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  • Writer's pictureLaura Schaefer

How Much Do Ghostwriters Cost? And Other Questions...Answered

Hi! I'm your friendly Florida ghostwriter Laura Schaefer. I specialize in helping cool and creative people write content and books. I like to write in a conversational tone and create materials that solve problems for readers while being fun and enjoyable to read.

Today, I wanted to spend a few minutes answering some commonly asked questions about what I do. Here it goes!

  1. How much do ghostwriters cost? Most skilled and experienced ghostwriters like myself charge between $40,000 and $75,000 per book. We generally only work on two big projects per year. I do offer a more affordable ebook package for $7,500 and I recommend starting there if the money piece is stressing you out.

  2. Should I write my book myself? In other words, are ghostwriters worth it? If you enjoy writing and have a lot of time on your hands, yes, you should write your book yourself. But if you want your book done in under a year and you'd like an expert to handle the bulk of the hard work, ghostwriters like myself are 100% worth it.

  3. Do famous people use ghostwriters? Yes. It's a far more common relationship than most people realize, and the cool thing is you do not have to be on a reality show to employ a professional writer and grow your business or your influence. The whole idea is that you should spend time working in your Zone of Genius by coaching, teaching, creating, doctoring, lawyering or building your business and hire others to support you while they work in their own Zones of Genius. Right?

  4. How do ghostwriters get paid? Nearly all professional ghostwriters like myself get paid on a fee-for-service basis, which means our payment is a flat amount paid ahead of time. We never write for free in the hopes a book will be a bestseller. I'm sorry. In my case, there is a deposit amount to secure a spot on my calendar and then a once-per-month retainer fee that I invoice on the first of the month for the remainder of the project. Again, I never work for future royalties; all royalties flow to my author clients and they keep 100% of the upside, or profit, from their book.

  5. How long does it take a ghostwriter to finish a book? It depends on the length and type of the book, but a good estimate is six to ten months. I enjoy working on shorter books and booklets, so my answer is a little different than the norm. I've been known to finish some projects in as little as one month. I love working on ten to fifteen page Founder Stories...get in touch if you're interested!

  6. How do I know if the ghostwriter I'm talking to is good? There are two ways to evaluate a potential book or project collaborator. First, pay attention to how you feel when you talk to the ghostwriter:

  • Do they put you at ease?

  • Are they friendly and warm?

  • Do you feel comfortable telling them things about yourself?

  • Can you imagine talking to them regularly?

Second, read what they've written. This material can be found by looking at articles they have posted on their website, by perusing their blog posts, or checking out their book excerpts. See if they have any books listed on their website, then go to Amazon, click on the Kindle link, and use the "Look Inside" feature to read over the first ten to fifteen pages of the book. This should give you a very good idea of whether this person's writing is formal or conversational, funny or business-y. I hope this helps!

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