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What you need to know about ghostwriting

What is ghostwriting?


The term ghostwriting refers to a service activity whose characteristic feature is that one person performs specific writing activities for another person. Typically, such a service is rendered against payment, even though this does not necessarily have to be the case. It is conceivable, for instance, that someone performs a writing task in the name of others merely as a favor. If, on the other hand, the service in question is rendered against payment, ghostwriting means commissioned work: in this case the ghostwriter acts both in the name and on behalf of another person in that he/she is remunerated for the service. Irrespective of whether or not the service is remunerated, the ghostwriter – being a “ghost“ – usually remains “invisible“, i.e. anonymous. The word usually is meant to indicate that there might be cases where a ghostwriter is mentioned by name, for example as co-author of a book, in a book acknowledgment, or in the imprint. This, however, is rarely the case. Ghostwriters, in the ordinary meaning of anonymous contract writers, work for other authors, for publishing houses, for public institutions, or for text/ghostwriting agencies. Typical text types that are part of ghostwriters‘ range of services are biographies, (blog) articles, novels, short stories, corporate books, advertising texts, texts for websites, or letters of application. The arguably most frequent specialized forms of ghostwriting are speech writing and academic ghostwriting.


Ghostwriting in terms of speech writing


Ghostwriters work as speech writers in politics and industry, in particular. The specialty of such ghostwriters is to write speech manuscripts in such a way that they are tailored to both the orator and the specific situational context of the speech in terms of content, style and form. They create manuscripts for such occasions as specialist lectures, business presentations, acceptance speeches, kick-off meetings, parliament speeches, campaign speeches, or ceremonial occasions (e.g., inaugural speeches, birthday speeches, wedding speeches, anniversary speeches, eulogies, funeral speeches).


Academic ghostwriting


Academic ghostwriting specializes in academia/academic writing. The concept of academic ghostwriting includes two areas: internal academic ghostwriting and external academic ghostwriting. Internal academic ghostwriting occurs when ghostwriting services are rendered within academia itself. This includes cases, for example, where occupants of professional chairs have texts written by academic employees, whether it be in order to publish them under their own name or else to include those texts in their own writings. External academic ghostwriting, meanwhile, involves academic services of third parties outside of specifically academic institutions. These are service providers that provide support and assistance to students when writing academic texts, either through coaching or through creating sample texts. In the event of academic coaching, clients write their academic texts on an independent basis under the guidance of an academic ghostwriter who assists in an advisory capacity, making suggestions and recommendations. In the latter case, clients receive a draft text written by an academic ghostwriter whose purpose is to provide orientation in the process of creating an academic text independently (e.g., term/seminar paper, Bachelor’s thesis, Master’s thesis, Magister thesis, Diploma thesis, state examination thesis, doctoral thesis).

Doubts as to the legal admissibility of academic ghostwriting are not uncommon in Germany. The German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (Deutscher Hochschulverband – DHV) has repeatedly called on the legislator to declare the submission of academic qualification texts written by a ghostwriter a criminal offence i.e. academic fraud. However, to dispel any doubt right from the start: the activity of academic ghostwriting is not illegal per se. A few legal details should be taken into account just the same.


Let us first consider the legality of ghostwriting. According to a judgement of the Higher Regional Court of Frankurt am Main (judgement dated September 1, 2009; ref: 11 U 51/08), the service activity ‘ghostwriting‘ does not go against common decency within the meaning of § 138 BGB (German Civil Code) and therefore is not lllegal, irrespective of whether or not it concerns an academic text. A ghostwriting agreement is illegal if it involves the performance of a ghostwriting service in the context of academia (Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court: judgement dated February 8, 2011; ref: I-20 U 116/10). The illegal nature results from the respective higher-education institution’s Examination and Graduation Regulations insofar as they provide for the submission of an affidavit on the part of the examinee or candidate whereby the submitted academic text has been written on an independent basis i.e. without the help of any third parties. If – which in practice is very hard to do – it can be proven that the text in question has not been written on an independent basis but rather with the help of an academic ghostwriter, this constitutes an offence punishable under § 156 StGB (German Criminal Code) for making a false affidavit. Potential legal sanctions include the payment of a fine as well as deregistration and expulsion from the doctoral program. In the event that the ghostwriter was demonstrably aware of the client’s undertaking, he/she can be prosecuted for abetment.


The situation would be different, however, if a ghostwriter expressly pointed out to his/her clients that the commissioned texts are templates, drafts or sample texts i.e. texts whose purpose is to solely provide impulses for the client to write an academic text on his/her own. By pointing that out, according to a judgement of the Cologne Higher Regional Court (judgement dated February 23, 2011; ref: 6 U 178/10), the ghostwriter expresses an interest in making clients seeking an illegal ghostwriting service aware of the legal admissability of his/her supporting services as regards the creation of the client’s academic text.

Legit vs. dubious ghostwriting


Ghostwriters are disdained and criticized in the mass media in a sensationalist and scandalized manner on a regular basis. To be sure, in some cases this is perfectly justified. After all, there are black sheeps in any economic sector. It does become problematic, however, when such unpleasant individual cases – reinforced by sweeping judgements made in the media – are used to discredit an entire industry. For in doing so, a key quality aspect of the activity of ghostwriting remains hidden. As a matter of fact, legit ghostwriting providers perform an important, largely overlooked and unrecognized sociopolitical task: Sophisticated and conscientious academic ghostwriters significantly help compensate systemically rooted inadequacies in academia and thus reduce career risks for students considerably.


