Have you ever hired a ghost writer?

25 replies
I want to hire a ghost writer to help write and edit a book.

What does the average internet marketer pay in editing fees to get a book competed?

I've seen job postings like this one: https://www.upwork.com/jobs/_~0104aa93001e5d8082/

... where people are paying $1 per 100 words.

Generally, I'd be looking to write 20,000 to 40,000 words. I would likely write up lots of notes and plan the chapters for the writer to use.

Does anyone have experience with this?
#ghost #hired #writer
  • Profile picture of the author Alex The Lion
    The Warriors For Hire area offers a bunch of people with these services.

    Personally, I believe you best move for creating a high-quality book, especially if you are interested enough to do all of the planning, would be to write it yourself and then pay an editor to make it perfect.

    Again, not sure of a price for a good editor though.
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    • Profile picture of the author shka2789
      Originally Posted by Alex The Lion View Post

      The Warriors For Hire area offers a bunch of people with these services.

      Personally, I believe you best move for creating a high-quality book, especially if you are interested enough to do all of the planning, would be to write it yourself and then pay an editor to make it perfect.

      Again, not sure of a price for a good editor though.
      That's right.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Josh,

    You mentioned "editing fees." In my way of thinking, you need more than an editor.

    If you are only providing a chapter plan and lots of notes, you want a writer.

    You will be looking for a ghost writer who can take the lead, follow your instructions, then hammer out the full text of your book.

    I think your expectations of $1/100 words is at the very bottom of the scale for a good writer.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Does anyone have experience with this?
    I use DREMdesigns Article Writing & Content Strategy Services Their "standard" content is $1.95/100 words. Contact them with your needs and they will work with you. Rene also has a thread in the WFH forum.

    I had Rene write an ebook a few years ago. I've always been satisfied with their content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
    Originally Posted by Josh MacDonald View Post

    ... where people are paying $1 per 100 words.

    Generally, I'd be looking to write 20,000 to 40,000 words. I would likely write up lots of notes and plan the chapters for the writer to use.
    That page you linked to shows the average hourly rate paid by that person to be $3.89/hour.

    Nobody in The US, Canada, or the UK can survive on less than $4.00/hour, so who do you think is going to be writing this stuff for you at these rates? Keep in mind, there is no shortage of arbitrage going on, too. Someone from the US, a 'native' speaker, takes that job, hires someone from India or the Philippines to write for $1.50/hour, keeps the extra $2.00/hour for themselves. Obviously, to survive, they are doing multiple jobs like this so that they can make more than $2.00/hour.

    And, yes, there are native speakers that are trying to make a living on sites like Upwork, what some freelancers refer to as Content Mills, that will churn and burn stuff like that as quickly as possible so they can try to make $10/hour, overall.

    With notes and a chapter outline, I wouldn't even consider a job like that (up to 40,000 words) for less than $1500 (still pretty damn cheap for the 'real' freelance world), but you can find people to do it for less than a couple hundred bucks. Hell, you can probably find someone to do it for less than a hundred bucks.

    According to Wikipedia, here is the average monthly salary of those two countries I mentioned:

    Attachment 23496

    Not always, but one tends to get what they pay for in the writing world. It all depends upon how important this ebook is to you and your business model. Plenty of IMers talk about the 'awesome quality' they get at these rates, but time and again, when the actual writing is scrutinized by a serious freelance writer, numerous 'errors' in said cheap writing are exposed. There was a thread dug up from last May where some of this cheap writing was exposed for what it is by a QUALITY and serious freelance writer:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...rs-2015-a.html

    Read Jennifer Hutson's posts, on both page 1 & 2. She will give you some type of idea concerning the differences between cheap writing and more professional writing, and the truth of the adage, 'you get what you pay for'. That being said, plenty of money, in the past, has been made off of cheap, crappy writing, including spun articles, so, if one thinks this will continue, that there will be no change in the expectations of customers as to the quality of content you deliver to them in your sales process, keep at it with paying $1.00 for 100-500 words ...
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  • Profile picture of the author 1Bryan
    You want to let a writer know a few things that most leave out. I'll share them with you, but first so you know why ...

