Standards and Practices and Code of Ethics

The Certified Professional Ghostwriters Institute created the Standard and Practices and Code of Ethics to set forth exemplary principles and standards for Certified Professional Ghostwriters. These Principles are intended to provide guidance and to express the ethical and professional ideals that Certified Professional Ghostwriters are expected to exhibit in the course of their professional duties, and as such govern all those who are granted to right to exhibit the Certified Professional Ghostwriter ® logo, whether or not the logo is displayed.

  1. Objective, Fair, Competent, and Diligent
  2. Confidentiality
    • Assure that all ideas and information from Client are held in strict confidence, that such shared materials or ideas will not be used to certificant’s advantage, nor sold or shared in any way, except with co-writers, editors, or other professionals involved in the project, all of whom have executed a Confidentiality Agreement with the certificant
  3. Client ownership of work and credit
    • Guarantee that client shall own 100% of any ghostwritten project, including rights, fees and royalties, except as agreed upon in writing by client and certificant.
  4. Professionalism
    • Act at all times in a professional and courteous manner
  5. Continuing education
    • All Certified Professional Ghostwriters will continue their education as writers, either through self-study, traditional education, or through online study
  6. Emphasizing risks and rewards
    • Every prospective client will be advised of the potential risks and reward inherent in writing a book through a ghostwriter. To wit:
      • Client understands that books are seldom a dependable “get rich quick” vehicle
      • Client understands that the single best reason to write a book is to get his or her story told, not to profit
      • Clients who wish to write a book that promotes their business or their professional name are educated by ghostwriter that the “best practice” use of a book in their name is as a “lever” with which they may promote their businesses, not as a profitable endeavour in and of itself
      • Clients understands that the ghostwriter will do all in his or her power to require as little time and effort from the client in order to write a book; the client nonetheless must agree to supply necessary information in a timely manner and agree to commit to the time and effort necessary for completion of the book
  1. Ghostwritten book
    • While certificant ghostwriters may freely advise clients as to structure, style, and so forth of a book, ghostwriters acknowledge that the final decision on these matters rests with the client; in the end, the book is every way the client’s book, not the ghostwriter’s
  2. Deadline
    • Certificant agrees to set a reasonable deadline for completion of each book project, and to do his or her best to meet agreed upon deadline.
  3. Quality
    • Certificant shall make every effort to produce a ghostwritten book of professional and marketable quality, including, if required, obtaining the assistance of independent interviewers, editors, proofreaders and other such professionals.
  4. Suggested Book Ghostwriting Process (the materials generated during each step should be reviewed and approved by client before proceeding to next step)
    • Discuss book goals, structure, theme and voice with client
    • Outline Chapters
    • Gather detailed information
      • Client notes/outline/draft
      • Interview
        1. Phone
        2. In person, by interviewer
        3. In person, by stenographer
        4. Via Dictation (via “Dragon” or other direct transcription method)
      • Create Detailed Outline
      • Create “Style Pages” (sample pages representing the voice and tone of the book) for approval by client
      • Write “Condensed Draft” (a structurally complete, but as-yet abbreviated version of Complete Draft, which form allows ghostwriter and client to assess both structure and style of Book before Complete Draft is executed
      • Write Compete Draft
      • Perform Structural Edit
      • Perform Line Edit
      • Write Final Draft
      • Submit to Proofreader