James S. A. Corey and the Multi-Writer Author

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When I try to explain my collaborative ghost-writing work, people are often very surprised. They have a fixed idea of what the author’s name on a book cover represents. It’s a single person who crafted this story.

The idea of several people collaborating, and the book then going out in the name of someone who doesn’t exist, is weird. But it happens often, probably far more often than is reported. And with the success of The Expanse, which just hit Netflix in the UK, it’s likely to become less surprising.

You see, James S. A. Corey, the author of the Expanse books, doesn’t exist. The name represents two authors, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, working together. James S. A. Corey is a convenient marketing label, a fact they’re open about.

This stuff is getting more normal. Most casual readers are most comfortable with a single author, and that makes marketing easier. But the perceived need to hide collaborations is receding.

So next time someone looks bewildered and asks about my ghostwriting “how does that work?”, I’ll say “just like The Expanse“.

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Andrew Knighton

Andrew Knighton is an author of speculative and historical fiction, including comics, short stories, and novels. A freelance writer and a keen gamer, he lives in Yorkshire with a cat, an academic, and a big pile of books. His work has been published by Top Cow, Commando Comics, and Daily Science Fiction, and he has ghostwritten over forty novels in a variety of genres. His latest novella, Ashes of the Ancestors, is out now from Luna Press Publishing.