The lesson of Kristi Noem: don’t blame the ghostwriter for factual errors

The lesson of Kristi Noem: don’t blame the ghostwriter for factual errors

In South Dakota governor Kristi Noem’s new book No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, she describes her meeting with a dictator: “I remember when I met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. I’m sure he underestimated me, having no clue about my experience staring…

Ghostwriters, confidentiality, and desire for vindication

Ghostwriters, confidentiality, and desire for vindication

A clash between two rights characterizes every story you read in a nonfiction book. You, the reader, have a right to the truth. And the people you’re reading about have a right to privacy. The author walks the narrow path between those rights. But it becomes even more challenging if the right to privacy is…

“How big is your advance?” and other nosy discovery questions I ask to help with your book

“How big is your advance?” and other nosy discovery questions I ask to help with your book

If you’re going to hire me (or anyone else) to help you writing or editing your book, I’m going to ask a bunch of seemingly invasive questions. There are good reasons for those uncomfortable questions. In fact, I’ll go further: if you’re working with a writer, editor, or coach who doesn’t ask these sorts of…

Ghostwriting comes out of the shadows: Gathering of the Ghosts, New York City, January 22, 2024

Ghostwriting comes out of the shadows: Gathering of the Ghosts, New York City, January 22, 2024

Ghostwriters are a secretive lot. We shouldn’t have to be. We do our work out of view of the public. Like any other service professionals, we create what our clients, authors, need. But we generally don’t talk about it and don’t seek recognition for it. Everyone knows and most generally respect the work of publicists,…

Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal,” and the ethics of ghostwriting
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Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal,” and the ethics of ghostwriting

The New Yorker just published a fascinating article, “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All,” revealing what really happened when Tony Schwartz ghostwrote The Art of the Deal for Donald Trump. Schwartz says, “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.”…