What to expect …
Once we’ve determined what your goals and needs are to complete your book project, everything will be put into a contract we’ll both sign, agreeing to terms such as milestone dates, completion date, my fee and a payment schedule. Once the contract is signed, we can get to work.
In general, my fee for ghostwriting a book-length project is $45,000. What is book-length? As an example, most novels are anywhere between 55,000 and 100,000 words. Business and self-help books tend to be much shorter, roughly 20,000 to 40,000 words. Because every project is different, my actual fee varies, sometimes widely. In the end, the cost an individual client pays will depend on things like what type of book/genre, the length, how much research I’ll need to do, if there’s a publisher on board, how quickly the client wants/needs the book completed, and whether the client wants full rights to publish exclusively under their own name, or would like to credit me (“as told to”, “and”, or “with”). In addition to everything outlined in the next section (the Process), my fee also covers submitting your manuscript to a professional editor to ensure the final, final version is clean and professional.
Also included in the fee is basic formatting for the finished product, meaning I can provide a general manuscript if you intend on sending it to an agent or publisher, or I can format it as an ebook if you want to self-publish. I do not offer publishing services but if you are considering the self-publishing route, I have experience in that area and can provide guidance and advice in launching your book. Additionally, though I don’t do cover design, I can also refer you to a designer to have a professional cover made.
The payment schedule is typically 40% upfront, 25% at the halfway and three-quarter milestones, with the final 10% due upon completion.
My fee covers all revisions necessary during the writing process (we’ll review sections of the manuscript at the 25%, 50%, and 75% milestones) as well as a revision when the manuscript is complete. After editing, I’ll do another revision based on the editor’s comments. You’ll have one last chance to review the manuscript and request any additional revisions necessary so that we’re both satisfied, and you have a manuscript you’re excited to publish under your name.
And what about the process?
The process for working with clients varies from project to project. Sometimes I’m provided with journals. Sometimes I work from an outline and detailed notes. Other times, clients relay the information to me during phone conversations and emails. I’m comfortable with all of these approaches, even a combination of them. I’ll work with you in whatever way you’re most comfortable with and best serves your project. Communication is top priority along with providing you with the best possible experience. Here are the basic steps of the process we’ll undergo:
This is the step in which I consult with you to learn everything about your project. Your story idea, your goal, your vision for what the completed book will be. Even if you provide me with extensive notes and an outline, this step will typically include at least one phone conversation to answer any questions either of us may have. Additionally, if interviews with anyone other than yourself are required, I’ll reach out to those people during this part of the process.
Some projects require more research than others, but whatever additional information is necessary to enhance credibility and provide an authoritative quality to your book will be done initially, before the writing stage. It’s not uncommon, though, for research to continue throughout the process. In some cases, if exceptional research is needed or you require something extra my typical services don’t cover, additional charges may apply.
Writing and Revisions
Once the research and information gathering is complete, the writing can begin. We’ll be in regular communication during this time and, as previously explained, will be in contact as significant portions of the project are completed. You’ll be receiving sections of the book to review, and we will discuss the progress during those milestone meetings to ensure we’re on the right track and your book is taking shape as you’d envisioned it.
After you’ve reviewed the final section of your book and the necessary revisions have been made, we’ll submit your manuscript to a professional editor. Depending on the editor’s schedule, this part can take several weeks. Once we have the manuscript back from the editor and we’ve done the last round of revisions, I’ll format your manuscript based on your publishing plans and deliver the book upon receipt of the final payment.
How long will it all take?
On average, ghostwriting a book can take up to 6 months to complete once we begin the process. Various factors can affect how quickly we take your project from concept to completion. The more information I’m provided with, the faster it will go, and we may finish in as few as 4 months. On the other hand, if additional, extensive research is needed, it’s likely we’ll need the maximum amount of time and, in some extreme cases, longer. If you have a tight deadline, we can discuss expediting the process. I’m happy to accommodate clients when possible, though an additional charge will be applied to advance the delivery date.