk to great folks across the country.

There are questions about the process and I do my best to explain in great detail how the book process will go.

One of the many questions I receive is who has the right to the written work?

Is it mine or do I have to share royalties with you as a ghostwriter?

That seems to be a question that stumps most people. There is a confusion here that I felt led to address.

I want to clear the air. Here is the REAL story.


As a ghostwriter, I insist on placing this verbiage into every contract.

I place it first and at the top to solidify the stance I have as a ghostwriter in the relationship:

  1. I am not a co-author, meaning you will be recognized as the author of the book, unless you specifically work with other co-authors. The publisher will know that I am the ghostwriter and I will receive a byline in smaller print on the book cover acknowledging that I participated in the book project.
  2. I will follow your lead in the major ideas and the research, if any, for the book. I will participate in the process in a creative and cooperative manner, brainstorming and contributing my writing skills, my ideas, and experience in the way, which is most satisfactory to our mutual benefit.
  3. As a ghostwriter on this project, I understand that the main ideas for the project, namely the context and research you have developed, and the text outlined, are your property, and I have no interest in the project except as specified in this contract. I will not write books or articles using these ideas or research that might compete with your book for a period of TWO YEARS. Further, I will keep all pertinent details of our project and manuscript completely confidential until you direct me to release the information in writing with a signature of approval.

These three portions, solidify by spelling out in writing my position of the contract. This how I wish for the contract and the ghostwriting business relationship to go.

As a ghostwriter, in essence, gives up all rights to the ownership of their work, signing over the rights to the client. The owner is the author and not me as the ghostwriter.

It is your book and your story. The copyright belongs to you, the client, and all parts are officially yours.

To me, the client is the most important aspect of the entire book writing process. The rights section of the contract is the most important section of the contract as it defines the roles of each party pertaining to the written word and copyright.

If you are looking for a ghostwriter to write your book. Make sure when it comes down to the contract you own your work. Make sure the ghostwriter has no rights to your work. That may sound harsh but its business. I have seen contracts where the ghostwriter wants royalties on top of getting paid. It can be a nasty situation if things go wrong.

I write hundreds of blogs and webpages along with books and eBooks and in every situation;  I am paid for the work. The work belongs to the client. That is the best part about ghostwriting I enjoy. I love being behind the scenes and writing and no one knows it’s me.

I bet you have read blogs or seen web pages I have ghostwritten and you didn’t even know it.

On contracts, they are all different. Some are basic and simple with the terms then there are others complicated and harsh. I have seen contracts so hardcore it seems the contents has the secret of who killed Jimmy Hoffa.

Contracts are tools to define the responsibilities and roles of each party and that is all.

Owning your work is vital and understanding the terms of the contract with the copyright is important when hiring a ghostwriter.

Protect you and your words.

If you are here and you are seeking a ghostwriter to write your book project, get in touch with me today. Email me at or schedule a FREE No Sales Pitch Book Consultation at

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The World Needs Your Book! Specializing in non-fiction books, including business/sales, self-help, music and movie star memoirs, inspirational, personal tragedy, autobiographies, memoirs, religious and children's picture books.  I am your GO-TO GHOSTWRITER for anyone with a dream of writing a book who wants to help and has a story to tell.

Schedule a FREE 30-minute BOOK CONSULT with me and let’s talk about your new book project with NO OBLIGATION!
(Disclaimer-All conversations and discussions held in the strictest of confidentiality.)