Cheating? Use of a Ghostwriter
Ghostwriting is not a new concept. Autobiographies are rarely written by the famous people themselves. Most work closely for months with a ghostwriting to pen their life stories. Even in fiction, ghostwriting is a common phenomenon in long-running series of books, such as the Nancy Drew series and the Sweet Valley High romances, but the Patterson situation is a whole different ball game.
In the case of the Nancy Drew series, readers were buying the series name and characters, not the author. That is not necessarily the case with Patterson.
Many readers, unaware of Patterson’s ghostwriting practices, purchase novels with the Patterson name on the front because they believe and expect that the novel is written by Patterson. Every author of any merit has an individual voice and style and regardless of how much effort a ghostwriter puts into imitating another writer, the effort will always fall short of the real thing.
In some cases, Patterson’s name appears next to a “co-author" on the cover, but there is no way to know how much of the book’s creation and development was completed by Patterson. So is it fair to “fool" an uninformed public by charging maximum prices for the Patterson name when it may not be Patterson’s work inside?