Pricing a Ghostwriter

Pictofigo_-_IdeaIf 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.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Writing a Book Proposal

Do you need help writing a book?

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?

Do you want an affordable ghostwriter?

affordableSearching the internet, you can easily find ads for affordable ghostwriters. They’re all over, a dime a dozen. However, is that really what you want?

Of course you should look for a good deal, but you need to avoid the bargain-basement writers. Please don’t hire a cheap writer, someone whose rate is well below the norm. If you do, you’ll get a product that is inferior, which will probably need to be rewritten. It would be better to skip the project completely.

A new client asked me today, “What problems could I run into with an affordable ghostwriter?” It’s a good question.

Plagiarism is a real concern. If you search the internet for articles on a subject, you’ll quickly see that the popular ones have been copied (with maybe a few words changed). I’m sure those writers didn’t charge much for “their” work.

Read More

Help! Help! I need help writing a book!

help writing a bookMany aspiring writers need help writing a book.  For first-time authors the task of writing two hundred pages can seem mammoth, a lot harder than it appeared when they first started the project.

Actually, this can be true for well-educated and talented writers, as well as novices.

The process of writing a book is not usually taught in school. It comes from experience. It comes from reading and writing and reading and writing and…(you get the picture.)

So, if you want to write your first book, what do you do? One option is to hire a writing coach, who will charge by the hour to assist you in organizing your thoughts and ideas and getting through the mental blocks that are stopping you from making forward progress. This is a great solution for writers who are doing well overall, but just need an occasional helping hand.

If you’re finding that your problems are bigger than you’d thought, or it seems like you may not be up to the task at all, consider hiring a professional writer, a ghostwriter, to help you.  If you’re an excellent storyteller, who lacks the writing expertise to get your story into book form, your ghostwriter will get the job done.

On the other hand, if you are one of those talented writers who just needs a little help, the ghostwriter’s minor rewrites and editing skills will be invaluable in making your dream a reality.

A professional ghostwriter will help troubleshoot your book and work out the kinks.  For instance, he or she can assist you with character development and story line. You can do the majority of the writing yourself or leave most of it to your writer, depending on what your goals are for your book.

Some feel that it’s cheating to hire someone to write a book for them. After all their name will be on the cover right? How can that be ethical to take credit, if someone else wrote the book for them? Although I understand the concern, let me assure you, it’s done all the time. It’s an accepted practice. After all, it’s your idea and really should be your book.

Having an experienced professional to help guide you through the book writing process will help you grow as a writer. It will give you an experience boost that will carry through to your second and third book. Your next literary adventure won’t be fraught with the perils of inexperience. You will have traveled these waters already.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Seven Tips For Writing A Great Memoir

Hiring a ghostwriter

Should I Write and Publish My Memoirs

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods