Why the Future is Now for Ghostwriters and Freelance Writers

My future is dependent on the future of books and publishing. And if you’re a writer…so is yours. As such, we should follow the trends and changes in the publishing world with great interest—especially the continued rise of ebook publishing and the growing acceptability of self-publishing.

Here’s a nifty little video produced by the marketing group at Dorling Kindersly, a division of Penguin Group. Watch the whole thing—it’s worth it.


This video doesn’t have all the answers, but it does have the right fame of mind—embrace change.

I have many colleagues in the traditional publishing world that are scared out of their mind right now. The perception is that the industry really is dying. And they’re scrambling to put their finger on the pulse of the future of publishing.

I feel for them. It’s never fun to tear down and rebuild your industry models. And there will be a lot of collateral damage along the way.

But for folks like me—and you—the changes in the publishing industry are a  godsend.

Here’s why.

More books—not less—will be published

In a recent interview Seth Godin said, “My point is that there is no barrier to publishing a book any longer. You don’t need anyone’s permission.”

In the traditional world of publishing the big, corporate publishers were the gatekeepers—and ghostwriters and freelance editors got to eat the scraps that fell from the table.

In today’s evolving world of publishing, anyone with a platform and a good idea can find a way to get their book published and out there. This means more books will be published—and they’ll be published in non-traditional ways.

Non-traditional publishing will beget non-traditional authors

A book is the ultimate business card and the best, surest, and quickest way to establish yourself as an authority. As such, people who are authorities will want to have a book to prove it. The problem is that they suck at writing—I’m mean they’re abysmal.

In order to sound good and have a well-written book, they need me. And they need you.

And increased demand for ghostwriters and editors is always a good thing…at least in my book.

Cost Barriers are crashing down

It used to be that traditional publishers were the only way to go because they owned the distribution channels for books. It was near impossible to self-publish and effectively distribute your book—and it was also considered minor league.

That’s not the case any longer.

With the rise of Kindle and iPad, the ebook revolution is on. The price of these publishing channels is affordable—and the royalty structure enticing. For instance, Amazon.com offers a 70% royalty on self-published Kindle books. If you’re an entrepreneur with a big platform or a sports star with something to say, that’s hard to pass up.

And a bigger piece of the royalty pie, means those authors—not writers mind you, authors—can afford to hire a good ghostwriter or editor to help them out.

Nimble is the New Black

Finally, ghostwriters and freelance editors have a distinct advantage over the behemoth publishing houses.

We’re nimble.

They’re not. They’re the Titanic.

We can adjust to our clients needs quickly and affordably. We can market directly to our target audience, and we can make a good living doing so. We have little overhead, and no need for expensive industry flare. We’re concerned with one thing: putting good content in the hands of our client’s audience quickly, efficiently, and affordably.

In that scenario everyone wins…well, except for the big publishers.

So, if you’re an experienced ghostwriter or freelance editor—or you’re just breaking into the industry—don’t fret! Things are only going to get brighter.

If you’re part of the big publishing world, I suggest you start thinking about the role people like me will play in the future of publishing, and how we can work together—not against one another.

[Photo by hoggarazzi]