Authors of all writing levels and different lifestyles hire ghostwriters every day to help them start or finish the book they envision publishing. But this is not always a cheap process. If you’re just starting to do your research on ghostwriting, I’ll walk you through everything involved in this investment.
Premium Ghostwriters Charge a Hefty Fee
Here’s the reality: if you expect to hire the best ghostwriter around, I hope you’ve been saving for several years—or you have a successful business or career to bankroll your investment. I’ve seen some premium ghostwriters charge $1 or more per word. Now, we’re not talking about some ghostwriter who has five years of experience, a writing degree, and some excellent titles in their portfolio. I’m talking about executive-level ghostwriters who work with celebrities, public figures, or well-known entrepreneurs. Some of these ghostwriting fees can start in the mid five figures and even reach up into the six-figure range. But they are worth it because they have the accolades, client portfolio, awards, etc. to back up that high paycheck—that is, they are worth it if you can easy afford a six-figure project fee.
Highly Experienced Ghostwriters Aren’t Cheap Either
If you’re reading this blog post, it’s likely you’re not the demographic who hires those six-figure ghostwriters. So, let’s step it down a bit and talk about ghostwriters with advanced degrees and over ten years experience. Their fees can get quite high as well, somewhere in the range of a five-figure project fee. In this range, you’re still dealing with a highly skilled ghostwriter who can write your book exactly like you want it, and they may even have some New York Times and/or USA Today best-selling titles in their portfolio. Are they worth the investment? You bet your ass they are! However, this is still a considerable investment in your future career as a published author.
Ghostwriters with Less Experience Charge Moderate Fees
If you’re budget won’t allow you to hire either of the above ghostwriters, it’s likely you’ll work well with a ghost writer who has between five years and ten years of experience writing nonfiction and/or fiction books. Their project fees could get into the five-figure range, but you’re probably looking at a lower five-figure project fee, probably topping out at around $20,000 or so if your book is over the standard length for a manuscript.
Entry-Level Ghostwriters Work for Authors on a Budget
Now, if your budget is much lower, it’s likely you’ll be able to afford an entry level ghostwriter for a fraction of what these other ghostwriters charge. However, there is a caveat that comes with that—you really do get what you’re paying for. That’s not to say that every single entry-level ghostwriter you meet will be of low quality, but you’ll need to do some deep diving to figure out if they have the skills to handle your specific project. If you don’t think they can, it’s likely you’ll be better off writing the book yourself and hiring a quality editor later to help you polish the narrative.
So . . . why are ghostwriting services so expensive?
- Ghostwriters have spent many, many years honing their writing and/or editing skills. Many of the more skilled ghostwriters started as editors, so they write pretty clean. That means your book will need very little editing once it’s completed. You are essentially paying for the training and experience these freelancers have gone through all these years.
- It’s likely they have to do a fair amount of research, and this research takes a lot of time. There are several different ways ghostwriters do this research: through outlining, in-depth interviews with you and your team, transcribing audio and video of your content, and doing any custom research required if additional resources are needed for your book.
- Writing an entire book in a short amount of time takes a lot of creative energy. It can be emotionally draining, at times, even for professionals who have been doing this for a while. This is especially true for ghostwriters who can sit at their desk and write for four hours or more every work day.
- You are their biggest priority when they are actively working on your project. Some ghostwriters might have various projects in different stages of production, but if they are a one-person team, they can only do high-quality work for a limited number of projects at a time. After all, you wouldn’t want to work with someone who had nine other projects going, would you?
- Producing a well-written book is no easy task. And, if it was, you’d have the time and attention to do it without the help of ghostwriting professional. Many of us have spent years and years writing, editing, learning, and progressing in our careers. And great work comes with a premium fee.
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