Makenzy Long

Makenzy Long dreamt about becoming a writer since her younger years while growing up in Flint, Michigan. Over the past 15 years, she has cultured herself through travel, military experience, maternal and life developments. Makenzy focuses her writing on Science Fiction, British Literature, and American Poetry. She draws her inspiration from the beauty and rural landscapes of Central Texas.

Ghostwriting Digital Content

Imagine being the business owner of a successful RV company that wants to get the word out about the new features the manufacturers have added to their new RV models that can boost interest in otherwise basic models. You know everything about the new features, but you do not know how to create a reader-friendly digital article that shares why the newer features are exciting and used by some of the leading RV magazines. What do you do?

Hire a ghostwriter. With recent shifts to perform jobs digitally, ghostwriters can work remote digital writing jobs anywhere. A ghostwriter will not only create terrific digital content, but their professional writing skills will land the new features into the RV industries’ magazines. As the business owner, you will never have to have written the article, the credit of the article will go to you, and your reputation is considered knowledgeable in the RV industry.

An Introduction to Digital Ghostwriting

A ghostwriter is a writer hired to produce content with the “byline” of the content going towards the person who hired them. Ghostwriters listen to what the client wants, do extensive research on the subject, and construct specialized content about the subject that is fascinating to readers.

With digital content marketing continuing to rise, business owners have digital content that they need someone to write because they may not have the time or expertise to write consistently. Writer’s Access gives an abbreviated list of types of digital content ghostwriters can write, such as blogs, social media posts, email marketing sequences, thought leadership pieces, and eBooks.

How can ghostwriters help businesses with these types of digital content?

Blogs – Business owners will hire ghostwriters to keep their blogs updated by having them write frequent and enticing articles to drive digital readers to the blog so that business owners can focus on other areas of their business.

Social Media Posting – Businesses may hire a ghostwriter for a certain length of time to keep social media posts current, engaging, and build brand recognition with an online target audience.  

Email Marketing Sequences – Ghostwriters construct alluring emails to prospective customers about a company’s current promotions of products or services. The goal of the email is to get people redirected to the website or store to purchase.

Thought Leadership Pieces – Leading figures of an industry contract ghostwriters to write thought leadership pieces to make them seem insightful by having ghostwriters post articles on LinkedIn as if the client wrote the personal post or even for larger magazine companies.

EBooks – A business strategy some owners are doing to collect potential customers is by offering free eBooks to consumers via email addresses. Once the business owner has their email addresses, other ghostwriters can send frequent email marketing sequences. Business owners may not have the time or expertise to write a short eBook about their product or service and therefore contract a ghostwriter to do that for them. Business owners benefit because it does not cost money to make an eBook, ghostwriters can be expensive, but by keeping the eBook short, it is less expensive. The huge reward is having hundreds, thousands, or even millions of personal emails to send out business information in later emails.

Not only do companies seek digital ghostwriters but celebrities as well to help publish their books. A Forbes article explains there are “somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published each year in the US alone.” Many celebrities who cannot write are somehow writing autobiographies that land on the best-selling lists: the reason, ghostwriters.

A ghostwriter could work on the project by themselves or collaborate with the client hiring them for the work. The ghostwriter must adapt their writing style to match the credited author, so readers draw slight suspicion about whether the bylined author wrote the material or not. This is what gives the name “ghost” writer because you as the writer are paid to do the work and disappear like a ghost from the project once it is finalized. According to NPR, at least 60 percent of the nonfiction books published are written by ghostwriters. People may want to publish eBooks and print books, but most do not know how to write a book.

How does a writer become a ghostwriter?

Many freelance writers who have gained experience in writing hot consumer articles and have built a reputation with clients tend to switch entirely into ghostwriting or do both to maximize their income.

Many websites advertise that they can hire you as a ghostwriter but are not legitimate or underpay writers significantly. MasterClass, in a recent article, gives six tips to how to find ghostwriting work: choose the right location, build a network, ask for recommendations, perfect your craft, work on your interviewing skills, and develop your own personal style.

In a nutshell, to be a successful ghostwriter, you do not have to be in central writing locations like New York City or Los Angelos, but you should always be networking to gain contacts of people in these locations. Networking is beneficial in forwarding a ghostwriter’s career. If you make your goals as a writer known to your network (who may have an author or publisher connection), your name could be recommended to clients. If you are not socially inclined, hard work can still land you contacts by getting your writing out there under your name.

Pros of being a Ghostwriter

Flexible Hours: If you are a writer that enjoys writing content at midnight instead of bright and early, this job may be for you. It does not matter what time you feel the most productive in writing. What matters is that you manage your time to complete the project.

