All those celebrity and politician memoirs don't write themselves. The authors usually have the assistance of a ghostwriter who helps with research, organization and structure.
Dee Burks found herself employed as a ghostwriter after beginning a freelance career to pay for a cruise.
"I met a guy who was a grant writer and he asked if I had done any ghostwriting. I got my first project from a publisher that he knew," Burks says.
"Ghostwriters are more like a writing coach or collaborator. We help structure the book, get their personal stories together through interviews, research and organize; then they review and make revisions," she says of the celebrity authors.
Burks works about 40 to 50 hours a week. Though the work is seasonal, she makes about $150,000 per year.
After her first project, the publisher asked her if she knew any other writers and her Amarillo, Texas-based company, The Amarillo Group, was born. It's grown to 20 writers who work for five publishers.
With a couple of best-sellers under her belt, Burks spends most working days in fuzzy slippers with her bulldog asleep under her desk.
"I wouldn't trade it for anything!" she says.