Monthly Archives: May 2011

I’m Uncomfortable Hiring a Surrogate Writer

Prospective authors contact Mighty Prose for various reasons: they’ve had a book in them for years, but just didn’t have the time to write one; they’re at a point in their careers where they realize that a book is the next step; or they’re pretty good writers, but need a professional ghostwriter to improve their final product.

When I speak with these future authors, they’re intrigued by what I, as a ghostwriter, do but they also have their reservations. Will hiring me mean that the book isn’t theirs anymore? In other words, does it compromise his or her understanding of intellectual property? There’s also the extreme view that working with a ghostwriter is just down right unethical.

First off, it’s far from unethical. Allow me to compare the role of a ghostwriter to that of a surrogate mom. (A disclaimer: some may find the following somewhat bawdy.) A surrogate is hired to perform a task that, for whatever reason, the parent cannot. When the baby is born, the surrogate’s role is done. The zygote may not carry any of the birth mother’s DNA whatsoever. But without her, the baby would never have seen the light of day.

Just because the new mom or dad hired a surrogate, does that diminish the new parent’s role? Would it be acceptable for anyone to tell mom or dad, “That’s not really your baby!”? As a man, I’ll never know what it means to give birth to a baby. So that’s where my analogy stops.

 

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