Remote Working: More jobs are teleworking, and ghostwriting is one of those jobs that does not require you to work from an office. A ghostwriter can easily do their job anywhere if they can send their work electronically to clients. That means ghostwriters can work from the comforts of their own home or on the other side of the world.

New Subjects: As a ghostwriter, you are asked to write on various topics of subjects in which you may not be familiar with. If you love to research topics and write about them, this could be an excellent job for you as a writer.

Upfront Payment: According to Author Bridge Media, 20 to 50% of the total cost is paid upfront to the writer. Some publishing agencies however may pay the whole deposit upfront to the writer. Pricing depends on the writer’s skill, the length of the project, and the timeline to finish the project. Ghostwriters can set their terms of the contract and how they wish to charge (by word, page, hour, etc.). Experienced ghostwriters with a well-received large portfolio can charge higher prices as opposed to someone who is not as well known or has not worked on many projects. Average ghostwriters charge $20,000 to $80,000 for a 200-to-300-page book. You as a writer gain additional income by writing royalties and bonuses in your contracts if a client makes it to the best-selling list or you have driven considerable amounts of people to their blogs.

Cons of being a Ghostwriter

No Credit: You may be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) if you wrote an eBook for a client. Meaning that under the penalty of the law, you are never to discuss or admit that you wrote that book. NPR heard from Joni Rodgers, a ghostwriter from Houston, who says, “being invisible is 1,000 times more exciting than being famous.” However, if you are someone who enjoys writing and getting recognition for the work that you have done, ghostwriting is not for you.

Job Stability: Ghostwriting can pay good to great money if you are an average to expert writer with revolving projects lined up. However, unlike a regular job, if you do not have projects to work on, you may be struggling for money until you have a project come your way.

Writing Deadlines: Ghostwriting can be freeing to choose where you write and at what time you write but the customer sets the deadlines of the project. Every project needs a deadline, but some customers need the work finished in an urgent manner to get the writing out immediately. Hindering your freedom of work/play since you will need to use more of your playtime to work long hours to get the project done. It can be unappealing for many, but if you as a writer are paid for the urgency of the work it can be worth sacrificing your time.

Ethics of Ghostwriting

In the United States, ghostwriting is a legal job that one can pursue. People who are not versed in business or writing, may see these clients who are taking the byline credit as dishonest. As digital content marketing increases with many people being online, more clients need ghostwriters to do the heavy work while they focus their attention elsewhere in their business.

An NDA is standard for ghostwriters, not just for books/eBooks but also for blog articles and social media posts. Byline authors do this because readers may not enjoy the fact that their favorite celebrity did not write something that they have read. By signing an NDA, readers are none the wiser and ghostwriters will get paid good money, because it is their job to tell that story in a way that is eloquent and as close to the byline author’s voice as possible without anyone noticing.

A type of ghostwriting that is seen as unethical is academic ghostwriting. A student will pay for a service to have a ghostwriter write a paper on a subject for their class. The reason why this is unethical (although not illegal for the ghostwriter) is because the student is plagiarizing the work of another person and passing it off as if they wrote the paper. Students can be expelled for violating academic integrity. One could argue that the previous examples are unethical, but universities have a code of conduct for students to follow why they are receiving a formal education.

Bottom Line

Digital content on online platforms will only continue to be on the rise into the foreseeable future. Therefore, ghostwriting can be a beneficial job avenue for more experienced writers to consider pursuing. Entry level writers, however, may not have immediate success breaking into ghostwriting business. Ghostwriters are hired based on their writing experience, reputation of previous projects, and customer satisfaction. Once a writer focuses on perfecting these areas, they will have a more positive experience of finding clients and getting paid honest wages for their writing talent.

QR Codes: A “Quick Response” for Writers

Envision, you are in the middle of reading your favorite book. You flip the page, and there is a quick response code (QR code) crisp and simplistic, prompting you to “scan me” with your smartphone. You scan the image. The code promptly takes you to an interactive map based on the story that also features extensive character bios, activities specific to what is currently happening in the book, and bonus content. Making the story, you were reading come alive.

Writers can employ QR code technology in beneficial ways to draw a larger audience, interest and engage readers, and entice book lovers to participate long after they have closed the book. QR codes are customizable to the author’s desire. When placed strategically, writers can have readers connect with their writing on deeper levels than ever before imagined.

What are QR codes?

