What does ghostwriting mean?

Ghostwriting – derived from English “Ghost” = “mind” and “to write” – is when someone, without naming his or her own name as the author, in the name and on behalf of another for that text of various kinds, e.g. (Auto) biographies, copywriting, speeches or texts created academic-scientific nature. One can also speak of “order letters” or “Phantom”.

The ghostwriter stays in the background, he is usually not mentioned as the author. Ghostwriting is an activity that has existed since people write texts, make speeches and persuade others of their views, opinions and views. In doing so, those who have to undergo this task are often faced with the difficulty that they are unable to do so, either because they lack the necessary linguistic or rhetorical skills, if only because they have to write carefully to save time researched versions are not able.

The latter is especially true of politicians, board members of large companies, but also scientists. A specific topic is given; the task of the ghostwriter is to work out the corresponding templates based on the keywords that were sent to him directly by the customer or through the agency of a ghostwriting agency.

Meanwhile, in the field of ghostwriting has a veritable specialization used. If you look at the entries that can be found under the keyword “ghostwriting” or “ghostwriter” on the Internet, you will see that there are agencies for a variety of purposes, namely for

the preparation of (auto-) biographies: this ranges from the writing of memoirs of “magnitudes” of art, politics and society or from the so-called “show-biz” to the biography of simple completely unknown persons, e.g. want to give their offspring an insight into their lives.

the writing of speech and presentation texts as well as official and administrative statements, statements and statements: for politicians and other persons “who consider themselves important”.


the academic Ghostwriting: It is about the preparation of student chores, seminar papers, semester and bachelor theses, master and diploma theses as well as of dissertations and articles for scientific journals as well as
the creation of copywriting and speeches for special occasions, e.g. Company events, weddings, funeral services as well as exhibition openings or vernissages etc

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a person who runs ghostwriting, ie “as a ghost” creates for other texts and thereby (in the rule) does not appear in particular as an author to the outside, so is not mentioned.

Ghostwriters are mandated by a publisher or a special ghostwriting agency or, exceptionally, directly by the client. However, as a rule, there is absolute anonymity, i. the customer does not know the person of the client. This is known only to the ghostwriting agency.

All correspondence is therefore usually handled by the agency, which forwards all statements made by the customer to the author and – vice versa – all comments and reactions to the customer. The author waives all copyrights in the work created by him, which are transferred to the agency and from this to the customer. This means that, as a result, all copyright exploitation and distribution rights are transferred to the customer.

Direct contact between the author and the client usually does not take place, unless it is the preparation of biographies and memories.

The activity of the ghostwriter is not protected by law. Accordingly, there is no well-defined canon of knowledge and skills that someone must possess to practice ghostwriting.

It is the linguistic ability and the “art of expression” and – in the case of academic ghostwriting – the ability to scientifically exhaustive and precise research, the subsequent academic preparation and presentation of the factual and data material as well as the mastery of the rules of exact scientific citation below Consideration of the criteria established by the respective educational institution, which characterize the qualified ghostwriter.

In other words:
Only the written statements and their quality decide on the “success” of the customer order, whereby the ghostwriter will usually never know how third parties, ie professors, examination committees or capacities from research and teaching judge “his” texts.


Only the written statements and their quality decide on the “success” of the customer order, whereby the ghostwriter will usually never know how third parties, ie professors, examination committees or capacities from research and teaching judge “his” texts.

Scientific ghostwriting has taken a tremendous boost in Europe over the last decade. This is due to the “economization” or “Americanization” of academic teaching, i. the subordination to the requirements of business enterprises. Students must acquire semester, seminar, bachelor and master theses and other intermediate qualifications in a rigidly defined period in increasingly “schooled” universities. Accordingly, it is primarily only about gaining a maximum of professional skills in as short a time as possible.

That which distinguished universities and enabled excellence in research and science as well as a “Studium generale”, the “leisure” or “” without which true education is not possible, has completely disappeared. This is primarily the education, i. the pre-education for a certain profession, and no longer the “education” of people in the sense of the classic-neo-humanistic education ideal in the foreground!