Ghosts again

It’s recently come to my attention that several fraudulent websites offering–for a whopping fee–ghostwriting services have me listed as a client. 

This is bullshit, and it’s infuriating.

These sites–and I won’t link to them or name them as that could increase their traffic, and that’s their goal–list many books they claim their ghostwriters have written. More bullshit. They’ve simply tossed up thumbnails of published works by legitimate authors to lure in the naive.

One of the sites that includes me also lists Marvel Comics.  

Yeah, I’m sure Marvel hires ghosts. 

I do not use ghosts. I have never used ghosts. I will never use ghosts. I wrote every word of every book ever published under my name. That’s Roberts and Robb.  

It’s infuriating and insulting for some asshole cheats running a con to use my name and my work to advertise it. And a con is what this is, start to finish. 

A legitimate ghostwriter remains a ‘ghost’ unless the person paying for that service agrees to credit them. It’s my personal opinion that ghosts should be credited, but it’s not my business as I don’t use ghostwriters. 

A legitimate ghostwriter doesn’t have their photo and name proudly posted on a website. In point of fact the ones proudly posted on these sites are stock photos, fake names. They don’t exist. 

These sites charge between $25 and $45 THOUSAND dollars for a ghostwritten book–as listed on their very professional-looking websites. Part of me thinks anyone who pays that kind of money to get their name on a book they didn’t write in the first place deserves to be taken. You’re a mark, pal, and that’s the price you pay for your ego.

However, I also realize some people just don’t understand how it all works, and think: I have this terrific idea! I just need somebody to write it for me!

To them I say, sure, I get it. But ideas don’t make a writer. Writing makes you a writer. Taking an idea and doing the hard work of turning it into a story, spending the time and effort, creating characters, refining the language, researching, editing, sweating, struggling–that makes a writer.

It’s just that simple.

I am NOT dissing ghostwriters. I am raging against these fake sites that claim to offer this service and use fraudulent means to rake in the dough.

The lawyers–and I’ve had three working on this–tell me yes, it’s fraud. But . . .

These cyber grifters are off shore–and it’s almost impossible to pin them down. They ignore Cease and Desist notices, ignore legal threats. And if you do manage to find them, they just poof and set up again. 

Because it’s easy pickings.  

We’re exploring some options, but those options are limited, and these cheats know it. Meanwhile, they rake in thousands and thousands from marks, some who might see my name and think: Wow, I KNEW she used ghostwriters! Boy oh boy, I can do that, too, and have a string of best-sellers! 

The idea of that just multiplies my fury. 

So I’ll say again, as clearly and as concisely as possible. I Do Not Use Ghostwriters. If you see my name or my book listed on a site that claims otherwise, it’s a lie. It’s fraud. And those involved are cyber thieves hoping you’ll fall for it.


And I’m going to add this as it’s connected. 

To those who continue to insist I use ghosts, who claim they know I do, or I simply must because? You busy yourself on Twitter or other social media with this claim because you can’t do what I do. You figure you can’t so I can’t. 

That just makes you petty, jealous and pathetic. 

Now I’m going back to work because that’s what I do. I fucking write.


99 thoughts on “Ghosts again”

  1. Yes, everything you said was 100% correct. It’s a shame “people” (using that term loosely) must scam others in order to make a quick buck. They’re like weeds. I hope people see this!

  2. I just have to say….. you are bad ass and love YOUR writing. Thank you for doing what you do whether it’s under Roberts or Robb because it’s all good.

  3. $25,000?

    You could hire one of hell a book doctor for that.

    I’m not sure I can work up much pity for someone willing to toss out those fees without a bit of research.

    Sorry about the hate & petty BS. Anybody who ‘gets’ writing could tell you write your own books. Your voice is unique & that isn’t something that can be copied.

      1. Very well said. It is sad people resort to this. Although, i think this would make a good Dallas story line

    1. I agree. I see people who claim all the time that NR uses ghostwriters. These people just don’t understand style and voice. Anyone who has a single bit of experience writing or editing knows that the person who wrote those books 20 years ago is the same one writing them now. You can change the way you write and the types of books you write, but voice is unique.

  4. Cannot begin to imagine how frustrating this issue must be!

    Just keep on keeping on, and we shall keep on reading your incredible stories!

