Since October, my life has been very strange and hectic. It has taken some bizarre turns and I am not at all where I thought I would be in January of 2006. But in any case, I am just settling down to dust off the freelance editing gloves once again and have spent the day browsing through contract listings via a variety of sources.
The time has thus come to finally compose a rant about a problem that has been around for a few years now, but that today in particular is making me very, very grumpy. Every pool of contract listings, no matter how exclusive or obscure, is increasingly saturated with dozens and dozens of listings like these:
*** Ghost writer needed — Exciting autobiography ***
I am an and have lived a very exciting life that will translate into a real bestseller. I am looking for a talented, creative, top-tier ghost writer to take seven pages of notes and a rough outline and turn it into an autobiography of 700-1000 pages for me covering my life from 35 on (I’m 37 now). The strongest candidates will have a day job at a major publisher and will therefore also be able to help me publish it when it is done. As a ghost writer, you will not receive credit for the writing, but if I am satisfied with the 700-1000 pages you write, I will pay as much as $1,000-1,500 depending on how quickly you finish the manuscript. I’d like to have this autobiography published by my new wife’s birthday in June so that I can surprise her with a copy as a birthday gift, so speed is of the utmost importance.
*** Ghost writer needed — Bestselling novel ***
I am looking for a ghostwriter to help me write a novel that I have been formulating in my imagination for the last sixteen years. It will be a blockbuster tale of deceit and espionage involving pimps, the drug trade, and the black market gun trade. I will supply the basic idea of the plot over several phone calls and then you will be responsible for filling in the details and writing the manuscript, which I expect to be 500-800 pages. Contacts in the publishing industry helpful since I haven’t yet begun to look for a publisher.
Please do not respond if you are not willing to ghost write (i.e. this is my idea and thus my novel, not yours), and also do not respond if you are not already a bestselling fiction author. There is no pay up front but as the ghost writer you will get 5% of whatever advance I am offered once you have written the manuscript and I find a publisher to pick it up.
*** Top Editor Needed — Spiritual Health and Genetic Success ***
I am working on a book that is guaranteed to be on the New York Times list when it comes out. It is about the genetic basis for god that permeates each of us and unites our intentions with our atomic energy and social wellness. It will revolutionize the health world and is sure to someday be on Larry King, The View, and Good Morning America.
I’ve done the hard work — I have an outline and fifty pages of condensed text. Now I need a talented editor with at least ten years’ experience to expand the manuscript to 400 pages and smooth out any rough edges. Please have experience in holistic healing, nuclear physics, and the genetics of spirituality. For the right editor, pay will be $0.45-0.50 per page of final, print-ready manuscript.
WHERE THE HELL DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE, AND HOW DO I GET TO MOVE THERE?