The three kinds of ghosts

Quoted in a Financial Times article on ghostwriting, Gotham Ghostwriters chief Dan Gerstein lays out three basic levels of talent.

You should read the fine Financial Times story, “Fantastic Ghostwriters and Where to Find Them.” At least, you should read the money passage, featuring a close friend of the PSA:

According to Dan Gerstein, founder of Gotham Ghostwriters, you get what you pay for. Gerstein founded his New York-based agency nine years ago to help would-be authors negotiate this little-understood business, and has built up a stable of some 1,900 ghosts, many of whom are high-profile authors in their own right. “Because it’s such an opaque market it’s totally unstandardized,” says Gerstein. “But to give a crude segmentation, there’s a low end, the $25,000-$40,000 range, to write a short business book or a very basic memoir. Then there’s the mid-range, anywhere from $75,000 to $125,000, where you’re getting a a serious, qualified writer to produce a book that will enhance your reputation. And then there’s a whole other class of book from the low hundred thousands up to $300,000, where the principal tends to be a very high-profile figure and the ghost has written multiple bestsellers.”


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