  5. Its so frustrating that you have to keep denying the fact that you use ghosts. You work damn hard and have an amazing work ethic so you can produce that many books.

  6. You are so bad ass. Any true fan knows you do not use ghostwriters.
    In fact, you are notorious about writing every day, even if it’s crap. Just as long as you are writing it eventually works out.

  7. Three cheers for Roberts & Robb! Love that response, full of controlled fury. Everything you write is true, and you know what? No-one with any sense would ever accuse you of using a ghost writer, because your writing style is so unique it couldn’t be copied.

  8. You tell ’em, Nora! Your readers admire your work ethic and know that your books are authentic, not some drivel a ghostwriter has contributed. Good luck bringing down the fraudsters!

  9. Oh my! Call Finney and McNab in EDD and get them investigating. Notify Compserv. Call Roarke and Eve to take them down! Nora, I love your books and nobody that has read you would believe you would use a ghost. Thank for your hard work.

  10. It is so frustrating that nothing can be done about these scams. And frustrating for you as a writer to have your name used as a lure so people will send in their money to the scammers! I love your writing and have become obsessed with your In Death series!

  11. Wow I’m sorry you have to continually deal with this annoying nonsense!

  12. The first Nora book I read was Carolina Moon. I was hooked, and it is your style that grabbed me. I can tell a Nora/JD book by the writing style. You have such a way with your story telling. Even what you just wrote….very much Nora.
    I’ve been reading you for many years, and I appreciate you, the talent and dedication and hard work you so obviously put in. Just wanted you to know that.
    Vicki Doty

    1. Vicki, I’m so pleased with your comment as I was about to say the same! You’d recognize Nora’s style in a million…
      Shame on those people though. I guess some won’t put the effort in . 🙄

    2. How funny, the first book I ever read was Carolina Moon too! I was studying abroad in Australia years and years ago and I finished my midterms before the rest of my house mates. My roommate gave me the book to read and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m pretty sure I had to pay overage fees for my baggage coming home because I had gone out and bought so many books!

  13. Way to go Nora! I haven’t seen these sites, then again I’m not looking to be a writer. If someone paid for such a “service,” I think they deserve to be taken.

    I’m glad you stomped their ass. 💪

  14. Well said Nora. It’s just a pity that you have to keep saying it over and over.

  15. I just want to applaud! And let me say… very well written

  16. I haven’t seen these sites either, but I’m not an author and never will be an author. I also become frustrated for you when comments on your sites want you to *change* how a subject reacts, or make them more * loveable* or suggests what you should write. It’s your story; if they want something different why don’t they write it. I want to tell them this so many times, but then I’d be attacked for being rude and probably be asked to leave. Just hang in there. I love your books and will keep reading.

  17. So sorry some people don’t understand you have a God given talent. You have honed this talent over the years and have blessed your readers with so many wonderful books. You’re right, anyone can have an idea but turning that idea into a novel, whole different story. I, for one, am in awe of your writing and feel sorry for those who cannot appreciate you, your dedication to your craft and readers, and your self discipline. You are amazing!

  18. Dear Nora, The first book of yours that I read was from the old Silhouette series of books. Even then your style, dialog, and characters were unique although I believe there was a formula that had to be followed. You have entertained me for your entire career, never for one moment will I believe that your work is the product of a ghostwriter. I share your fury with these con artists.

  19. I am just a reader and have no need for these sites,. I was not even aware that they exist.

    By the way you are a bad ass!! Roberts or Robb.

    I’m just glad that you do what you do, and continue to entertain me.

  20. You explain this very well. I’m sorry you have to do this again.
    Love your books.

  21. This is horrible and I can see from the blog that has really got you riled. No-one could write like you do! No -one who really knows you and your writing would ever believe you had a ghostwriter for one minute – anyone who believes that are not true fans and not worth listening to!

  22. Damn right you do! Thank you for all the Roberts and Robb books that you write and we all get to enjoy and experience.

  23. Way to go Nora, you are an exceptional writer across different genre’s, you entertain and keep us readers of your wonderful stories and series spellbound.🤗 I for one will never even look at these sights, stay safe, don’t stress be proud.🤗Sending you a big hug.xx

  24. I never for a moment thought anyone else but you wrote your books. But it has to be painful for you that some believe it and an unnecessary expense. I buy Nora Roberts and JD Robb books. The books you write. Please keep writing.