    Rick Reilly and Mike Lupica are 2 of the best sportswriters in the last 25 years. They'd be great to write a book on sports. But you probably would not want them to write a book of poetry.

    So you need to convey:

    1. What market you are in.
    2. The goal of the book (Some are just to inform, others are subtle sales letters. Subtle sales letters sell more.)
    3. Your timetable.
    4. Your budget. (Budget doesn't usually go by word count. Usually per project. Even with ghostwriting, if it is GOOD ... the writer doesn't just start penning words. There's editing, brainstorming, time going back and forth with the client, etc.)
    5. Anything else that's pertinent.

    Imagine walking into a car mechanic. And you say, "My car's making a funny noise." Without letting them know more details, the noise could be just about anything. Give them more details, they usually know off the top of their head what the problem might be. And that allows them to make a better diagnosis, saving time and money.

    Writers need detail before they can quote prices. Unless you are going for folks who can't make money online any other way than to write ... in which case they'll try anything at any price and as a client, you are basically rolling the dice.

    Is your business worth more than a roll of the dice?
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  • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
    I want to be clear about what I said above, and have said it before; namely that I believe a rising tide should raise all boats. I'm glad that US money has been flowing over to India and the Philippines, making some people's lives better and easier. But, when it comes to writing, specifically, writing for US/Can/UK demographics and doing so on a professional level (compelling, persuasive, etc.), it is part learned skill and part natural talent, and like everything, these standards will raise. Demand for better content will increase in the future. For written content, this will eventually spell the doom for $1.00 for 100-500 words articles.

    Only question is how many years down the road will that demand manifest to that point.

    Most people here cannot afford real freelance writers, though. I get that. And plenty of IMers that can afford such rates, won't pay them. They continue to demand such low rates with 'perfect grammar, etc.', lol. Rates that only people in places like the Philippines or India can survive on.

    And then, those that can afford such rates, but are greedy cheapskates and don't, get all Drama Queen like and quit the WF in a cry-baby huff because these people they have been paying peanuts for years have now showed up here, trying to get a piece of the pie for themselves. Good for my Indian and Filipino global neighbors trying to better their lives and lol at the cry-baby experts leaving the WF.

    I gots me no problems with said neighbors. Their English is far better than my Filipino or Hindi, and I think it is pretty cool people separated by thousands of miles of land and sea can communicate in real time and form 'business' type relationships ...
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  • Profile picture of the author DeePower
    I'd like to give you the perspective from the ghostwriter's point of view. A 20,000 to 40,000 word book is a major project.I know I've written books from 20,000 to 90,000 words.


    First stage: Determine the concept for the book. What niche? Who are the readers? What problem does it solve? What's the competition? How is this book different? How does it do a better job at solving the customer's problem.

    Second stage: Chapter outline with subheads. Brief description of what is included in each chapter -- probably no more than a couple paragraphs for each chapter. How many chapters and projected word count.

    Third stage: Research required, Interviews with experts, human interest stories and required documentation for each chapter.

    Fourth stage: Start writing. Continue research as necessary.

    Fifth stage: Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit.

    The fees for the ghostwriter should be based on the complexity of the project and the word count. The contract should specify that this is a work for hire. The copyright and materials when paid for belong to the buyer. Sometimes there is a non-compete clause that the ghostwriter will not write another book in the same niche for a specified length of time.

    Fees are broken into three or more payments for a complex project. One third due upon signing of the contract. One third due upon completion of the outline and the remainder due when the book is completed and approved. Sometimes there is a limit on the number of revisions offered. Sometimes the second payment is delayed until the first chapter or so is completed and approved.

    The ghostwriter doesn't necessarily have to have experience in the niche, as long as s/he has strong research skills.

    Don't penalize an experienced writer by saying that since the writer is already an expert writing the book should be "easy" and therefore the fee should be less.

    Be realistic about target due dates. Writing a 20,000 word book in a week means you end up with pretty much cr@p. That's 4,000 words per day for a 5 day work week. Not much time for research or editing.