If you are new to QR code technology, it was first invented in Japan in 1994. Denso Wave tasked a team led by Masahiro Hara to find a way to track automobiles and their parts during manufacturing quickly. Hara increased data storage and kept up with product versatility by compacting a one-dimensional (1D) barcode and making it two-dimensional (2D).

QR codes are a square, flat, scannable black and white image made up of one of four modes – numeric, alphanumeric, binary, and Kanji. QR codes have a “quiet zone” of white space bordering around the image to help cameras focus, so information is delivered rapidly and without failure.

QR codes have since expanded into other areas of business like writing. Before QR codes, books only had barcodes that delivered a tiny bit of information, such as the book’s price and nothing else. With the use of a QR code, an encoded image can be printed on or inside of a book and instantly read by your smartphone’s camera or with a QR code reader application installed on other devices. Attached information such as images, audio files, videos, and web addresses redirect your phone in a matter of seconds to give users a more meaningful experience than just the written word.

How are dynamic QR codes modernizing today’s authors?

Whether you are breaking into the writing field or an established writer, dynamic QR codes are inexpensive and functional for today’s writing business. Dynamic QR codes can edit, update, give current analytics and scan statistics to see where authors are drawing the most traffic. Dynamic QR codes even allow authors to establish their brand by generating codes with customizable frames, colors, shapes, images, and logos.

Authors with dynamic QR codes can update information with current social media platforms, promotional contests, recently published books, promo a book, link readers to online storefronts to purchase books, and add transparency to their books with customer reviews. The author will not have to worry about dynamic codes being obsolete in books years from now if they maintain the links attached to the encoded image.  

How can authors incorporate QR codes into their writing to maximize their written content?

Statistics of 2020 proved two things: QR codes are frequently scanned, and book lovers still prefer their printed books. Authors have an interesting opportunity to unite print and eBook readers to maximize their following. Regardless of if a book is print, an eBook, or is later a printed eBook, readers of different platforms can cohesively experience a novel’s interactive QR codes produced within the story or on the jacket of a book. No reader will feel left out of the experience because smartphones are in the hands of almost everyone worldwide.

Every author’s goal is to draw in a larger audience that appreciates their work and gains followers. To gain new readers, Yashika Tangri suggests placing a video QR code on the book’s jacket that opens into a book trailer, like a movie trailer. Tangri writes, “The book trailer of ‘As Dead As It Gets’ by Katie Alender has over five million views on YouTube.” Book trailers can be influential, gain audiences, and drive sales.

Authors may have longer books that can struggle to keep a reader’s interest or have complicated subject matter. To break up the monotony of words, liven up photographs, or explain complex concepts, QR codes of videos would work best to reengage the reader and help them better understand what written words or a still photo cannot through a video.

If you are a tech-savvy author, link a QR code to your website to get readers excited about interactive maps from the story, character bios, fictional weapon schematics, and knowledge tests. The sky is truly the limit when bringing fictional stories to life with multi-media.

A professional and minimalistic way to convey a lot of information is with a QR code. QR codes can tidy up the book and still convey a synopsis of a future book, a list of other written books by the author, an author’s social profile, or boast current promotions. By not having a scannable QR code at the end of the story, authors run the risk of outdated information and readers not wanting to dig further to find your information since it is not readily available to them. Having a scannable QR code at the end of a story can keep even older novels relevant to what the author is currently working on.

To further keep readers engaged once they have closed the book, authors might also consider placing a QR code at the end of the story that links to a fandom discussion board website. Readers will keep engaged with the author’s work and see what other fellow fans’ thoughts are while also sharing their own.


QR codes since their birth have only expanded in resourcefulness and popularity around the world. With dynamic QR codes, authors can update and edit information without having to reprint or relaunch books. Besides being of value to the writer, QR codes can bridge print and eBook lovers together under the same QR codes, so each is experiencing the story in uniform ways while reading in their preferred ways. No reader will feel left out from experiencing books in superior technological ways.

Serialized Fiction: Radish or Kindle Vella

Imagine reading your favorite authors in a television series mini-book on digital platforms you already own.

Already established Radish and developing Kindle Vella offer serialized fiction but are marketable in different ways.

Reader Features for Kindle Vella

Readers in a few months can access Kindle Vella content through the Kindle iOS app or It is not known at this time if Amazon will decide to expand platforms to reach Android smartphone users. Readers of Kindle Vella will be able to read the first three episodes of any story for free to see if they are interested in the story line before purchasing sequential episodes.

Readers will then have to purchase “Tokens” through the app or website. Each episode cost is dependent on the number of words the writer writes in the episode. Derek Murphy breaks down the cost of Tokens in CreativINDIE, saying, “The pay scale is roughly one token for 100 words, or 50 Tokens for the max length of 5,000 words per episode.”