  25. And this is why you have always been and will always be my favorite. Your talents and creativity are unmatched, and you’re never, ever afraid to tell it like it is.

    It truly is an insult when people don’t understand just how much time, energy, and effort go into every single word written on a page.

  26. You go, Nora! I’m really sorry that you have to deal with this crap yet again. I too would be angry and frustrated. And I truly don’t understand why some people can’t give credit where credit is due, and celebrate (and enjoy) someone else’s work and success.

    And I have a hard time dredging up any sympathy for people who are sucked into the fraud, regardless of why. Wouldn’t the exorbitant cost be a huge red flag? $25K to $45K is incredible!!!

    For the record, I love your work, and wholeheartedly believe that you are its sole author. Always were, are now, and always will be. No ghosts involved. EVER.

    And thank you again for your books and the hours of happiness they give me and so many others, and for continuing to fight the good fight, however endless and frustrating.

  27. I’m sorry you have to deal with the idiots & frauds once again, Nora, & hope you can find some way to “hurt” the folks running these sites! I don’t get folks who are willing to destroy others this way, if I did, I’d probably be one of them!

    Would like to mention tho’: if you have any sway with the publisher, please get them to quit publishing the new pbk copies of the In Death series in the bigger books. I have so little shelf space left & those aren’t helping the stacks! It’s gotten to the point that there are very few books that I buy in paper format anymore; just about everything in ebk, but a few I do want paper copies as well. But if I run out of space, I have to weed titles and I really don’t want to! Thanks!

    1. There’s really nothing I can do about that. Publishing’s a business, and there’s a high demand for the larger paperbacks. Apparently easier for some people to hold, and bigger type.

      1. I understand easier to hold; I’ve weeded all hardbacks out because the hands don’t like them anymore (arthritis) and I have trouble holding paperbacks, esp. when in the very beginning & very ending of the book. Ah, so it goes.

        Thanks anyway, & i’m looking forward to Feb 8th. I’ve made the mistake before of checking shortly after Midnight; downloaded yet? Mistake because I then read all night long!

        Take care & stay safe!

  28. People steal because it is lazy. Remember Tiko saying that in one of the In Death books. The enjoyment I get from these books is greatly appreciated. It is hard work and talent. Talent for writing is something I don’t have. I have respect for what you do, Nora, and how hard you work at it. Thank you.

  29. Miss Roberts, your work is wonderful! in these writings about GHOSTS you sound just like Eve Dallas! Bet you wish you had a Roarke to put an end to this! please keep writing!

  30. Some people just suck!! Thank you for standing up for yourself Nora!!

  31. Your loyal readers know there is NO WAY you would ever use a ghost writer.

  32. So sorry to read you are experiencing this yet again. It is infuriating that you cannot do much about these fraudulent sites. It would be great if you could go after the hosting sites in addition to the scammers, but I’m sure if that were possible your lawyers would already be doing so.
    Readers who follow you already know 100% that you don’t use ghostwriters; that you are a disciplined, talented and creative soul who works hard at her craft and who has her own unique voice. It’s a shame you have to step away from your work in order to respond to another round of nonsense.
    Give ’em hell!

  33. Talk about timing, I just had a conversation with someone on a Facebook page promoting the new Robb book about you using ghost writers. She had asked if anyone knew if Nora actually wrote the new book and I asked who else would have written it. She of course replied that you use ghost writers and I replied that you absolutely do NOT and have stated this fact many many times.

  34. Thank God and heaven that you write everything yourself and im so grateful that u r so prolific. Nobody comes close to the magic u produce with your words. Period

  35. You Go, Girl!!! I appreciate your hard and proficient work. So frustrating that people not only can’t put their energy into being creative for themselves but have to diss those that do! You write it; I’ll fuckin read it!!!!

  36. Any of your true readers/fans KNOW you write every word of your books. You have a very distinct style that has grown through the years but is still undeniably you! You bring such joy and happiness to your readers and I can truly appreciate and admire all you have done and still do. But your work is yours! Case in point, I was a big Robert B Parker fan and when he passed I was interested to see what Ace Atkins would do with the books. The newer books are ok but they are not Parker! Nora Roberts and JD Robb books are now and ever will be YOURS!!! And thank you for all of these stories and all you do to bring them to us!

