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jamesmore
06-24-2005, 08:28 AM
I'm a newbie writer who hasn't published, sees blank screens and freezes, and is disorganized; I realize these are negative traits for someone who would like self-publish.

I could use some help in gauging the cost of hiring a ghostwriter for a 200 page non-fiction book dealing with self-help of sorts. I'm trying to determine the going rate for a writer (either per page or per project).

Any help or insight would be appreciated.

C

triceretops
06-24-2005, 01:47 PM
Hi, James. You might get a more realistic response if you post your question or at the Paying Markets forum. If you are looking for a ghost writer, you might find one here, or several, and they might bid on the work for you.

In less a Mod strolls by here and recomends another thread that might help you.
You can also discuss what kind of non-fic book you are asking for help with.
Good luck,

Triceratops

Cathy C
06-24-2005, 07:07 PM
Hi, jamesmore!


Welcome!

Well, your questions on ghostwriting sort of depend on what you want them to do, but it isn't cheap! When people think of the term 'ghostwriting' they often have very different images of what that entails, so here are some questions to help you focus your goals.

1. Do you plan to have your name as author of the book, so that the ghostwriter gets no credit, or will it be an "as told to", like,

By: John Smith, as told to by James More?

Those are two different prices

2. Do you intend the ghostwriter to do ALL of the research, including fact checking, interviews, etc., or will you do all that, so all the writer is going to do is compile your information into well written sentences and then leave? That will require YOU to do all the editing, proofreading, etc.

3. Do you already have some chapters that you've written that you want the ghostwriter to rework and then complete the remainder of the book?

4. Do you want to pay the ghostwriter with cash, or with a share of the royalties? Keep in mind that some ghostwriters won't just write for one or the other. Some will want both cash PLUS a share of the royalties.

But here are the basics. This is from the 2005 Writer's Market, which is pretty up to date info gathered from a variety of sources.

Ghostwriting, as told to:
High Per Hour Rate $100
Low Per Hour Rate $25
Average Per Hour Rate $55
Average Per Project (250 pages) $40,555 (not including royalties)

Ghostwriting, no credit:
High Per Hour Rate $113
Low Per Hour Rate $25
Average Per Hour Rate $67
Average Per Project (250 pages) $37,091

For the "extras", like research, proofreading their own work, etc.

Research:
High Per Hour Rate $100
Low Per Hour Rate $17
Average Per Hour Rate $44

Rewriting:
High Per Hour Rate $200
Low Per Hour Rate $20
Average Per Hour Rate $62
Average Per Project (250 pages) $8,500

Most writers will expect half the cash up front as a single payment so that they can write the book and pay their mortgage and groceries. It's harder to find a ghostwriter that will do only royalties, unless you've already got a well-known publisher under contract. You MIGHT be able to work out monthly payments for an hourly rate, but professional ghostwriters are very much like loan sharks. Don't pay and they go away and refuse to turn over what they've completed to date. (Hopefully, no broken legs! :ROFL: )

Does that help?

Jamesaritchie
06-24-2005, 09:30 PM
Ghosting is also done in a different way. If the sale is certain, Ghostwriters sometimes take the advance, which the person being ghosted gets the royalties.

Ghostwriting does not come cheap. If you hire a real ghostwriter, someone with legitimate publishing credits, the cost will always be at least several thousand dollars. Just how much work there is often determines the cost, but it's never, ever cheap, and shouldn't be.

Under the best of circumstances, you should expect to pay at least $5,000 up front, and it could be a good deal more, depending on the project.

jamesmore
06-28-2005, 09:21 AM
Thanks to everyone who responded. I mistakenly thought I could get something done for $1000

Dawno
11-14-2006, 04:43 AM
I just ported this from newbies - not sure if it's valuable and the OP hasn't posted since June. But I always appreciate Cathy's input and she wrote a great post up above :)

angeebee
11-14-2006, 08:00 AM
Thanks to everyone who responded. I mistakenly thought I could get something done for $1000

Hi James

A professional ghostwriter would be looking for a fee of around $20,000 (and up) for a book of 200 pages.

For most writers, this kind of gig would take between four and six months of solid work.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Angela