Writer friends and beyond: I hope you’re having a fantastic week so far. I’m delighted to introduce The Weekly Ghost, a roundup of news, links, and exciting developments in the larger ghostwriting world and in our very own network.
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Often traditional publishing practices are roughly as compatible with the free-for-all chaos of the web as oil is with water, and this week’s news has been no exception as drama crops up left and right. Case in point: Stevie Marsden of The Conversation wrote an article about books published by online influencers like Mrs Hinch, PewDiePie, and Zoella. In it, Marsden raises the issue of fans criticizing these internet stars for riding their “authenticity” to fame and then relying on ghostwriters for their bestselling books—one of many new considerations around publishing and the web today.
Meanwhile, amid the pandemonium around book stuffing, plagiarism and other infamy of the Kindle romance persuasion, The Guardian’s Alison Flood reminds readers that ghostwriters aren’t to blame for the scandals initiated by shady authors.
But by inspiring contrast, our own writer network is deftly leveraging a variety of online platforms and publishing strategies to find success. Read on below to see how it’s done.
Art of the… Other Deal
In what’s sure to be as media-magnetic as his constant trickle of tweets, Donald Trump has reportedly begun planning a tell-all memoir about his time in office—or more likely, having a ghostwriter distill his stream-of-consciousness into a book. Considering Tony Schwartz’s public revelations about the process of ghostwriting The Art of the Deal, this may well be the highest-profile ghosting project of the decade. But the question remains: What ghost will be crazy enough to take on this known megalomaniac as a client?
Congratulations to Christopher X Ryan, whose story “Day Shapes” earned second place in the Baltimore Review’s 2019 Winter Contest. And it’s certainly a great read—check it out here if you have a minute.
Merry Sheils has also been busy writing for Woman Around Town, with her latest article detailing the harrowing social stigma faced by the spouses of white-collar criminals—and one such woman who set out to help others like her get through it.
In an act of great proliferation, novelist and screenwriter Lawrence De Maria has just published his 19th thriller/mystery novel, Golden Gate, available in print and as an e-book. The book is the latest installment in his Alton Rhode series. While you’re at it, check out his online column The Write Stuff in the Washington Review of Books.
Writing News & Views
• Medium is forging its own path with this week’s simultaneous release of its first print book The Big Disruption, a novel by former Google VP of communications Jessica Powell. As our own Michael Signorelli remarked, “No doubt Medium is aware of the irony of a digital platform’s first print book being called a disruption.”
• Over at CrimeReads, Mark Bowden suggests scouring today’s wealth of raw footage offers for your next nonfiction, true crime or mystery project.
• PSA guru David Murray asks some tough questions about the ethical side of Javelin’s Trump tell-all book development practice.
• HuffPost explains how different email closers—“Thanks” vs “Sincerely,” for instance—can elicit different responses from the recipient. And now I’m questioning every email I’ve ever sent.