  37. What a pain, having to stop writing to refute the false ghostwriting claims. Not to your readers and other writers, all of whom know it’s not true, but to the poor saps who are desperate to see their name on a book. Good luck getting the sleazebags to quit using your name as bait.

  38. Wow! The nerve of some people! I have been reading you for years and will continue to do so. Enjoy all your books and love some of the series. Anyone who thinks you use a ghostwriter is a moron. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading/listening!

  39. WOW, Nora, you are such a badass, and I love it. So sorry you keep having to deal with b.s. like this. 25-45 to get a ghost to write your book ??
    If these idiots have that kind of money to afford this, one would THINK they are smart enough to know it’s a scam….
    Obviously not…takes all kinds to make this world go round.

  40. Just wow! You know, it’s hard enough to try and find another author I like to read as much as you, because your writing just flows so well…The thought of you using ghosts is ridiculous and anyone who’s ever read your books knows this. It’s good that whoever is discovering these sights is letting you know so you can at the very least, attempt to do something, it just seems that there SHOULD be SOMETHING that could be done…Good luck in your fight! Hang in there, your loyal readers know the truth!

  41. People will do or say or post anything that they think will make them money, famous or what ever else they want to do with out actually working for it.
    I love that you let everyone know the truth. I personally think its amazing that you can come up with so many stories and something that yes you should be very proud of! And NOBODY should ever try to take that away from someone. I love reading your books, to me they are like watching a movie in my head. So Thank You, your books have gotten me through some very tough days.

  42. Amen, Nora. WE, your faithful followers Believe You…we truly Do!

  43. Nora, I am so sorry you are dealing with this again. I have read you since your early days…I used to buy the bi-monthly 6 books from Silhouette. I was always so glad to get a shipment with a book of yours in it. I actually still have some of those early paperbacks in my collection. I concur with the other comments; your writing is so distinctive. God bless.

  44. Anyone who has read your works can distinguish them from anyone else. Keep doing what you do because there are those of us out her who hang on waiting for what comes next!

  45. OMG I’m so sorry this is still an issue for you. I wish you could go Eve Dallas on their collective a$$es and finish this one and for all… until then we who love you and the adventures YOU write will be here for you- and we are a LARGE BUNCH!!!!💜

  46. It is so enraging that these ignorant twatwaffles get away with this garbage. I am, always, a huge fan of your writing and hope that Karma eventually bites these jerks in their behinds. Hard.

  47. As long as there are people (I hate to say stupid but….) stupid enough to fall for easy money schemes there will be those who take advantage of them and they are shameless as to how they go about it. I’m amazed that you write as fast and as well as you do but I have never even considered that you use ghost writers… You are just an incredibly talented writer. Keep on writing them and I’ll keep on reading them! Thanks for many many hours of reading enjoyment!

  48. Nora, I told once, a long time ago at a MARA dinner, that I wanted to grow up and be a great author like you. While I tried, I never became a world class author like you. That being said, Nora, I know you would never use a ghostwriter in a million years. Your books are uniquely yours. No one could ever mimic your style of writing. I agree, you are one bad ass lady. If you keep writing, I will keep reading.
    Sandy Manczuk

  49. Note to self: if ever you are fortunate enough to meet Nora, don’t tick her off!

    Sharing your anger, Nora.

  50. I am about to age myself but I have been reading your books since they were harlequin books. Foe years you were the only author I read, I would recognize your style anywhere. I can’t believe the amount of people who are gullible enough to send money to a stranger, and anyone who believes you use a ghostwriter has never read your books. I have to say your comment makes me think of Eve. Totally would be her response

  51. There is nothing I despise more than liars and thieves. They attempt to delegitimize the hard work and research of others.
    I read a comment about Nora’s ‘author voice ‘ and feel that is perfectly said, as I agree. Just wish the world was on the same page justice wise, because I lack the patience for karma to evidence itself.

  52. This is infuriating, aggravating, and downright SHITTY that lowlifes have to act like this, and that you have to dignify it with a response and legal action.

    May Karma hit them hard.

  53. I can’t imagine how infuriated you feel. I am infuriated on your behalf. Hopefully a solution will be found to stop the madness. I cannot tell you how much pleasure your books have given me. Wishing you the best going forward.

