If you are interested in writing a book, but don’t know where to start, one of your first steps will be pricing a ghostwriter. Our fees vary quite a bit from writer to writer. People often write in or call, wondering how much they can expect to spend to hire someone to write their book for them. It’s a good question!
One of the top questions I get is, “What if I offer to split the profits with you, could you write my book?” A professional writer will never accept these terms. It isn’t logical.
You might not realize it, but it takes 200 to 300 hours minimum to write a 200 to 300 page book (about 100 hours for 100 pages). Most likely your writer will need to interview you over the phone many times throughout the six to eight month period it takes to complete your project. Unless he or she is independently wealthy, they cannot afford to work for free. Would you ask a roofer to fix your roof for free in the hope that you might sell your home and be able to pay him? Would you hire a dentist on a deferred basis to fix your teeth, hoping you might land a major film deal? These examples sound silly, I know, but it is similar with writers. If your book doesn’t sell, the writer won’t get paid for the months of work they already put in.
If you don’t have a lot of money, but have a book idea you feel will sell well, you can always opt to write a book proposal and pitch it to agents and publishers. This is a much less expensive route to take. Then you can take the proceeds from the advance and hire a writer.
The cost of a book proposal should be between $5000 and $10,000 and will include: A table of contents, an outline, a bio, two sample chapters and a marketing analysis. Plus some writers have ins with agents and can help you find a home for your project.
When you are pricing a ghostwriter, you will want to treat the process like any other major purchase. Consider your bids and don’t always jump at the lowest one. Instead, interview each candidate and check their testimonials and experience. Ask for a few samples of their work and make sure their writing style matches your needs.
One good option I strongly suggest is that you hire a few writers to write a sample for you. Test them out and see which writer is best for you. Part of the assignment should include interviewing you, so that you can see how well they capture your voice.
If after reading this article, you realize that you really don’t have the money to hire someone to write a book, my suggestion is that you do your best to write it yourself. Then you can hire an editor to help you polish it a bit. Editors run four to ten cents per word, which is much less than a ghostwriter. Keep in mind though, that if you want your book rewritten, you are no longer looking to hire an editor, but are looking to hire a ghostwriter.
You can write a book yourself and sell it as an ebook. It can be any length and you can sell it for any amount. There are many options available for you, many ways to get your story out there.
If you think a ghostwriter is the way to go, give me a call and I can give you a quote and some free advice. All I need to know is your deadline, your story concept, and a few other details.
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