book packaging

My agent emailed me a question: "How would you feel about writing for a packager? Basically, they come up with the idea, series outline and plot outline for the first book, and my colleague and I provide the writer."

My first response is....yuck, no, never. Has anyone had experience in this field?

A few people told me to think of it as moonlighting (unless I was trying to build a career writing for packagers...which I'm not). Usually, the author's name will never appear anywhere on the finished product.

Someone else called it "ghostwriting a book for a publisher." They were given an outline and character bios and a list of can and can't do, etc.

At last, Joyce emailed and said, "Your instincts are so excellent. Packagers are not good for the industry, therefore to moonlight as one is to shoot yourself in the foot. You don't get royalties and you're writing what someone else wants you to write. It's only good for the publishers. So a polite "that's not for me" is the correct answer."