The Voice Behind the Sarah Palin Book Going Rogue: An American Life

You may be surprised to learn that many of the published books you read are not, in fact, written by the author listed on the cover. This is especially true for many politicians and celebrities who publish books with their names listed as the author. The Sarah Palin book Going Rogue: An American Life was actually written by a ghostwriter. Individuals like Sarah Palin who wish to tell their story, but lack either the time or writing skills to do so, often turn to ghostwriters. Choosing a professional ghostwriter is paramount to ensuring the success of a publication. 

The following article discusses how Sarah Palin’s decision to hire Lynn Vincent as her ghostwriter played a major role in the success of her first book, Going Rogue: An American Life. This is a prime example of how even the most famous – or infamous – politicians can use a bit of help in the writing department from time to time. 

No matter your thoughts on Palin’s political point of views, many can agree that she knows how to make money by getting her point across. The Sarah Palin book, Going Rogue: An American Life reputedly earned close to $7 million. But here’s the kicker—she didn’t write it. 

Like many of the published books you read, Going Rogue: An American Life was written by a ghostwriter. In this case, the Sarah Palin ghostwriter, sometimes spelled as the Sarah Palin ghost writer, was Lynn Vincent. Vincent surprised her critics when she scored this coveted ghostwriter position, beating out several top ghostwriters who were vying for the chance to write a Sarah Palin book. Though Vincent is not revealing her fee, Andrew Crofts, a ghostwriter based out of London who wrote a handbook about ghostwriting, estimates that Vincent received somewhere between $168,000 and $252,000 – maybe more – based on his experience in England (See the full article from DailyFinance). 

As it happened, many of Vincent’s political, religious and social views aligned with Palin’s. In 2009, Vincent’s private diary was released to the public. In it, it was revealed that Palin told Vincent that "I want someone who gets it. Who gets that abortion kills more people in this country than cancer, who gets that the Bible is history, that we didn't just tumble out of the trees and start walking upright. I wanted someone, Lynn, who gets that God isn't the spare tire. He's the steering wheel." 

While Vincent’s political and religious ideologies may have been what initially enticed Palin to consider her as her ghostwriter, this fact alone could not have landed Vincent the coveted position. In fact, a professional ghostwriter’s principal task is to convey the published author’s thoughts and ideas in the voice of the author, regardless of personal beliefs. A talented ghostwriter would be able to convince the public of Palin’s merits, even if he or she strongly disagreed with Palin’s views. 

Because Sarah Palin is such a polarizing figure, the success of her book further highlights the profound affect that hiring a qualified ghostwriter can have. Among other factors, Palin’s decision to carefully select her ghostwriter made Going Rogue: An American Life the second fastest selling political book on record. The reason Vincent worked so well as a Sarah Palin ghostwriter is because Palin followed some very important rules when choosing her book’s ghostwriter:

  • Find someone you trust.
  • Find a ghostwriter with pertinent experience.
  • Find a ghostwriter with flexibility.
  • Find a ghostwriter who represents your voice.
  • The ghostwriter should know the target audience

Finding the perfect ghostwriter to give an authentic and inspirational voice to your story or knowledge is akin to finding a kindred spirit, again, even if personal philosophies do not happen to align. 

The success of the Sarah Palin book Going Rogue:An American Lifeis just one example of how ghostwriters can propel the success of a story. To learn more about the guidelines for selecting a ghostwriter, please see Hiring a Ghostwriter.

Related Resources 

Read more about Writing a Memoir 

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