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The three kinds of ghosts

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You should read the fine Financial Times story, “Fantastic Ghostwriters and Where to Find Them.” At least, you should read the money passage, featuring a close friend of the PSA:

According to Dan Gerstein, founder of Gotham Ghostwriters, you get what you pay for. Gerstein founded his New York-based agency nine years ago to help would-be authors negotiate this little-understood business, and has built up a stable of some 1,900 ghosts, many of whom are high-profile authors in their own right. “Because it’s such an opaque market it’s totally unstandardized,” says Gerstein. “But to give a crude segmentation, there’s a low end, the $25,000-$40,000 range, to write a short business book or a very basic memoir. Then there’s the mid-range, anywhere from $75,000 to $125,000, where you’re getting a a serious, qualified writer to produce a book that will enhance your reputation. And then there’s a whole other class of book from the low hundred thousands up to $300,000, where the principal tends to be a very high-profile figure and the ghost has written multiple bestsellers.”

DM