  54. I don’t see how anyone that’s a true follower of your work could imagine you would use a ghostwriter. After reading your description and feelings 😜…..I thought I was reading something out of the mouth of Eve Dallas! After all,….you are both one and the same! Both Badasses! Go Nora!

  55. Nora so sorry you have to deal with this again. I love the books you write. Can’t wait for the new ones coming out this year. You have a great gift in writing and telling the story.

  56. I agree totally with Nora that it is hard work to write and be a writer. When I was a student at Sac State in the early ’90’s, I had a bunch of poems published in the school’s literary journal. I haven’t written since, but it was a bear to deal with sometimes when an idea for a poem popped into my head and I was in the middle of taking notes for one of my Anthro classes.
    You go Nora!
    Just my $.02.

  57. I’m sad you have to see this, deal with this, stress about this and let it bring you down. I also can’t imagine the time wasted on this.

    Please know we know and would never believe it.

    I’m afraid the stress of this- the work of it- will bring you down and cause you to stop writing!!

    Please never stop! Love you work and want you to know there are way more of us that LOVE you! Please keep doing what you’re doing!
    ❤️Angie Reedy

  58. I am so sorry you have to spend your time and energy to address these petty loosers that cannot and have never done anything so they feel they have to accuse you of using ghost writers. Anyone with two brain cells knows you don’t. Your voice is unique. You told them off well.

  59. I’m so sorry this has happened! Scammers are everywhere but how to shut them down?

  60. I get where you’re coming from and your fury is totally justified.

    Anyone who believes you use ghost writers is an idiot and you don’t want them as your fans anyway.

    Anyone who pays that for a ‘ghost writer’ without checking their credentials is an even bigger idiot.

    Keep writing Nora. You dedication to storytelling is awesome and our lives are all richer for it. I like nothing better than delving into a Robb/Roberts book and escaping into the wonderful worlds and characters’ lives you create.

    Looking forward to your next book, as always.

  61. I love your books, especially those written as Robb. I hope you find a way to stop those ignoramuses from trying to smear your excellent names!

  62. Well said, Nora. I can only imagine the level of frustration. These false claims are an attack on your talents and decades of hard work. Everyone in their right mind knows your books are your books, and they’re yours alone. In the writing community, your work ethic and dedication is legendary. Hopefully, people who stumble across these sites will do their homework and not fall for this seemingly obvious trap.

  63. I have friends ask “how does she write so much?” Then I explain that NR writes 5 days a week, that’s her 9-5 job. Unless she’s on vacation. You don’t busy yourself on social media (shout out to Laura), you write. And we love you for it. People are going to say what they will, but please know that your fans are behind you and know damn good and well that you write anything with your name on it!

  64. I’ll say again what I say every time. I’m sorry. But as long as I get to keep reading the books you write, and my Eve and Roarke will go on to see another day, I don’t care about the people who get taken. Before you put out that kind of money for anything you need to do some “research”. I understand why it upsets you though and for that I am sorry.

  65. I admire your passion and your integrity. I’m very glad that you love to write. I love to read. I truly enjoy all your different voices. No one else puts a story together the way you do. Thank you.

  66. Wow! Some people are so stupid to believe this bull and then to pay that kind of money to have somebody else write for you is even dumber.
    Thank you for your hard work. Keep those fantastic books coming, please.
    Anyone who actually read your books would know you write them and only you.

  67. If anyone thinks you use a ghostwriter they are just stupid. All of us who have read all of your Robb and Roberts books recognize and love your work. You would have had to use the same ghostwriter for 35 years! Bet they’re exhausted!
    Pure jealousy of your talent and hard work

  68. Why not legally go after those who slander you on social media?
    For one thing, that would definitely put across that you don’t use ghostwriters.

  69. It’s libel when written, and it’s almost impossible for a public figure to sue over something like this. You have to prove malicious intent.

