Below is a question from a fellow writer about to venture into ghostwriting.  I love getting these questions because it gives all of us an opportunity to spread our knowledge and experience.

Can you help this writer?

If you have specific, constructive advice you can give, please put it in the comments below.  All of us will benefit from your consideration and willingness to share!

Here’s the question…


There’s a possibility that I might be ghostwriting a book for my dream client and I need to put together a proposal for the pitch. As someone who is relatively new to the freelance writing industry (I’ve written several of my own screenplays and books, and edited several for clients), I could really use help determining a flat rate for a 200-300 page book that would be fair to both myself and the potential client.

I haven’t really ghostwritten anything yet, but I’m a strong writer and have a lot of experience conducting interviews, transcribing audio, developing narratives from interviews/transcripts, and writing powerful articles based on them.

The content will be intellectually challenging (science), so probably not as simple to write as other projects.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how long a project like this would take and what a fair rate would be for both myself and the client?

I don’t want to overcharge him since I’m obviously not a veteran in the field, but I’m also confident in my skills and abilities so I don’t want to shortchange myself either.


Okay great writers… what advice would you give?   Can you offer any specific examples?

Please answer in the comments below…

    4 replies to "Help A Writer – Need Advice From Ghostwriters"

    • jyssrocks

      Hi, I’m a ghostwriter!

      When it comes to pricing, you really want to try to estimate how many hours per week you’ll be working on this, then multiply that by how many weeks it takes.

      How much do you want to be making per hour? $50? Ok, start there.

      When I’m ghosting a book, it is a very involved and collaborative process. Instead of interviewing the person for hours on end at the beginning, we work together. We create an outline together. We get on the phone for at least an hour per week and discuss the next chapter/section, where they can talk and give their knowledge and I can ask additional questions. Then I write the next chapter/section and the person has a chance to go in and review it and add notes and expand on things.

      Ghosting should be a bit high in price, for many reasons. One, it’s an investment. If they could do it themselves, they would. Two, you need to make sure they are committed to actually going through with and working on and completing the project. Three, it’s a lot more work than many think.

      I like to break it up and have them pay a monthly price for x amount of months (whatever your estimation of completion is). So maybe $1500 per month for 6 months or something.

      Make sure you like the person or can tolerate working with them long term. Make sure they know it still must go to a third party separate editor.

      That’s it off the top of my head. Ask me anything else you think of, though.

      • brijit

        Thank you! If you don’t mind, I’m going to send you a private message with more specific questions. I really appreciate your help!

        • jyssrocks

          You’re welcome. I’ll reply when I get home so I’m on a computer and not typing that much from my phone.

          • brijit

            Sounds good. 🙂

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