Read this Craig’s List posting I found and then I’ll comment after…
-Ghostwriter wanted for Paranormal – Sci Fi-Fantasy ALIEN – Suspense Thriller
-Candidate chosen will write a 20,000 word high quality first draft to be edited by poster of this ad.
-Candidate MUST have great imaginative/creative skills and MUST cause potential reader to keep turning the pages.
-Travel experience or knowledge of geography a plus.
-Candidate MUST have an interest in all things Paranormal or Sci-Fi
-Candidate MUST provide a sample of their work.
-Perfect for college student, at-home mom, retiree etc.
-Candidate will be required to deliver an outline of story within 10 days, then 20,000 word draft within 4 weeks of executing the agreement.
-Each story will be written under a new and separate agreement, and ghostwriter will be paid via company check.
-MUST sign agreement which gives this poster ALL copyright, future royalties, and future publishing rights, (you are selling us a story
to do with as we please) and we may publish under a pen name (pseudonym).
-There are NO benefits associated with this position. Ghostwriter is freelance and is simply selling us a story.
-Each new story will be written under a new and separate agreement.
-Compensation is $150 per story.
This is probably one of the biggest rip-offs you can run across if you’re a struggling writer. To spend the time it would take to write 20,000 words in coherent form and then to just give it away is insanity. I would have no problem with ghostwriting if two conditions were met: a) I’m being paid an actual decent wage for the hardwork I’m turning around, and b) I have a contract in hand before I start work.
What they’re suggesting is someone crank out an outline they may or may not like and once the writer has come up with one good enough, write 20,000 words that they could still reject. But if everything goes as perfectly as possible, the writer will earn a paltry $150, while the poster of the ad could go on to earn an untold amount in perpetuity. So if it only sells five copies or it becomes the next big thing and a blockbuster movie is made out of it, the person who actually came up with the idea and wrote it out can maybe buy groceries for the month if he lives alone.
So go ahead, take essentially 80% of the risk and reap not even a full percentage point of the potential earnings. Yeah, right.