WHAT DO YOU CHARGE?
It’s the first thing everyone wants to know, so here you go. Every book, report, project is different, every author I work with is a new frontier. Depending on what you need, want, or envision the cost will vary according to:
- How much research I will do
- How much research you will do
- Whether you need or want people interviewed
- How many footnotes or endnotes you need
- Whether you have written anything to start
- Whether you need something written from scratch
- Whether you can hit deadlines, or procrastinate
- What your budget is
- How quickly you need it
- How many pages/words you need
- Your expectations
- My expectations
- How technical the book is
- What you need or want from me – such as, a grammatical edit, a developmental edit, a consultation, coaching etc.
Here’s a sample cost break down from my most popular request – a 6×9 inch, 75-100 page non-fiction book on Kindle and Create Space:
- For a 6×9 inch paperback book with 7,000 – 15,000 words (75-100 pages) written from scratch, or very little original writing on your end – the cost is $2,500 – $3,000 USD
- Editing (two passes from two different editors and myself) $500 USD
- Design, format and layout for a Kindle epub file, and a paperback book PDF file for Create Space $350 USD
- Cover Design and final files for both paperback and Kindle $300 USD (You get to chose from four designs)
- ISBN Number in your name $150 USD (or you can provide your own ISBN number at no charge except what you pay Bowkers. This is the only official source of ISBN numbers in the US. There are many sites selling ISBN numbers, but why pay a middle man. Go directly to Bowkers. These are NOT affiliate links. I get no portion or percentage of sending you to the Bowkers site.
So, the total could run between $2,500 to $6,500 depending on what services you want/need. If all you need is a developmental edit (You’ve already written the book and just need it fine-tuned, edited and formatted for example, your cost could be as low as $1,200.)
BASIC WRITING SERVICES
Resumes written from scratch are $75 USD.
Resumes updated and reformatted are $50 USD. Cost is $25 USD to update a resume I previously formatted for you.
Press releases are $200. You get three different versions with different headlines targeted towards print, television (visual) and podcast (audio)
News articles (800-1,000 words) are 0.25 USD per word. (Simply rewriting a news article of less than 1,000 words is a flat rate per article of $50 USD)
Keyword/Search Engine Optimization (SEO) articles (450-500 words) start at $50 USD as long as you provide the information and the keywords needed.
Ghost-written non-fiction (a typical how-to book) starts around $1,500 USD for short projects; typically these don’t cost more than $2,500 USD for writing & editing.
Ghost-written novels of up to 54,000 to 85,000 words start at $5,000 USD.
Larger writing projects and ghost-writing tasks must be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Please be prepared to provide me with an estimate of your budget for the project — this means you must let me know what you are prepared to pay. I will do my best to work with you within these parameters.
Transcription I will transcribe your digital audio at the rate of $75 per hour of recording. (Please note this is not an hourly rate of labor — it is $75 for every hour of the actual recording submitted. For example, the cost to transcribe a two-hour recording would be $150, for example, regardless of how many hours it took me in real time actually to transcribe it. Recordings must be submitted electronically — I cannot accept cassette/Dictaphone tapes.
HOW I WORK
Contact me. Let’s talk. I want to see how quickly you respond to email, calls, and opportunity. I want to find out if you’re driven by the thought of writing, or just kicking the tires, wondering what it’ll cost, how long it will take – that sort of thing. I want to know if we “click.” How we click means, do I feel comfortable with you, and do you feel comfortable with me. Some people think ghostwriting is just a service, like taking your car in for an oil change. I don’t. I know that we’ll be spending a lot of time on the phone, or in emails and texts with each other during this process – if the book is to be any good that is. I want to know we understand each other, that I trust you and you trust me. I also need to be able to ask some personal questions, to get to know you so I can capture your voice. “Your voice” is your personality. It’s how you sound, the words you use, the way you phrase things. When your friends or spouse reads your book I want them to think you wrote it because it sounds like you. Sometimes once I hear about your project I’ll realize I’m not the best for the job. If I know another ghostwriter who is better for that particular area (law, finance, engineering, tech etc) I’ll refer you to them. I want you to have the best writer for your project. I only have so many books left in me, and I want to make that time count. So should you. If the writer you’re talking to doesn’t feel “right” for ANY reason, move on. Trust your intuition.
Once we’ve talked, and I’ve pointed out the pros and cons, and what I think of your book, or idea, and if we’re both in agreement (you like my samples and writing, and personality etc. and I like your idea, and you) I’ll write up a lett of agreement. It will look like this, except with your details and a timeline we can both work with. We’ll negotiate the cost, deadlines, expiration date, and payments.
I’m human. You’re human. Life happens. People get sick, lose their jobs, get new jobs, get in accidents, break up with a business partner, get cancer, have family or friends die and need to “take a break.” People have car wrecks, get divorces, find out a spouse has been cheating, have a computer crash, lose all their data, have their computers stolen…and on and on. Happens to me too. So we build in a 10% “Life happens” limit – and an “expiration date.” The expiration date is when you have to have information to me, or I have to have a product to you – regardless of the reason why – or there are financial consequences to the procrastinating party. I do this because I’m still waiting on a client from three years ago to finish his edits on a book I wrote – and don’t get paid for until he finishes. Live and learn. The expiration date benefits us both and moves things along quickly. That date depends on the project, and what we agree to up front. You will have input on it!
Money is a tool. I know it can be scary for some authors to talk about money, especially where their budget is tight, but no judgment here. I’m willing and happy to work with people. Prices are negotiable, and I’ll break down costs a la cart so you can see where it might be possible to trim costs. For instance, you may have an in-house editor, or a relative who edits for a living who will do the editing for you. Other skills, and services from book cover design (I highly advise using a professional as covers are incredibly important to attracting or offending buyers), to formatting services. Remember that you can get services less expensively, but the lack of personal care and one-on-one attention are going to be extra. In the end you pay one way or the other.