Ghostwriting is quite the hot topic at the moment. In the sense of both the facts and the prose, in that OVERLY written about book by a prince. I’ve not bought the book. I don’t intend to buy the book. I don’t even want to read about the book. But I haven’t been able to avoid snippets (frostbitten penis, Elizabeth Arden cream, a dog bowl, a fight, and a biro – sounds like a 2023 adult version of Cluedo!).

The best line I’ve seen written about it thus far is that 1 million more people watched Happy Valley than an ITV interview about the book. How good is Sally Wainwright’s writing? And Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finneran’s delivery?

I have seen headlines about where the responsibility lies for the facts, and to a certain extent the writing style, between the named author and the pen for hire. I’m afraid I don’t have the answers as I’m not in the business of autobiographical ghostwriting for princes.

I am however in the business of ghostwriting. Most, if not all, of my work is ghostwriting. And I like it that way. My writing is all over the internet, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it as my name is not attached.

So where do I get my facts and style from? The client. Always. I ask A LOT of questions. I won’t start writing until I know I am armed with all the facts and have a steer in style and tone.

Sometimes I’m working with start ups who don’t yet have a definitive tone of voice so I help shape and set it. Other times I’m working with established brands/organisations who need fresh content and have an established tone of voice so I need to match it. My ‘authorial fingerprint’ in web copy blog posts and social media updates should not be distinguishable (bring on the AI that can crawl the internet for words what I wrote!).

For those who don’t have the time, the inclination or the skills to write the copy themselves ghostwriters/freelance copywriters are key. It’s worth knowing (a dead good) one so you’ll never be stuck for words.