A couple of weeks ago I submitted a proposal to ghostwrite and edit a book to a potential new client. He found me through my Anne Wayman site. I’d taken some serious time to estimate how much time it would take me to first ghostwrite a book proposal for him and then complete the book. It was a nifty project. The author and I had a great connection and I thought I’d probably get the gig.
The potential ghostwriting client called last night to tell me I was “too rich for his blood.” We talked a bit more and it turned out he’d been shopping with lots of other ghostwriters and had found at least a couple of writers who were willing to do his book for way less than half of what I had proposed.
I didn’t have the feeling he was trying to beat me down in price and he seemed almost apologetic when I explained that although there was some flexibility in my price, half, or less than half was way less than I was willing to take.
I then suggested that he make sure he include a way to get out of the contract if it isn’t working out no matter who he hires. I always include this type of clause because wheels do come off ghostwriting projects and there’s nothing worse than either party feeling stuck.
I also invited him to consider me a resource, and I asked if I could have a copy of the book once it was finished. He seemed surprised and delighted with my suggestions and my interest. I like to leave even those who turn me down feeling good about our brief association. It isn’t always possible, but it usually is. Making such offers, when I can do so honestly makes me feel better about the whole transaction.
Do I think my price was too high? No I don’t. Can he get a good job done for way less than I charge? Maybe. I know there are good ghostwriters out there who, for reasons all their own, charge less and sometimes considerably less than I do, but that’s not my problem. I’ve learned to charge what I’m worth, even when it means I lose a project now and again.
Are you willing to let potential clients go if they won’t meet your price? Do you even know what your price is?
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