Publishing a book is a big achievement — one that several aspiring authors strive for throughout their lifetimes. But when push comes to shove, and an author needs support, they look to ghostwriters. What are ghostwriters? And how much does a ghostwriter cost? This article breaks down ghostwriters, their associated cost, and where you can find a ghostwriter.

What is a Ghostwriter?

Before we get to the big question, “How much does a ghostwriter cost?”, let’s first define what a ghostwriter actually is. A ghostwriter is a professional writer who charges a fee to write a book, or any other type of written content, for you. A ghostwriter typically does not take any credit for writing the project, or earn any future royalties, as the book is published in your name.

Ghostwriters serve an important purpose in the publishing world. For example, a busy CEO may need a book written about their company but has neither the time nor the writing chops to pull it off. A celebrity interested in telling their life story in a compelling memoir will likely lean on the talents of a ghostwriter to handle this task. There are ample reasons why someone might procure the help of a ghostwriter.

Now, going back to the question at hand, “How much does a ghostwriter cost?” The answer to that question is going to depend on multiple factors, so continue reading to get the full scoop.

How Much is a Ghostwriter? Cost Breakdown

As we delve into the meat of the topic — learning just how much a ghostwriter costs — understand that there is a broad range of ghostwriter services out there. Ghostwriters provide many types of content, including blogs, articles, song lyrics, speeches, movie scripts, case studies, and, of course, books.

Here we will concern ourselves with how much a ghostwriter of books will charge.

Ghostwriters charge for their writing services in two basic ways; they either charge a per/word rate for the book, or an agreed upon fee that covers the entire scope of the project. Some ghostwriters will charge by the page, but that is fairly rare.

  • Ghostwriter costs by the word range from 50 cents per word to more than $2.00 per word on average.
  • Ghostwriter costs that are calculated by the project may range from $30,000-$200,000 for a 60,000-90,000-word manuscript.

Factors That Influence Ghostwriter Fees

Ghostwriter fees are based upon several factors:

  • The ghostwriter’s level of expertise. A ghostwriter’s professional experience, or special expertise in a chosen field, will be reflected in the rates they charge.
  • The type of book. When estimating ghostwriter costs, consider the type of book you are authoring. A nonfiction book that is chock full of research and data points will require a much higher ghostwriting fee than a romance novel. This is due to the qualifications needed for writing a more technical book, as well as the additional time required to complete this type of nonfiction project.
  • The location of the ghostwriter. The region in which the ghostwriter resides will influence how much a ghostwriter costs. A ghostwriter in a small Midwest town will charge substantially less than one who lives in New York City, based on the differing costs of living per region.
  • The time frame. If the author is in a rush to have their book ghostwritten, they should plan to pay premium rates for this service.
  • Editing services. There may be additional ghostwriter costs for providing editing services. These can range from $.06/word to $.75/word depending on the specific editing service requested.

How Does Ghostwriting Work?

If you have always wanted to write a book, but simply do not have the skillset or time to put your story idea to paper, hiring a ghostwriter can be the perfect solution. Here’s how it works:

Select a ghostwriter

This is the most critical step of the entire process. As with most consumer decisions, getting a firsthand referral for a high-quality ghostwriter is the preferred route to finding a ghostwriter. Otherwise, you can search for a qualified ghostwriter on freelancer platforms like Upwork, or inquire at a reputable ghostwriter agency.

Planning session

For the project to go smoothly you will schedule a detailed planning session with the ghostwriter. During the session, you describe your vision for the book, and provide any work on the project that you might have already completed. This allows the ghostwriter to get a feel for your writer’s voice.

Agree on a fee

If you weren’t sure how much a ghostwriter costs, this is the step of the process when you’ll find that out. The ghostwriter provides a bid for the project that is based on the length and scope of the work being requested.

Sign a contract

There should be several elements included in the ghostwriter’s contract. These include an estimated word count, milestones throughout the process, the services provided, the number of revisions allowed, a projected completion date, a non-disclosure agreement, and the ghostwriter’s fee.

Your Ghost Writing Questions Answered

Why does an author even need a ghostwriter?

Someone who runs a business, for example, may wish to have a book to distribute at events or to sell on their website. A ghostwriter can fulfill this need. Or, an author might get a quarter of the way into their manuscript and be pulled away from the project for personal reasons. A ghostwriter can help them finish the book on schedule. There are many reasons why a ghostwriter can come in handy.

Do ghostwriters receive royalties?

In most cases, no, ghostwriters do not receive royalties. They are compensated for the work they deliver, and that is the end of their involvement with your book.

Is hiring a ghostwriter legal?

Yes, hiring a ghostwriter is perfectly legal. It is a service rendered to help an author provide a marketable product, just as any other service is to achieve a business goal.

Need a Ghostwriter? Here’s Your Connection

Looking for a reputable and experienced ghostwriter to help you finish your book? Consider partnering with Gatekeeper Press for your ghostwriting and editing needs. Reach out here to connect with an experienced ghostwriter at Gatekeeper Press today.

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