June 12, 2014 by Christina Hamlett
A Conversation with Dr. Thomas Nemet
Certainly no parent or teacher of a school-age child would condone the idea of paying someone to do your homework. Ghostwriting in academic and professional circles, however, is on the rise, especially among the ranks of college students – and even professors – who can do research but just aren’t savvy when it comes to assembling all that data into a cohesive thesis or article for a scholarly journal. Dr. Thomas Nemet, Founder and CEO of ACAD WRITE (http://www.acad-write.com/en), gives us a peek inside the world of academic ghostwriting.
Interviewer: Christina Hamlett
Q: Let’s start with your describing the type of ghostwriting services you provide.
A: Our core business is academic ghostwriting. We draft essays, (term) papers, theses(bachelor/master/PhD) and work on other academic assignments.
Q: Is this work all done in-house or do you subcontract with freelance ghostwriters?
A: All the pieces are written by freelance scientific ghostwriters who hold an academic degree. Most of the ghostwriters at ACAD WRITE possess a PhD degree; some of them are even professors. Our pool of authors consists currently of more than 300
Q: That’s impressive! Are you open to adding new writers to your existing stable of talent?
Yes, of course. We are receiving applications and writing samples on an ongoing basis from talented authors. We check the references (e.g. academic degree) as well the quality of the academic writing style. In this context, we make use of academic quality managers who are at our disposal and support us while selecting new applicants.
Q: What are the specific qualities you look for in terms of contracting with ghostwriters?
A: First rule is, all our authors are degree holders in their respective academic field, though we prefer to employ PhD holders. In the German speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) very good/perfect language skills (in terms of writing/speaking) are key for an academic ghostwriter – this is true also for the English speaking markets like UK, USA and Canada. The more experienced an academic ghostwriter is, the easier it is for him to successfully accomplish any academic assignment on a high quality level. We usually select experienced ghostwriters for complex assignments. Another criterion is absolutely the academic expertise in the respective field.
Q: Do your ghostwriters work directly from a client outline/existing manuscript or do they create everything entirely from scratch?
A: Our clients come to us with a clear picture in regards to their academic assignment. They communicate the task to the author, in most cases with very detailed instructions. Our academic ghostwriters strictly orientate on the input/data received by our clients and prepare an academic draft, which serves our clients as a valuable source for a final version of their academic piece.
Q: What are your three best tips for someone who wants to break into the field of ghostwriting?
A: First, the potential author must have an extraordinary academic writing style. Second, he/she must listen carefully to the clients’ needs. Third, keeping deadlines is an essential asset to succeed as a ghostwriter. We advise our ghostwriters (as if we do with our clients) to value a high degree of communication. At ACAD WRITE we offer both the client and the author the option to communicate in a confidential manner using an online tool called ACAD office. At the beginning of each project – depending on the size of the project – we also offer the client an initial phone conference. This is an excellent opportunity to address the first steps in the project, but also for the author to convince the client about his expertise and demonstrate a high level of communication. In other words, our authors simply appear as academic coaches.
Q: Many clients who hire ghostwriters have an expectation that the latter will also serve as their agent to get the book published or the script produced. In your view, is this a conflict of interest?
A: As mentioned previously, at ACAD WRITE we focus mainly on the aspect of academic ghostwriting. Our authors have an academic “mission” to accomplish while having proved to be successful over many years. We are aware of the circumstance that ghostwriters could opt to work directly with clients, leaving us behind. We do believe, however, that our services are highly appreciated as many clients and authors prefer a certain level of confidentiality, something we do offer. In regard to potential conflicts of interests, we have not tracked so far any cases, though we do not work on book publications (that might change in the near future).
Q: How do you capture the authenticity of a client’s “voice” and at the same time produce a marketable project? (i.e., if they’re not particularly bright but come off sounding like a Rhodes scholar, won’t it be obvious it’s not their own work?)
A: The client determines the authenticity of the academic project. Some clients have a clear notion of how their writing style should be reflected in a ghostwritten piece. Keep in mind that our ghostwritten academic pieces are subject to a final revision by our clients before being submitted to the respective academic institution. Of course, there are clients who are indifferent about the writing style. Why? The simple fact that lecturing at universities is characterized by an increasing level of anonymity.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge for attracting new clientele? How do you primarily find them?
A: Through the years I would definitively state that an advertising mix (online and offline) and recommendations by previous/existing clients help to attract new clients. Key in this process are the following aspects: First, the high quality work we deliver; second, our approach to assess an academic project step by step with the client; third, the selective choice of the author; fourth, the permanent communication with the author and client; and finally the implementation of a quality management which guarantees that a ghostwritten piece is a unique one and complies with the expectations of the client.
Q: How should our readers go about contacting you?
A: Clients and/or authors are welcome to contact us online via email (email@example.com); for English-speaking inquires via firstname.lastname@example.org). Or they may choose the contact section at our website to provide us with more details about their academic project. Our staff is also available to assess clients by phone. We operate offices in Europe (U.K., Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and in North America (USA and Canada). For detailed contact numbers, please check our website.