This January, I, along with roughly 140 other ghostwriters, “emerged from the shadows,” as the New York Times put it, at the inaugural Gathering of the Ghosts conference, hosted by the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and Gotham Ghostwriters. If it sounds a bit paradoxical, that’s because it is. Ghostwriters have traditionally skirted the spotlight, hiding their identities so the authors they write for shine.

When I was invited to speak on the “Be a Visible Ghost” panel at Gotham, I put on my favorite flowy dress and hopped a plane to snowy NYC. Never before had I been able to compare notes, stories, and inside jokes with so many other professionals in this very specific niche. This conference proved that hiring a ghostwriter is widely accepted—and for the most part, openly discussed—among celebrities, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and anyone with a great story to tell.