Q: How much do you charge per hour?
A: It depends on the project. I prefer to work on a flat rate per project cost, with addtional costs for any change orders you want. That way you get more for your money, know exactly what things are going to cost at the beginning, and I don’t have to cut corners to stay within a certain time limit. For instance, I might charge $250 for a short article or blog post that takes me four hours to write. However, it takes me eight hours because I had a hard time getting hold of the subjects you wanted me to interview, or the research is harder than I projected, or I have more information to sort through. With a flat rate you don’t get charged for the extra time it took. A change order cost is something you decide you want after we’ve started the project. For instance: We agree on a 10,000 word book, but after reading the first draft you want to add another chapter and extend the word count to 15,000 words. That’s a change order and I would charge extra to add the 5,000 words.
Q: How much do you charge for a full-length book?
A: It depends on the book. Have you written anything? Do you have a table of contents and outline? Have you copied and pasted things from the Internet into a document and want that research turned into a book? Every project is different, so the costs vary according to, among other things:
- How much information you bring to the project
- How much research I will have to do
- How much research you have
- The technicality of the research
- What you need – for instance, do you want just a manuscript you’ll edit yourself, or will you need editing – and what kind of editing?
- Do you need a book cover, ISBN number, design and layout of the book for paperback (Createspace.com) and/or a Kindle formatted version of the book?
- Do you need marketing, coaching, or other consulting?
- Do you need interviews for the book from other sources?
That said, my writing a full-length, non-fiction book (50,000 – 55,000 words), starting from just your idea, with editing begins at $6,000. Add a cover design, formatting, added research, interviews etc. and costs go up.
Q: How much do you charge for a short ebook or report?
A: It depends on the topic, number of pages, research, photos or info graphics etc.. That said, the average 7,000 to 10,000 word book (written from scratch) begins at $3,000. That typically includes the writing, research, editing, and three cover designs to choose from. Infographics and additional illustration for inside the book varies. If you need a personal ISBN number (you can get that from Createspace for $99 when you upload your book, or buy a package of 10 ISBN numbers from Bowker for $250 or so).
Q: Can you guarantee my book will be a best seller?
A: No one can guarantee any book will be a best seller. If I could do that I would charge much, much more! To be a “best seller” an author only has to sell 10,000 copies. Depending on who you are, your platform, topic etc. you may or may not produce a best seller. Marketing is a huge component of your success. Do you have a platform, website, occupation or notoriety, following or audience already? Or are you an unknown in your field? Stories like JK Rowlings rags to riches climb to billionaire are rare. People don’t know her first book was rejected 12 times before someone recognized its potential. I may think the book is brilliant and it fails. The first book I ever wrote became a best seller – and I worried it wasn’t good enough. There are so many factors that go into a book’s success that it’s hard to say what will sell – unless it’s a “tell-all” gossip book about someone famous. Even that is no guarantee.
Q: How do I find the best ghostwriter?
A: Decide on a budget. Go online and search for “ghostwriter.” Find one whose style, writing, clips you like, then interview them. Talk to them for 10-15 minutes to see if you “click” and get along well. This is an intuition/gut check thing. You’ll be paying this person a lot of money and telling them a lot of things about yourself, your ideas, your passion and your book. You want to be able to trust them, to believe and know they’re interested in your project, and that they respect you as a person. If you start feeling like “just another client” or a number, or a paycheck, you won’t get the best book out of them. You should feel like you’re collaborators and that they are as vested in the success of your book as you are. After you’ve interviewed several, and learned how they prefer to work, create a small project for them to do (paid of course) to see how well you work together. Do they communicate well, and do they respond to emails quickly? Do they sound glad to hear you when you call? Do they meet deadlines? Are you happy with what they produce? I often write a chapter for potential clients to see if they like how I handle the content. I charge $500 for the chapter, which is counted towards the cost of the book if they hire me. If not, the chapter is written, it’s theirs to change/adapt or use as they please.
Q: I found someone on Upwork who will write a book for $200. Why do you charge so much more.
A: Hire that Upwork writer and see what you get for $200. Then you’ll know why. You get what you pay for. There are some excellent ghostwriters on Upwork – don’t get me wrong. But there are very few excellent ghostwriters willing to write a 55,000 word book for $200. Look at resumes, work samples, and work history before hiring. And even then, test them out on a small project before hiring them to write your book.