In this case, part of the problem is outsourcing. A lot of marketing machines will hire ghostwriters who are in countries with lower costs of living.David VanDyke said:The problem of fair wages is endemic to a free market system. The market will always ultimately determine wages, unless something like a government influences them.
So, as long as there are fast writers willing to work for cheap, it's hard for others to raise their prices. They will price themselves out of the market and out of a job, just like with books or groceries.
That seems unfair to me. Not everyone wants to be a publisher and marketer. Some people just want to write. That's reasonable, and they deserve to be treated with respect and fair pay like anyone else.Puddleduck said:Honestly, I think those people just need to publish their own books instead of selling them outright to someone else. Doing ghostwriting makes sense in some cases. At some point, like when you're good enough to develop your own fan base and you're not writing in someone else's already established world, it doesn't make sense anymore. I think those people need to take control and publish themselves under their own name.
Value is relative. Expertise is great, but all the expertise in the world isn't going to sell a book that hasn't been written.boba1823 said:In fairness, from what I've read in the threads about how the mass-producing-publishers typically operate, the ghostwriters are creating relatively little of the actual value in the process. Particularly those who are writing based on a reasonably specific outline.
Most of the value, IMO, is created by the publisher applying expertise relating to what the story/book should be about, the tropes to hit, covers, blurbs, overall packaging, and (probably most of all) marketing.
I mean economic value, in context of which activities and skills that go into generating the final profits are in shortest supply. In terms of artistic value, then sure, that belongs to whoever is responsible for the book itself. In the content mill business, as I understand it, that is often split between different people - sometimes the publisher actually personally produces an outline for the story, for instance - but the actual writer definitely produces a large portion of value in the artistic sense.ShayneRutherford said:Value is relative. Expertise is great, but all the expertise in the world isn't going to sell a book that hasn't been written.
Why not just call them.. content mills?KateDanley said:We need a new word for these predatory bundlers/content millers/faux pen namers. Can someone come up with a word? Because if you look at what is happening on paper, they are small presses. They are small presses that are saying to authors, "I have this idea. I'll pay you $1000 to write it. I'm going to publish it under my name, take all the rights, and pay you no royalties. And you can't tell anyone."
I wouldn't be too sure about that. As a reader I often am able to discern ghostwritten stories from self-written ones, and I also notice (prose) similarities between authors not officially linked to each other.Rose Andrews said:Readers don't know these authors are actually not real, and that the books are written by other people. I don't know...that just doesn't sit well with me.
Can we say that this is because you're an author? I agree with you but it seems to me that the average reader is trusting the name on the cover to be who wrote the book. It's easier for us to tell because we can detect a different style and flow in each book (a series for example).Nic said:I wouldn't be too sure about that. As a reader I often am able to discern ghostwritten stories from self-written ones, and I also notice (prose) similarities between authors not officially linked to each other.
That is possible. But again, there are also a lot of very sensitive readers out there. Recently, I have noticed a generalised "malaise" with many romance sub genres and the output flooding readers. Readers are definitely aware of book stuffing and the background of it.Rose Andrews said:Can we say that this is because you're an author?
The thing with freelancers (ghost writers included) is that the "fair wage" is in some part arbitrary because there's no official "market rate". It's just like selling ebooks. The cost of an ebook spans from 2.99-9.99+ What's the market rate for an ebook? Fair wage could be 5cents to 20cents depending on who you ask, what their experience looks like, and how much confidence they have to ask for it.Anarchist said:Why should individuals who pay a market rate for services be considered predatory? Saying that such individuals treat ghostwriters in a predatory manner presumes unfairness. But we have yet to define "fair wages."
Until we do, the word has no value beyond its ability to denigrate without evidence.
This is because people are hiring cheap-ish ghost writers. One part of a ghost writer's job is to switch up the tone based on the client. I have clients who have the personality of a wet dishrag and I write, what I call, "hey girl hey" style for them. I have some clients who want informal-authoritative, and others who want formal-authoritative. If you pay me pennies, I'm not going to bother trying to make this story sound unique and separate from my others because who cares? But if you're paying me what I charge, I will take out the general "tells" of my personal style and do a deeper request for what the client wants and/or try to match the clients other work.Nic said:I wouldn't be too sure about that. As a reader I often am able to discern ghostwritten stories from self-written ones, and I also notice (prose) similarities between authors not officially linked to each other.