I have written two blogs about the books that I’ve read and the books that I want to read. Sometimes I will choose to read a book because I have read other books by the author. I guess I’m a sucker for books in a series because once I get started I want to read all of the books by that author. For example, I don’t read a lot of fiction books, but I got hooked on this spy/military/CIA series by Vince Flynn and I would highly recommend it.
In college, I read a book by Max Lucado and then went on to read about 20 of his books and buying many of them as well. It didn’t even cross my mind at first that many pastor/authors don’t really write a book but instead they have someone transcribe their sermon into a book, (which is how most of Charles Spurgeon’s works were written.)
However, It wasn’t until recently that I learned about a practice in publishing called “ghostwriting.” This is where a person has someone who write for them but then they put their name on it. The person might take some ideas or an outline and then make it into a book. I can’t find the source, but I remember hearing or reading Jared Wilson say that he has written for a lot of authors but that Matt Chandler was the first person to give him credit on the cover of the book Explicit Gospel. I was surprised, saddened, and angered by that statement because I feel like Christian publishers and authors are not being honest if they don’t put the author’s name on the cover. Additionally, this article explains another side of the dishonesty in Christian publishing which is their overlooking of serious plagiarism. The title of the article says it well: Is this the future of Christian publishing?
What is your response to plagiarism and/or ghostwriting? Does it matter who is given credit for a work? Would it lessen the enjoyment of your favorite author’s books if you found out that he/she didn’t actually write the book?
I encourage you to listen to John Piper’s response to Ghostwriting here because he is a pastor and a writer of books and poems.