  70. Sadly, there are always people looking for a shortcut because they simply don’t want to put in the time it takes for them to do it themselves and there will always be grifters and scammers willing to take their money and not do the work either. Both types look to make a buck off of people like Nora who legitimately puts in the time to get the results she gets. I’ve followed Nora from the very beginning. When you read her books, you always hear her voice, her style of writing is consistent from day one until today. I wish I could write as beautifully as she does but that is not my talent and I am thrilled to read her work because it is quality, no shortcuts, no cheats just pure Nora with her brilliant talent. The world is full of scammers, but they will never give you the level of talent Nora has; all they are going to do is take your money and leave you with nothing but a depleted bank account. There are no shortcuts to success, just a lot of really hard work and effort – Nora puts effort and time into producing the amazing books we can’t wait to read, the only time the scammers are putting in is laughing all the way to the bank with your money and giving you nothing in return and really if you’re trying to pull a cheat like that, you’re getting exactly what you deserve.

    1. Well said Rose. I also have read Nora since her Silhouette days (almost every title) and her “voice” has been the same throughout. Her stories are always well written and you can tell a fair number of then required quite a bit of research. I have never been disappointed with any Roberts/Robb work, and hope to enjoy more for years to come.

  71. Nora ALWAYS tells it like it is…!!!

    Thanks for all the great stories, hard work and honesty.

  72. It’s so frustrating that these cockroaches keep crawling out of their dark holes and doing these really shitty things. I’m sure they figure targeting big names enables them to scam more idiots out of more money, but to not be able to stop them is horrible. I hate seeing these stories when they crop up again and again. Hopefully karma finds them sooner rather than later.

  73. I love badass Nora and how you get your point across. Very well said. I’ve been reading your books for decades and I KNOW you do not use ghosts.

  74. I love you Nora. I respect your work ethic and I love your books. They have been a balm to me during this pandemic and many many other times in my life.

    The haters will hate. I don’t feed those flames. They like that energy. They like the recognition. It keeps them going.

    I will forever appreciate your work and you sharing with us on this blog. It means so much to me!

    Continue to take care and be well!!

  75. There are so many con artists in the publishing/writing world. It’s so maddening! Nora, you’re one of my absolute favorite authors. I love your work, and your incredible work ethic is truly awe-inspiring. You’re such a badass.

    I hope these awful scammers get punished somehow!

  76. What is wrong with people?! I am sorry you had to take time out from your productive and creative writing to respond to these heinous people. I love your writing, and my husband has noticed how absorbed I am while reading your books.

  77. I am a long time fan of Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb. I do not know how any one can read any of your books and say you used a ghost writer. I cannot explain it but when I read any of your books there is something there that I recognize as your voice. It is there in all of your books I have read and that is most of them. I still have quite a stack of your earlier ones that I am working my way through but I am fairly current on the ones from recent years.

    I also want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy your books. For the last several years I receive each of them on launch day as I have preordered them. Thank you for giving me and all your fans many hours of enjoyable reading.

  78. I’m sorry Nora that you have to deal with that. I love all your books and in anticipation of the next In Death in February, I’m re-reading the first five to relive how all these characters came into Eve’s life and are now part of her family. It’s like looking at a family photo album. I finished Naked and am now reading Glory. I am savouring every word. Thank you so much for all the wonderful stories. I’m so grateful that you are sharing your talent with us. Stay safe.

  79. Some people are just plain mean and have no morals!!! You go Nora with your bad self!! I’ve got your back. I am such a fan that even my babies call me if they see one of your books advertised to see if I’ve read it… You have a gifted way with words and when I need a reprieve from my chaotic life, I get one of your books and let myself go…
    Note to others, always double check and do your research before giving someone you don’t know money, whether on the Internet and/or over the phone.

  80. Flim flam, scam , big fat grift! It’s cultural climate change. This is the era we now inhabit where lies and hate dominate. Glad you called it out, yet again, Nora. Just do you and screw them. Until an accounting comes down on the thieves, or karma has its say; it’s what it is now. It seems to be a repeating pattern; crimes are committed and there is no reckoning or justice….

  81. As a fellow professional fiction writer (60+ novels in various genres) who “just writes,” I applaud you. I’m glad you took the opportunity to get it out, vent a little. Unfortunately, we both know it will do no good.

  82. The light is protecting you Nora! I feel your anger, use it to write a book about it. My writing flows easily when I am angry as well, I write grants to serve my little students. There is always people attracted it to do a fast scam and use shortcut instead of doing the actual work. Focus on you, and your loved ones!
    Thank you for all the wonderful stories!

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