Is Ghostwriting Ethical? That’s a good question, and the answer you receive will depend on who you ask. There are hundreds of points to debate on the subject of ghostwriting, both pro and con.
Some believe that ghostwriting is cousin to plagiarism. Many people who use ghostwritten material do pass someone else’s concepts and ideas off as their own. They do so by either claiming authorship or by giving the impression that the words and ideas are their own.
Others believe that if you’re fully aware that you’ll receive no credit for your thoughts, ideas, and penmanship and still agree to sell those three things to someone else who will pass off the work as their own, there isn’t any ethical issue.
Some know that ghostwriting is widely accepted throughout the world and take the stand that if everyone does it, it’s okay. Others believe that because Fred jumped off the bridge, it doesn’t make it right for you to take a flying leap too.
Some think that being hired to write a novel for someone who provides all conceptual content, ideas, and research but just doesn’t have the skills to write on his or her own is quite fine. Others believe that some form of credit for collaborating on the project is a must.
Is it right? Is it wrong? That depends on you and your beliefs alone, I think.
My take is that while I’d like to have credit for everything I write and create, the reality of that happening isn’t likely. There are times where I won’t write something without receiving credit and others where I feel credit isn’t required. I evaluate the job offer and the factors involved before taking my decision, but more often than not, I ghostwrite, and I sleep very well at night. I’d rather earn income and help others through my skills and talents than aim to see my name in bright lights.
At least, for now, that is. 😉
To know more on what a ghostwriter is, this article is a good one to read. Take note that it is written from a pro-ghostwriting perspective but remains fairly objective nonetheless.