The short answer to how much ghostwriters charge is: It depends.

Before you and a writer can determine an appropriate fee, you need to figure out exactly what the project is going to entail, including who is responsible for doing the research, how you and the writer will work together, and what the final product will be.

For most medium-sized book projects where the named author provides the majority of the research, you can expect to pay a writer in the range of $15,000 to $45,000 plus expenses for a completed full-length book manuscript. Book proposals (for submission to agents and commercial publishers) can range from $7,500-$14,000.


Photo by Jerry D Clement

E-books tend to be shorter than traditional books and consequently the fees will likely be lower. Blogs and articles typically range from $200 to $750 or possibly higher, depending on the length and complexity. The fee for special reports, white papers, op-ed pieces and so on will vary widely depending on the scope of work.

If you want to write a book and your goal is to work with a commercial publisher but you don’t want to complete the manuscript until you have a contract, be aware that some ghostwriters are willing to work in stages. For example, a writer may be willing to work with you on the book proposal with the understanding that the remainder of the book doesn’t get written (or paid for) if you don’t get a commercial publishing contract.

Payment terms vary, as well. Smaller projects may be paid on completion; book projects are typically billed in increments with the first payment due on contract signing and additional amounts due as the work progresses.

Jacquelyn Lynn
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