“I’d like to hire a ghostwriter! How much does it cost?”
I get this question a lot! Allow me to address the answer upfront. I mean, why hide the information and bury the pricing in a hard to find spot? No need to dance around the subject.
The cost to hire a ghostwriter really depends upon a few factors:
- What is the subject matter?
- What is your deadline?
- How many words is the book?
- How much do you value the quality of the writing?
The cost fluctuates greatly from writer to writer, but I can promise you: you get what you pay for!
A Trial Period
Propose a trial when deciding whether to hire a ghostwriter for the first time. Please plan to pay for the service. Don’t try to put together a book from a lot of samples written by various writers (yes, I’ve seen people try). If you pay for the piece, you’ll own the rights to it at the end and can use it anytime.
I charge a dollar per word to ghostwrite. In the trial phase, I allow my client to pick the word count then I charge accordingly. If someone is writing their memoirs, I select a story from their past to write. Some clients ask me to write an essay or a blog article. Those few pages give a new client a good idea of what he or she can expect from our budding relationship.
A Little Warning
Have you received a lowball offer to write your book?
While that might sound attractive, but rarely works out for you in the end. I have met a number of prospective clients who made “excellent” deals hoping to save money, only to find they had to shell out a lot more cash to have everything re-written. It’s frustrating for them and the ghostwriter who has to take over the project. The client is usually not a happy camper.
Three Categories of Writer
Writers for hire fall into three main categories: cheap writers, mid-range professional writers, and high-end celebrity writers. The following is the best detailed answer I can give about the cost to hire a ghostwriter to write a full-length book:
- Cheap writers can be found who will write a 100 to 200 page book for as little as $2,000. If this is your budget (and you’re a gambler by nature), your best bet is to find a student new to the industry. Please be careful that he or she is actually writing your book and not plagiarizing another writer’s work (yes, that does happen).
- Professional writers will usually charge between $15,000 and $125,000 to write a 100 to 300 page book. This price varies depending on the writer’s level of expertise and the amount of work required for the project. I charge $50,000 for a 200 page (50,000 word) book.
- High-end celebrity writers are usually hired by actors, politicians, musicians and other famous personalities who will sell books just by virtue of their name. The writers for these celebrities are well-established authors with a lot of experience. They can charge $150,000 to $750,000 for a book. Sometimes more.
What Is Right For You?
Most people recognize that they would like a mid-ranged professional writer. It’s a reasonable budget for most people looking to hire a ghostwriter. A lot of time, energy and hard work goes into writing a book, which accounts for the price tag. An excellent professional writer will often spend up to a year or two researching, writing, and editing a book for you.
If you’re paying a fraction of the usual price, you often get a fraction of the quality.
Additional articles you might find helpful:
“When my partner and I decided to write a book, we interviewed many ghost writers. Some were very inexpensive, while others were too pricey for our budget. Laura wasn’t the least expensive writer, but we chose her because she was so passionate about writing. Laura went above and beyond our expectations. I am very pleased with all her work and will continue to use her for my future writing needs.” Edwin Carrion