Kindle Vella offers a minimum purchase of 200 tokens for $1.99, equivalent to four or more episodes depending on the length of the author’s work. Kindle Vella says, “Token pricing may change before Kindle Vella stories are made available to readers.”

Fun interactive features on the Kindle Vella platform allow readers to click a “thumbs up” button to support the author by liking their episode and showing a positive review to other prospective readers. Readers can ‘crown’ one weekly “fave” episode they enjoyed. The episodes that are most “faved” will be featured in the Kindle Vella store. A feature like this allows readers to support their favorite author’s work. Readers can view Author Notes at the end of an episode to see what surprises may be in store for the next episode.

Reader Features for Radish

Radish readers can access episodes of their favorite written stories on an iPhone, iPad, or Android through the Radish app in Apple Store or Play Store. Radish also includes three free episodes for readers to browse. Readers then can buy locked episodes without waiting for them to be free for three “coins.”

The reader can purchase coins through the Radish app. A minimum purchase of six coins is $0.99, or equivalent to two episodes. Radish readers can earn coins by watching up to six video ads per day for six coins and perform ad offers tasks for various amounts of coin or invite their friends to subscribe to Radish for both members to earn 12 coins.

Readers can try their luck in the daily Lucky Draw that shuffles a deck of cards and allows app users to pick a card to see if they successfully won coins or coupons that day. Radish has story coupons that Radish gives as “gifts,” or from author giveaways, but unlike coins, story coupons sometimes are story specific.

Radish offers some cool features for their readers. Radish allows readers to heart an episode they love by clicking on the heart button at the bottom of an episode. Radish lets readers interact with the author by enabling readers to comment on episodes and allowing the author to host live chats with fans. Readers can interact with their favorite episode author through the Radish live chatrooms and comments to ask their burning questions, see what is in store for present and future stories, and possibly win story coupons from the author.

Author Features for Kindle Vella

Kindle Vella announced that current Kindle Digital Publishing (KDP) writers who reside in the United States can publish on Kindle Vella. There is no announcement as of yet about expanding into other KDP countries.

Future Kindle Vella authors can try their hand at serialized fiction by going to the Kindle Vella Library, uploading their story title, name or pen name, a brief description of the story for readers, an image for the story, up to two categories the story falls under, submitting up to seven story tags for the story, and the episode you wish to publish.

Kindle Vella authors earn 50% royalties “…of what readers spend on the Tokens that are used to unlock your story’s episodes.” Kindle Vella’s royalty formula per episode:

(Number of Tokens to unlock episode) x (Tokens bundle price / # Tokens in bundle – taxes and fees) x (50% rev share) = Earnings per episode

Kindle Vella has not released a range of the cost of taxes and fees per Token plan. Tokens will be available for purchase through the Kindle iOS app for a fee. Whichever Token plan purchased is what will be subtracted from the revenue in the royalty formula.

Author Features for Radish

Radish has prospective authors apply for a spot on their app by applying on the Radish Writer Application Form. This form asks potential authors to list their name, email, a short blurb about their writing career, an optional pen name, and to choose an unlimited number of categories they wish to submit stories. It is also crucial that writers send a pdf, doc, or docx of a least the first 30 pages of their story pitch. Radish also asks that you summarize the plot and link other writing platforms to view previous work samples.

Once accepted, Radish authors are encouraged to regularly submit a 1,000-to-2,000-word episode with a pricing model for the episode. Radish’s royalty plan is hard to find on their website and app. Radish gives an example of that, “We have writers making over $1,000 in monthly revenue – with some top writers earning nearly $40,000 a quarter.” There are speculative articles about what authors have earned through Radish, but no royalty formula or percentage is listed on Radish.

Each platform has its pros and cons, but Radish and Kindle have their own user preferences, brand loyalty, and economic value.

Future Libraries: Environmental Benefits of Moving eBooks into Libraries

Walking into a library, one can smell the familiar and often euphoric smell of printed ink and dust permeating from books on shelves waiting to be picked up and read. However, what if you walk into your local library one day and did not smell dusty books? Reeling your head around the room, you instead see less shelving where books use to stand and more eReader stations for library patrons to pick up and browse digital libraries filled with thousands of eBooks to check out.

As a book lover, it is hard to let go of familiar library memories, but there are many environmental benefits to having eBooks in libraries than continuously buying more printed books.

