If you’re interested in getting a little help to finish that book you’ve been working on for years, you might be a tad curious about what professional ghostwriters charge. This information is sometimes hard to discover because so many ghostwriters seem hesitant to post their fees. I’m guessing they’re worried that you might bolt when you find out the cost.
My philosophy as a ghostwriter of twenty years is to be as transparent as possible about my fees and process because that’s really the only way someone will confidently reach out to me.
If you do a little research, you’ll discover there are three main categories of ghostwriters:
- Cheap (a few thousand dollars)
- Celebrity (a six or seven figure price point)
- Mid-range (tens of thousands of dollars)
Cheap ghostwriters can be easily found through various websites: Craigslist, Fiverr, Upwork, etc. They may charge as little as ten dollars for an article or a couple thousand to write a book. I’ve even talked to a few writers who attempted to write a full-length book for under a thousand dollars. Sounds great, right? After all, who doesn’t love a good deal.
You have to ask yourself, how is it that these writers charge so little when you know that it takes hundreds of hours to write a book? They can’t possibly feed their family on two dollars per hour. The answer is, they have a different full-time job. That means they are fitting your project in on the weekends or after work, when they are probably exhausted.
Another way around the pesky factor of time is plagiarism. It doesn’t take long to cut and paste someone else’s words into a document. Sure it’s illegal, and, yes, there is software that detects this crime, but cheap ghostwriters sometimes do it and get away with it.
On the other end of the price spectrum are the celebrity ghostwriters. These writers are reserved for those people with major household names. People in this class include former presidents, top-tier actors, major league sports stars, etc. These are folks who have a huge budget because they know they can jump to the head of the line and easily get a publisher to pay a six- or seven-figure advance based on their name alone.
Mid-range professional ghostwriters charge from fifty cents per word on up to two dollars per word. I fall into this category. I charge one dollar per word, so a full-length book usually runs $50,000–$75,000.
When you hire a mid-range ghostwriter, you can expect to harness her extensive writing experience. She has been writing books for decades and know her stuff. In addition, most likely this writer will also be an author and can share a few titles that bear her name.
This level of ghostwriter will have a well-defined process but should be flexible for your needs. You will get personalized attention and should find the experience enjoyable.
Professional ghostwriters charge according to their experience, ability, and reputation. Before you comb through your options, settle on a budget. This will help narrow down your options. Then take the steps needed to find the right and best ghostwriter for you. Check out my book Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter for a few tips in that area.
If you’d like to explore working with me, please contact me directly.