There's a new sort of ghost stalking the digital landscape.
They let several people pay them for the right to put their names as authors to some articles and, maybe, other types of written work that they write. This differs from the traditional way that ghost writers work. Instead of writing pieces to order or supplying pre-written pieces for a fee to one client who buys the right to replace the ghost's name with their own as author, the new arrangements involve the ghost being paid by several people for naming rights to the same article or other written piece. The ghost, in every occurence that I'm aware of, disclosed to all their potential clients exactly what they are doing - though, naturally, they may not tell each client exactly who else has the same rights to the pieces) that they are paying for.
Usually 20 or more people can buy the rights to any one article or package. My concern is for the effect of more than one person using the article with their own name on it as the sole author. Imagine that 3 "authors" circulate one of these articles through their mailing lists, remembering that many people who promote their services and products through their own web sites may have lists with several thousand subscribers, and one or more people subscribe to more than one of these lists.
The impression on anyone who gets 2 or more copies of the same article with different people claiming to be the author will, inevitably, be very negative. They make be concerned enough to contact one or more authors to ensure that the piece is not being plaigarised. I can't see the authors then having any choice but to all admit that they bought the right to put their own name on someone else's work. I don't think that would be an enjoyable experience for any of those concerned. That would not happen in the traditional model of buying, signing and distributing an article that was ghost-written.
There are plenty of opportunities to approach individual authors directly or through sites like eLance.com to get a well written piece that you can put your own name to in the traditionally accepted manner.
My other suggestion is to try to write an article yourself. It's not hard and you might find that you like writing when you actually give it a go. I know that methods of doing business are constantly evolving and new paths are being pushed through the electronic landscape. I just think that this path will not lead to a happy outcome for anyone.
John Williams writes and sells electronic books. He had 8 published when this article was written, with 2 more near completion. Anyone that wants to find out how easy it is to write and publish their own ebook or article for on-line distribution should visit John's web site