Ghostwriting Fees: How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

ghostwriting fees

How Much Does A Ghostwriter Cost?

By The Word

In construction, estimates and bids are often made based on the number of square feet involved in the project. It’s a quick way for the contractor to assess and get a pretty accurate estimate. In ghostwriting, providing an estimate or bid based on word count is similar. Some ghostwriters provide an estimated range for the work based on word count. It’s understood upfront that if word count comes in above or below that the cost may change.

But it depends on the agreement. Sometimes, a fixed limit may be put on the top end of the word count where the ghostwriter must request permission before continuing with the project beyond a certain word count.

By The Hour

Many professionals, such as attorneys, often charge by the hour. Some ghostwriters provide their services this way. This can account for differences in projects including aspects that are out of the control of the ghostwriter. For example, one client may want to pay for extra time speaking on the phone with their ghostwriter where another client may want to avoid this effort and cost.

By The Project

Some ghostwriters, usually after years of experience, have enough understanding and comfort in their craft to provide cost by the project. They determine the basis of the requirement for the project and provide their quote. The basis may include a word count range, a page range, a certain number of calls, a certain number of revisions, etc.

Do Ghostwriters Require Contracts?

Are Revisions Charged Separately?

Depending on the type of work, a certain number of revisions are usually built into the fee. Beyond this agreed upon number, a price is usually set upfront for any additional rounds of revisions.

Experienced ghostwriters usually know what to expect for the number of revisions for certain projects. They know that some clients will require just a few revisions while others will require more. They build protections for themselves should the revision requests reach a certain number.

When hiring a freelance ghostwriter, it’s important to ask about revisions. What number is included in the price and/or how much do additional revisions cost. It’s also good to ask for examples of how revisions have worked in the past for the ghostwriter with their other clients.

Does Ghostwriter Experience Impact Price?

Why so expensive?

Ghostwriting projects can take six months to a year to complete. Research and fact-checking will likely be needed — dates and timeline, ancestry, vital records, and interviews with family members and corporate players, etc. There may be boxes of documents to go through, transcripts to read, court records, letters, interviews with key people, and other efforts required to capture your authentic story.

Then there’s the writing itself — yes, ghostwriters can invest six months to a year — perhaps longer — while penning a compelling narrative, capturing your voice, and creating a manuscript that does your story justice.

There’s also the back and forth across time zones. I write for clients throughout the U.S., including Hawaii, and also for authors in Canada, Australia, and Europe. I cater to their time zones, not vice-versa. Therefore, when an author needs to correspond with me, I’m available regardless of where in the world the author may be.

ghostwriting fees

I also add value to each project — decades of publishing experience, guidance, best practices, assistance with query letters and the search for an agent, and self-publishing advice for authors who wish to forego the traditional publishing route. This is included in my quote.

How Does a Ghostwriter Charge?

Most ghostwriters ask for a flat fee for the full project, paid either fully as once or broken down into milestones. Some, on the other hand, charge per word written or per hour worked. It’s important for anyone hiring a ghostwriter to consider these payment options to better gauge the value of the service.

Flat Fee

Some ghostwriters, usually experienced ones, charge a flat fee that accounts for the entire project. This rate is based on several things, which are determined by initial discussions about the work, timeline, and deliverables. It also often includes computations for legwork, revisions, etc.

This fee can be paid like a regular salary, either twice or once a month for the duration of the project timeline. It can also be paid out based on milestones, wherein the author receives payment after finishing certain tasks or content sections.

Per Word or Per Hour

There is a selection of ghostwriters who charge per word or hour. However, some writers might get the wrong motivation in this set-up, adding more text or taking their time to get more compensation. If this is the way you plan on paying out your writer, it’s important to set limits on word count and work hours to make sure that you pay based on your budget.


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