I’m new to the online writing community, although I have been a writer for more years than I care to remember, publishing fiction and articles in mainstream magazines, editing a business mag for many years – writing for radio etc etc.
Anyway, now I would like to specialize in ghostwriting e-books for clients as I feel this is a perfect fit for me with my particular skill set. (having published 11 e-books of my own in my own particular niche) – and also an opportunity to earn a decent wage and escape the slave-labour treadmill of web article content writing!
The question I have is this:
What do I charge for my services? I know there are many variables involved – experience, track record, research involved etc. I read online that some writers charge $2000 to ghostwrite e-books, but feel that this is completely unrealistic – unless you are some sort of acclaimed guru! I also do not want to peg a rate at X amount per hour.
If I were the client and I was being quoted a per-hour rate, I would feel more than a little anxious as it leaves a big question mark as to how many hours would be involved. So I would prefer to charge a set rate of X $ per page. That gives the client a definite figure to work with and he knows where he stands at the outset.
However, what would be a realisitic rate per page?
I have just landed two interested clients awaiting quotes for their projects (both highly technical and difficult e-book subjects) and, whilst I want to be paid a fair price (and manage to pay the bills at the end of the month), I don’t want to scare them off by quoting out of the ballpark. Would $15 per A4 page be realistic and fair?
Also, I am rather nervous about payment. I definitely do not want to start the project without a retainer. What would be a fair amount to ask for upfront? I was thinking 50%. Again, I am thinking from the client’s point of view, they might feel I would take the 50% and they may never hear from me again? So, would some sort of contract be the best option and are there some basic e-book contract templates available on the web?
I would really appreciate an answer if you don’t mind giving up some of your valuable time. Thanks very much for an extremely informative and helpful newsletter. I have found your articles invaluable, and of great assistance to someone like me who is new to the online writing business.
AL via email
You’ve asked at least a couple of questions here. Let’s see if any of this is helpful:
- I generally charge a flat fee for ghostwriting. It’s on an hourly rate, but I’ve got years of experience guessing how much time a project will take. A good writer friend of mine who also ghostwrites charges by the hour. She gives an estimate and if it starts to look like it will run over warns the client well in advance.
- Figuring out how much to charge per page, or per hour or as a flat fee is totally up to you. As you indicate, ghostwriting rates are all over the map. You simply have to base your fees on what it’s costing you – your time. Plus profit. And, since you are probably not in the U.S. (we don’t use A6 paper here much), I have even less idea what a reasonable rate for you would be. Check our Setting Fees Category for more information.
- I always insist on money up front. It can be as little as a 10th of the total or as much as 1/3.
- I’m not aware of contract templates, but I wrote Ghostwriting – Elements Of My Contracts or Letters of Agreement which you may find helpful.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Write well and often,
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