Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?
We do! But, unfortunately, ghostwriting doesn’t involve any actual ghosts.
To help you get over your disappointment, here’s a reminder of the exceedingly weird trailer for Pilot Pete’s season. It was a homage to the movie Ghost and featured Whoopi Goldberg.
Ok, now on to business. In honor of the many books written by Bachelor Nation cast members, we’re here to talk about ghostwriting!
What is a ghostwriter?
A ghostwriter writes projects that are credited to someone else and whose name, like a ghost, doesn’t appear in the byline. Ghostwriters may complete the entire project solo or work collaboratively with the publicly named author.
What is the ghostwriting process like?
A non-famous aspiring “author” will typically engage their own ghostwriter to write the proposal that will be sent to the publisher. The “author” here is negotiating their own contract with the ghostwriter and paying them directly.
This is likely what is happening in the case of more minor cast members.
In the case of a “celebrity” memoir from a traditional publishing house—which most books from Bachelor/ette leads are—often the publisher will set the celebrity author up with a ghostwriter they have worked with before and pay the ghostwriter directly as well as handling their NDA (non-disclosure agreement, i.e. ”talk and you get sued”) paperwork.
A high-profile author might meet multiple potential ghostwriters this way before choosing the one to whom they want to give their rose.
Like marketing and a generous advance (the money celebrities and famous writers get when they ink the deal and before they actually write the book), ghostwriting is a pretty standard line item when publishing a celebrity memoir.
The ghostwriter conducts a series of interviews with the celebrity client, like a journalist, might for a magazine article, which they turn into a series of essays in the celebrity’s “voice.” These are then massaged by the celebrity author (if they care enough to read it and give feedback, which some don’t) and the editor (who works at the publishing house).
How much does a ghostwriter cost?
Like most services, there’s a wide range and it depends on their individual contract.
Some of the biggest factors are:
- The length and genre of the book
- The experience of the ghostwriter
- Whether or not you want to pretend you wrote the book yourself. 
You can find a ghostwriter of dubious quality on Fiverr for a few hundred bucks for your eBook.
However, the kind of ghostwriters used by Bachelor Nation likely start at around $50k. 
There are even celebrity celebrity ghostwriters who are well-known for collaborating on A-lister’s memoirs and often rake in $100-200k per project. 
Courtney Robertson probably earned herself a $15-20k discount by crediting her ghostwriter. 
Usually, ghostwriters are usually paid a one-time fee or in installments when delivering certain milestones (proposal, rough draft, second draft, etc.) and don’t receive royalties. 
(Royalties are a percentage of book sales the author earns after the publisher recoups all their expenses, including printing, advertising, the author’s advance, and the ghostwriter’s fee. Depending on how successful the book is, there may not be any royalties at all which is why it’s generally smart to get your money upfront.)
How many Bachelor Nation books are ghostwritten?
Real talk, almost all of them, but you can’t prove it unless someone breaks their NDA.
There are sometimes little hints though, like when established writers with no documented relationship to the celebrity author are thanked in the acknowledgments for their “help” or “advice.” 
Regardless of who actually wrote the book, Bachelor Nation cast members are usually fully engaged in the process of marketing the books.
Who’s buying them–that’s another question.
“…it’s not super hard to buy 5,000 books in a single week—if you already have the money—which could send your book to the top of the charts, depending on the week in question. This isn’t illegal, but it is gaming the system, or even cheating, if you will, and the New York Times list will sometimes include a dagger (†) next to books they suspect might owe their placement to ‘strategic bulk purchases.’ Worse than that demure little dagger is the fact that you’ll likely be found out and raked over the coals, especially if you’re already a public figure. On e other hand, years after people have forgotten that you scammed your way onto the bestseller list, you’ll still be putting ‘bestselling author’ in front of your name.”