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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When you don’t get no client respect

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Dr. Freelance: I read with interest your recent article about Getting started as a ghostwriter.” I’ve been asked to quote for ghostwriting/rewriting a 145-page non-fiction book, probably to make it 125 pages. The potential client says it’s written, I just need to get it into shape. He’s annoyed me and shown no client respect so far by canceling yesterday’s meeting at short notice, when I’d already traveled to the area — not that he knows that. He wasn’t particularly apologetic about it. He rescheduled for tonight at an odd time, 8 p.m. in a hotel lobby. We had a five-minute meeting, and he said he’s interested in me for the job. [Read more…]

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Getting started as a ghostwriter

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From deep in the comments on a post about “Freelance ghostwriting rates”Dear Dr. Freelance: I am a long-time (30 year) writer/editor working in the non-profit field, and currently between jobs. I have done interviews for feature pieces as well as for fundraising videos; edited all manner of manuscripts and proposals; successfully written over other people’s signatures in their voices; and feel comfortable with all of the above, but have never been officially hired as a ghostwriter.  [Read more…]

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The real minimum wage

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I was talking with a longtime freelance associate yesterday about two pricing issues she’s having. First, she’s trying to find a way to charge a premium for her services when the client wants to buy extensive rights vs. one-time, one-purpose rights. Second, she’s got a potential ghostwriting job and is attempting to calculate an appropriate rate that won’t price her out of the market. [Read more…]

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Freelance ghostwriting rates

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Dr. Freelance: What would you say are reasonable freelance ghostwriting rates for a non-fiction book for a leading authority on a topic, based on his research and data? (He’s a Ph.D. and the president of a large university.) When negotiating a contract, should the ghostwriter ask for payment during the writing stage, plus a percentage of the book royalties? The author has also offered to share credit. — Could Be Casper

Casper: How appropriate that a ghost would write in just before Halloween! Honestly, there are a 101 ways for a freelancer to skin that black cat. For starters, this “How Much Should I Charge?” pdf from The Writers Market says this about ghostwriting rates (without royalty or credit): $70 an hour, with a per project low of $5000, high of $100,000, and average of $36,000. The per word costs are 50 cents low, $3 high, and average $1.65. Yeah, that’s a pretty wide range! [Read more…]

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