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Can I publish Dave's book for him?

This week's 100 word story reminded me of Dave, a friend of ours who sailed his small boat single-handed across the Atlantic a few years ago.
As well as the boat's log he kept a journal of those 40 days, which he gave me to read, and I typed it up for him.
 I tried to persuade him to self-publish it for his grandchildren - his personality comes out of every page - but he's never got round to it.
Is there a way I can do it for him, with his name as the author? 


  • Isn't that what a ghost writer does? If he's happy for you to do it, I'm sure you can ghost write it for him.
  • It's his copyright and has to be his call.
  • Hmm, I don't think you could do it as a surprise, but if he asks you to do it, then I imagine that would be fine.

    I once told a non-writer friend a personal story. A few weeks later, she had 'become a writer' and had written my story, changing names of people and places. Her intention was to send it off to a writing competition. I had to speak up and ask her not to, as the story was unusual and could be recognised if parties referenced were to read it. I was actually very, very cross.
  • I'm not surprised.
    As others have said Lizy you can can only really do that if he wants you to.
  • Oh, I wasn't planning to do it without permission!
    It's just if there was a way I could do it for him, I would offer, as I have the document on my computer. But Amazon publishing want you to use your own name.
  • You can do it as a publisher but it's more of a business account and there are complications. You could create an account for him and do that. However, it's against their terms for someone to log into another account - although there's no reason why you couldn't 'sit next to him' and do it for him. It would mean that you would have knowledge of his private details and he (and you) might not be happy with that. I had a client in his 80s whose son helped him. I talked him through as much as I could over the phone and then his son finished it off the final approval stages. This was during the lockdown.1 and they lived hundreds of miles apart and obviously the son logged in as his father. 
  • Thanks. I thought it would be too complicated 🙁
  • It isn't complicated. You just need to be aware of how it needs to be done. If it goes wrong you might find your own account is suspended. 
  • Lots to think about and organise first.
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