Freelance ghostwriting rates for a memoir

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freelance ghostwriting memoirDr. Freelance: A friend just asked me to help him expand his 20,000-word memoir summary into a full-blown book about his life. I’m a professional historian and feel I could provide detail and context to his experiences before, during, and after World War II, and I’d also add another 25,000 words to the existing manuscript. I’m projecting the job will take about six to eight months. What is the going rate for a job such as this?—CS

Sounds like an interesting project if you can make the numbers work. Freelance ghostwriting rates are all over the board—if you look at Writer’s Market, they indicate anywhere from 50 cents a word to $3 a word, or $50 to $100 an hour, which isn’t exactly a tight range. (I also imagine that $3 a word is for the high-end celebrity market!) [Read more…]

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Raising your rates and driving traffic

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Found this two-part question about raising your rates and increasing traffic lurking on my “Freelance ghostwriting rates” post from quite a while back…

Dr. Freelance: I’m a former literary agent and I am just starting out after about a decade out of the publishing business as a freelance editor and ghostwriter. I plan to charge 20 cents a word for ghostwriting and 1 to 4 cents a word for editing, depending on the level. You say here that 50 cents a word is rock bottom for ghostwriters, but I’ve seen 20 cents elsewhere. Should I up my rates or is this fair since I’ve been out of the game for a while? [Read more…]

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Estimating projects based on vague information

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Dear Dr. Freelance: I saw your recent post about estimating projects, “Hourly rates vs. project pricing,” but how do you figure a bid on something you have just vague information on? I was asked to give a price on proofreading new website copy, knowing only the subject and how many pages there would be — but not how much copy might be on each page or what kind of shape it was in. Even the company that asked for the bid hasn’t seen anything. But they wanted a price. I assume they’re looking elsewhere since I have not heard back from them in response to what I did send, but I want to figure out what I *should* have done! — Susan [Read more…]

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Project pricing vs. hourly rates

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In response to a recent post about Raising your freelance rates,” commenter Mitch Devine of Love Hate Advertising asked for a followup about my philosophy of hourly rates vs. project pricing. So here goes!

First, I should say that I have no ironclad rules about pricing freelance jobs other than trying to figure out what the client is looking for. In the Freelance Forecast 2010 survey 70% of the clients surveyed preferred either a firm quote or not-to-exceed estimate—and only 6% chose an hourly rate—assuming the same overall cost. [Read more…]

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How to price freelance writing for social media

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Dr. Freelance’s key points on how to price freelance writing for social media:

  • Creating a Facebook Fan page or Tweeting for clients isn’t rocket science, but it remains an unknown quantity in many respects.
  • You need to consider shelf life and return on investment for your client when you price freelance writing for social media.
  • A not-to-exceed estimate can reassure a wary client.
  • Jake is CPR and first-aid certified, but he is NOT a licensed physician and this should NOT be construed as medical advice. Contact your local healthcare provider or, in case of emergency, dial 911.
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