Urgent response needed! What to charge as e-book ghostwriter

10 replies
Time-sensitive. I need to reply to my client today. I've got an offer to write an ebook. My going rate is $25 per hour, most of which is web content I perform on a regular basis for the same client company. E-book client is asking for a project-based fee and I have no clue what to tell them. I've read some people say it's best to go by page, but I'm not sure how many pages 10,000 words converts to. Some say 250, others 450. Even so, I'm not sure about a per page rate. Not sure where to start! Help!
#charge #ebook #ghostwriter #needed #response #urgent
  • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
    With ebooks, you have to take research into account.

    Here are two basic rules of thumb I follow for ebook pricing:
    1. Figure out how many hours it would take to research and write your ebook, then round up to the next hundred.
    2. Calculate your normal $/word rate, then add 30%. (For example, my normal fee for blog posts is $0.15/word, but I'll charge $0.20/word for ebooks.)

    10,000 words is a LOT, btw. I'd charge at least $2k for that, but you know how to value your time better than some stranger on a forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author danielleshriver
      Thanks. I will keep that in mind. Here I was thinking 10,000 seemed low.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Originally Posted by danielleshriver View Post

    Time-sensitive. I need to reply to my client today. I've got an offer to write an ebook. My going rate is $25 per hour, most of which is web content I perform on a regular basis for the same client company. E-book client is asking for a project-based fee and I have no clue what to tell them. I've read some people say it's best to go by page, but I'm not sure how many pages 10,000 words converts to. Some say 250, others 450. Even so, I'm not sure about a per page rate. Not sure where to start! Help!
    Why the rush? The deadline?

    Since you write web content for this client, you may have some idea of what the ebook is about.

    ********
    Dear Client,

    I'm about to submit my ebook proposal to you. But before I do, could you please answer a few quick questions for me?

    What results do you want from this ebook? Who will be reading it and Why?
    Will you provide any pictures or graphics with this?

    Your timely response will help expedite my proposal.

    *****
    Or whatever you need to know. Try to skype your contact person and once you have more info, offer a price based on your needs and desires.

    WE don't have anywhere near enough info to help you, so take a deep breath and get some answers.

    gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author danielleshriver
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

      Why the rush? The deadline?

      Since you write web content for this client, you may have some idea of what the ebook is about.

      ********
      Dear Client,

      I'm about to submit my ebook proposal to you. But before I do, could you please answer a few quick questions for me?

      What results do you want from this ebook? Who will be reading it and Why?
      Will you provide any pictures or graphics with this?

      Your timely response will help expedite my proposal.

      *****
      Or whatever you need to know. Try to skype your contact person and once you have more info, offer a price based on your needs and desires.

      WE don't have anywhere near enough info to help you, so take a deep breath and get some answers.

      gjabiz
      The rush is that I want to get back to my client with an answer on pricing. He seems flexible with the deadline, but I'm not sure yet how long this type of work will take me. I am new to ebooks, but the topic matter is something I'm well-versed on. Thanks for the sample response. That helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    You can't assess based on number of pages because a page can have 200-500 words, depending on font and size.

    I don't know what you charge for other work you do or how experienced you are writing ebooks, and especially the topic he wants done.
    Is there a deadline imposed?
    I agree with the previous poster. You must ask questions so you can work out your cost. Then add a bit more in case there's a delay.

    I write ebooks, among other things, so that is how I would tackle it. charge a flat rate. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author danielleshriver
    Client's response to what they're expecting from sales: "it's a crapshoot. I intend to market it but not heavily until I get at least five books done under that pen name. I usually "compound" books until I reach a sort of "authority" status. Then market hard."

    Is this typical? Should I still be expecting to charge a high rate if he isn't expecting to make much/if anything from it? Seems odd to me, but I verified he is affiliated with a legit publishing company in Canada.

    What about a 2-week timeframe for completing a 10,000 word ebook? Too short? I have a steady job already that takes up a considerable amount of my workweek
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by danielleshriver View Post

      Client's response to what they're expecting from sales: "it's a crapshoot. I intend to market it but not heavily until I get at least five books done under that pen name. I usually "compound" books until I reach a sort of "authority" status. Then market hard."

      Is this typical? Should I still be expecting to charge a high rate if he isn't expecting to make much/if anything from it? Seems odd to me, but I verified he is affiliated with a legit publishing company in Canada.

      What about a 2-week timeframe for completing a 10,000 word ebook? Too short? I have a steady job already that takes up a considerable amount of my workweek
      You're in your head and we're not.

      Meaning, you're asking these questions with all the context and background knowledge that you have from interacting with this guy. We don't have that information.

      Some people can write an e-book overnight and have it sell like crazy. Some people need months to complete it.

      How can WE possibly know what timeline works best for YOU?

      Sounds to me like if you're already worried about making two weeks work given the full-time job, that you've got some of the answers you need.

      As far as pricing, pick something and go. You're going to learn a lot more from making a decision.

      And pricing is tricky, which is why there is no set rate for any given thing. What kind of value is the client expecting for this (i.e. sales volume, new customers, increased credibility/visibility)? What kind of price do you need to make it worth your time? Do you anticipate a lot of revisions and busy work and waffling?

      What is two weeks? First draft? First draft + revisions? Research + outline?

      Even if you have all these details and share them with us, you can only take in our experiences and decide what is best for YOU. As you're learning, there's going to be a learning curve.

      You may charge too much and lose the contract. That's OK. Put the pedal to the metal and find another opportunity.

      You may charge too little and wind up extremely resentful. That's OK. You know what to charge next time around and what constitutes reasonable timelines/fees.

      You may charge a great amount and wind up churning out 5 drafts and STILL feel resentful. Then you'll learn to clearly set terms and expectations.

      So don't overanalyze. Don't second guess. Create a well-thought proposal based on the research you've done, and go take action. You're only going to get answers that work for YOU by taking it on.
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  • Profile picture of the author danielleshriver
    Hmmm hoping someone can help me out here
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    You have been given some great info. Nobody can tell you what to charge...thats up to you.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      What he plans to do later isn't your concern - you need to charge what your time is worth.

      I don't agree that 10,000 words is a lot - that's probably 25-35 pages or so. Depends on spacing and font used, of course.

      My suggestion is to reverse engineer what you've been charging.

      If you wrote for 4 hours at $25/hr...you bill $100. So - how much content did you write in that time frame? Once you know that you can calculate how much you are charging per word and come up with a good idea of what to charge for 10,000 words.

      If there's significant research involved, adjust your price upwards a bit and explain you are including research time in your bid.
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