Because ghostwriters engage in activities that by invitation impact the lives of our clients, and because our conduct carries with it significant responsibilities, and because we desire the benefits of being treated as professionals, it behooves ghostwriters to accept the responsibilities of professionals guided by a Code of Ethics.
This Code of Ethics is a set of standards to guide ghostwriters in our professional conduct with our clients, other ghostwriters, and the broader community. Recognizing these principles, professional ghostwriters who subscribe to this code will conduct ourselves to honorably serve three constituencies as follows:
WITH RESPECT TO CLIENTS
I will serve my clients with integrity, competence, and sensitivity. I will treat them with honesty, respect, and courtesy.
- I will offer my clients writing that is the product of my own authorship and never misrepresent the work of others as my own except as disclosed.
- I will offer services in those areas in which I am qualified and will not misrepresent those qualifications in either verbal or written communications.
- I will advertise my services in an honest manner and will represent the ghostwriting profession accurately.
- When unable or unqualified to fulfill requests for services, I will make every effort to recommend the services of other qualified ghostwriters.
- I will not make representations or guarantee results that are beyond my power to control.
- I will decide independently and communicate to my client in advance my fees and expenses, and will charge fees and expenses which I deem reasonable, legitimate, and commensurate with my experience, the services I deliver, and the responsibility I accept.
- I will keep confidential all client information, both business and personal, including that which may have been revealed by the client.
- I will use proprietary client information only with the client’s permission.
- I will keep client information confidential and not use it to benefit myself or my firm, or reveal this information to others.
- I will, upon request, return to the client or destroy all material entrusted to me during the course of the engagement.
Conflicts of Interest
- I will avoid conduct which promotes my own self-interest at the expense of my client or the profession.
- If I cannot avoid a conflict of interest, I will immediately disclose the conflict to the client.
- I will make recommendations for products and services with my client’s best interests in mind.
WITH RESPECT TO OTHER GHOSTWRITERS
- I will seek and maintain an equitable, honorable, and cooperative association with other ghostwriters and will treat them with respect and courtesy.
- I will respect the intellectual property rights of other professionals and will not use proprietary information or methodologies without permission and attribution.
- I will act and speak on a high professional level so as not to bring discredit to the ghostwriting profession.
WITH RESPECT TO THE BROADER COMMUNITY
- I will not discriminate in the performance of my services on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
- I will not knowingly violate any law, statute, or regulation in the performance of my professional services.
- I will continue to develop my professional knowledge and competency as a ghostwriter.
As a professional ghostwriter, I pledge to exercise judgment, self-restraint, and discretion in my conduct in order to establish and maintain public confidence in the integrity of the profession and to preserve and encourage fair and equitable practices among all who are engaged in the profession of ghostwriting.
I welcome suggestions for improving this code of ethics.