Printed books have had their place on the shelves of libraries for many years. However, with the rise of technology, the popularity of eReaders, and the increased number of published eBooks, it is time that society, especially librarians, take a closer look at where libraries are heading. Future libraries could potentially have eReader stations, eBooks, and phase out most of the current and new print books from their shelves to reduce the surge of pollution that print books have created throughout the years.

Damage to the Environment Caused by Print Books

When creating a print book, there is carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from the creation of each book that is made. According to Michael Carpenter of The Eco Guide, he writes: “…printing a single book has a carbon footprint of about 7.5kg CO2.” When one talks about CO2, one must also consider the number of trees cut down in a year to be made into books.

University of Michigan’s Planet Blue Campus explains that “Upwards of 15 billion trees are cut down each year in the world, and much of the paper created from these trees are going towards books and textbooks.” University of Michigan’s Planet Blue Campus further remarks that the number of trees cut down in a year alone for textbooks is: “…30 million.” The math of how many textbooks roughly are made from one tree is an astounding 12.

CO2 is being produced, trees are cut down, and those trees that are cut down are not there to filter the emissions being produced by manufacturers of print books. This is causing too much damage to the environment to produce print books.

It may seem like a library is curtailing pollution by housing and reusing books to help the environment and create less waste, but one must also consider the physical space that a book within a library takes up when it on the shelves.

There are many public and academic libraries in the United States, the largest being the Library of Congress. According to the Library of Congress, in 2019, the library had over 24 million cataloged books.  With millions of more books being on the shelves at other libraries, the numbers add up quickly into the billions of just how much space is needed to house all these books.

Environmental Advantages of Using eReaders

EReaders help store a plethora of book titles to take with you on the go, but the person using the eReader does not have to strain to carry thousands of books since it is housed digitally as files in the eReader.

Environmentally there is not a piece of paper from a cut-down tree in sight. Since the creation of OverDrive, readers have downloaded over one billion digital books and saved an estimated 15.8 million trees, and: “That’s enough trees to fill Central Park 610 times,” according to their 2019 article.

EReaders are not completely pollution-free, but their negatives are nothing in comparison to print book production. Michael Kozlowski of Good eReader mentions in his article that Emma Ritch did a study about the pollution of eReaders in comparison to print book that she said, “There is roughly 168 kg of CO2 produced throughout the Kindle’s lifecycle and 1,074 kg of CO2 if you purchase three books a month for four years; and up to 26,098 kg of CO2 when used to the fullest capacity of the Kindle DX. Less-frequent readers attracted by decreasing prices still can break even at 22.5 books over the life of the device.”

Those wishing to help the environment can do so even in a small way by purchasing roughly 23 eBooks during the duration of having an eReader instead of purchasing a print book.

Environmental Differences of Delivery for Print Books vs. eBooks

The environmental differences of delivery for print books and eBooks are drastically different.

For a print book, one must purchase the book either online or in-store, then the items are placed into a plastic or cardboard package before transiting to the store or your home. Next, the book or books have to take a journey from its manufacturer by transportation such as plane and truck (both emit fossil fuels) to arrive at the store or your home.

EBooks can be accessed at any time, anywhere, and delivered to an eReader within minutes, if not seconds. EBooks do not have to be placed in a package that is later going to be discarded into a landfill.

EReaders help the library because they can receive a requested book faster than waiting on the postal system. Libraries also do not have to worry about replacing an eBook since an eReader does not have pages that tear or yellow over time.

More than Print and eBooks

This past year, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused numerous libraries to close down, making the checking out of print books out next to impossible in some United States areas. The demand for eBook rentals through libraries had increased tremendously, according to OverDrive, by 51% in May 2020.

With the knowledge of eBooks being more environmentally friendlier than printed books and eBook use having an increase in 2020, it is a common lingering question on minds whether library structures would close entirely in favor of a library created on a digital platform.

Besides being a physical structure for housing books old and new, the library has been a pinnacle symbol for community members. Citizens of the community do more than just come to return or check out books. Citizens ask librarians questions about books, how to use a form of information technology, how to reference articles or books, they come to read, study, use technology, meet up with others to perform their weekly hobbies of chess or crafts, or come to learn about a class sometimes being taught be the librarians or volunteers.

 When walking into a library, there are all walks of life, from toddlers excitedly rushing to story-time or elderly comfortably sitting reading the newspaper. Everyone in the community comes to the library, whether there are print books or eBooks, they so, because of their shared love of reading and education.

Although libraries will never fully fade away tangibly, future libraries can be built smaller, greener, and house thousands of eBooks on the digital shelves of eReaders so that libraries can have less of an environmental impact on nature for future generations of readers to enjoy.