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Does ghost writing damage the novel?

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The best selling author Wilbur Smith has signed a new book deal worth £15m, however "carefully selected co-authors" are going to be used to help him with the writing. But does it matter who wrote it as long as the book is good?

The crime writer Ian Rankin said ghost writing can work well, particularly with brands such as Wilbur Smith, or the Sherlock Holmes novels. He told Today that if good writers treat the stories "with respect" then there is little harm done.

Jennie Erdal, the author of Ghosting, a book about her experiences as a ghost writer, said that we "shouldn't pretend that no-one is harmed" in the ghost writing process because words that started off belonging to one person end up belonging to someone else, adding that "both parties, although consenting, are diminished".


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