Subjective factors + objective factors = personal success


Success during and after one’s studies does not depend solely on subjective factors such as intelligence, diligence, discipline and ambition. Of at least equal importance are “objective“, external factors such as time-related capacities and opportunities for personal fulfillment and development. Without a proper interaction of internal and external factors, the desired academic degree and as a result, the desired job might be in danger. What is crucial is a sound balance between internal and external factors. Unfortunately, our academic landscape no longer provides the conditions that would allow that to happen. Particularly since the introduction of Bachelor and Master degrees as well as further reforms based on the Anglo-American model of education, the school-like approach to students‘ education as well as its “economization“ has sadly enough become normality at German higher-education institutions. On a tight schedule and with low opportunities for personal development, the aim is to make students fit according to the job profiles of (global) industry. The cardinal rule for today’s students is to be efficient and effective at the same time, i.e. to complete one’s studies, ideally, within the standard period of study, with excellent grades and with many stays abroad, if possible by the time you are 25. The frequent consequences of this performance and competition pressure range from overload to burnout. Anyone who cannot withstand that pressure falls by the wayside – social darwinism at its finest. An added difficulty lies in insufficient academic support on the part of academic personnel, which is partially due to the overwhelming mass of students that flood German universities and other higher-education institutions as a result of the extended opening of access to higher education. This being so, skills gaps should come as no surprise.


Ghostwriters as mentors and coaches


In this situation, ghostwriters can do valuable work. They create scope amidst the close-knit fabric of requirements, which allows students to take the time for proper studying and research, without having to neglect or postpone individual examination performances. Thanks to the tailored text templates that academic ghostwriters create, students are provided with an academic compass that guides them safely to their academic destination. By providing students with sample texts that serve as blueprints for their own academic writings, students are taught academic writing from practice itself. Thus ghostwriters do what no handbook and no propaedeutics, taken separately, are capable of doing.


It goes without saying that not only students can benefit from the discreet and confidential assistance of a legit ghostwriter. Anyone who cares about his or her professional future will find in an academic ghostwriter a reliable mentor and coach, whether it be the nurse that is taking part in a postgraduate continuing education course, or the lawyer and tax consultant that seeks to improve their professional position and expertise through an extra-occupational doctorate program. Ghostwriters help focus on what is essential and thus save valuable time!

Achieving your goal step-by-step via milestones


With ghostwriting.com, the decision-making power as to the period the payment of a commissioned project extends lies in many cases with our clients. This flexible payment option is made possible through the so-called milestone principle: Depending on the nature and scope of a project, we offer our clients to make payments over several stages (“milestones“). The maximum number possible is five milestones. If a client sets several milestones for a certain project, he or she will receive an invoice at the beginning of each milestone which is to be settled within the specified time period. A milestone is completed if the client has made the proportionate advance payment, and if the relevant freelancer has rendered his or her correspondng performance and made it available for download on the user dashboard. This procedure is repeated until the final milestone has been reached or completed.


Arrange for interest-free part payment!


Thus payment per milestone is comparable to part payment in that clients, where possible, may pay the total amount required in several stages, rather than immediately. There is, however, a significant difference between ordinary part payment and ghostwriting.com's milestone payment. Unlike part payment, payment per milestone is not a compensated instalment payment and therefore free of interest. This service is performed for the sole purpose of creating more freedom and planning security for clients without placing an additional financial burden on them. This payment variant is particularly useful and helpful whenever you pursue more cost-intensive projects which extend over a period of several months. In cases like this, the advantages are obvious. Thus, it might be a noticeable relief in some instances to opt for not paying an amount of, say, 10,000 euros as a one-off payment but rather split the amount into five part payments of 2,000 euros over a period of 18 months.

You are worth it!


In order for us to be able to support our clients in a target-oriented and gainful manner, we ensure in our work a fair balance between quality and price. This also means, however, that we do not offer you any cheap products. “Buy cheap, pay dearly“ – this saying is applicable across sectors, including the ghostwriting sector. This being so, we would like to be honest with you right from the start: The products and services offered by ghostwriting.com are not cheap but show an excellent price-performance ratio. After all, value-based, reputable and sophisticated ghostwriting has its price. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff.


All inclusive!


For an (academic) sample text to finally meet the criteria required and lead to optimum results, many busy and competent hands must go into action – starting with our personal advice and support services. We take the time necessary to respond to your questions and concerns 365 days a year, either by phone, in the chat, or by email. Moreover, our clients benefit from our conscientious project management: To manage and coordinate the great number of incoming projects, we employ experienced project managers that ensure both that your project will be assigned to a suitable freelancer that meets the respective qualification profile required, and be processed in due time and in a satisfactory manner. Furthermore, it is our proficient authors and writers who conduct intellectual quality perfromances for you on a daily basis – if need be, even on weekends and public holidays! Anyone who has had experiences with the creation of texts knows how time-consuming and labor-intensive this activity is. Of course, this is particularly true for academic texts. Before our academic authors begin the actual writing process, they need to do some preliminary work first. This includes comprehensive literature research, identification and development of a topic, as well as the structuring of the text in the form of a clearly arranged outline. Also, one must not forget the editorial work to be done following the main work in order to put the finishing touches on the textwork, such as post-formatting work, proofreading and smoothing. But there is more. In addition, we pursue extensive quality management based on strict quality criteria. Our reliable quality managers carry out meticulous quality checks of the textwork submitted by our ghostwriters before a milestone is reached. In the event that not all quality standards are met, they immediately arrange for the necessary improvements. Only when all criteria are met will our quality management team approve of the textwork’s release. And in the (rare) case that you still feel the need for change even after receiving the text, there is no reason to be frustrated. We offer each client one reworking process, naturally without any additional costs.


Make the right choice!


The general rule for ghostwriting clients: Miserliless is not marvelous but dangerous and careless – that is, with regard to your personal benefit. If you wish to protect yourself from plagiarism and low-quality, potentially useless text services, don’t cut corners! Be sure to invest in a successful future with a reliable and reputable provider like ghostwriting.com.

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