    Set benchmarks within the target due dates. Both you and the writer should keep in touch as to the progress.



    Hope this helps.



    Dee
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    There are limits to editing though.

    You can try your hand at writing your materials and having someone edit it but make sure that the materials CAN be edited.

    If it is TOO DISORGANIZED, too confused, or too VAGUE, there's only so much an editor can do.

    They aren't miracle workers.

    If I were you, I'd focus on collaborating on an OUTLINE and having the writer stream you chapters as they complete your book.

    This way, you're still in control while freeing up your time and maximizing QUALITY.

    Also, thanks to outsourcing, this whole process doesn't have to cost you an ARM AND A LEG.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post


      This way, you're still in control while freeing up your time and maximizing QUALITY.

      Also, thanks to outsourcing, this whole process doesn't have to cost you an ARM AND A LEG.
      There is no free lunch. You CANNOT maximize quality as you you are also trying to find the cheapest source (your outsourcing to non-native speakers).

      Period.

      Reference that thread I posted a link to if you doubt me. That critique can be applied to a whole bunch of this outsourced writing.

      You can get lucky with someone overseas being well educated in English, as well as being a talented writer living in a country where they can survive on a fraction of what it costs to survive here (US/UK/Can), but that will be the EXCEPTION.

      I'm sure you outsource your writing with the whole arbitrage thing, though, so this will be something you will have to tell yourself and any potential clients, that quality does not suffer with $1.00 per 100-500 words, eh? That quality will not suffer if writing is outsourced overseas?

      And this is NOT minor stuff - the difference in quality of writing. Look to copywriters if you doubt me - they labor over each word used, where it is used, etc., and the good ones make BANK. There are segments of consumers that don't really care about lesser quality writing, but there are areas where this will become an issue for generating consumer confidence and curiosity.

      People need to keep in mind that most people running around calling outsourced writing 'awesome' are themselves FULLY UNQUALIFIED to make such judgements and are NOT capable editors (read: they don't really know what the hell they are talking about). And this matters, the quality of writing - it is subtle, but KNOWN, which is why any serious publication is VERY PICKY about whom they allow to write for them and the editorial type process every piece of writing is subjected to prior to publication ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
    Let me qualify that last post a bit with a reminder about quality, and how the IM community has a VERY WARPED perspective about what quality writing is, at this point.

    Ya see, the whole bar got lowered. Like, really, really lowered. Ridiculously so. And the reason that happened was due to many IMer's love of article spinners and trying to manipulate Google's algorithm for financial gain. Compared to a spun article, what is actually true SUB-PAR writing became okay/mediocre writing. And what was mediocre/just okay writing became top notch writing.

    And nobody in the IM world really wanted to pay/could afford to pay for truly top notch writing. With one seeming exception being the copywriting realm, where 5 digits have been handed over, or even more with a percentage of sales generated, etc.

    But with non-squeeze page content, IM, as a whole, has done its best to devalue quality writing and take sub-par writing and elevate it to a status is quite undeserving of ...
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  • Profile picture of the author dawoodkhan97
    I hire ghostwriters from fiverr for my Kindle Publishing.
    There price ranges from topic to topic as e.g. cooking
    books would require research or weight loss books.

    So for that they would charge you more.
    But books such as novels could charge you around $100
    for 10k words.
    It really depends on what you want.

    Dawood Khan
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew OBT
    I have had great success finding excellent ghost writers. Top tips include:

    - If you want the text in english, make sure that english is the writers primary language
    - Put some effort into prepping the brief, which you can then post to sites like Elance
    - Pay per delivery and have fixed mile stones that will break the project up into chunks
    - Negotiate on price
    - Build a relationship and stay in good contact throughout the project
    - If the project goes well enquire about other subjects the writer has experience in
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    I don't have experience hiring a writer for that amount of content. But I would highly suggest having a writer create the first chapter as a separate job to begin with so that you can judge their writing abilities before paying them for the whole project.

    Also, some people are concerned about the quality of the writing that is available at low prices.

    For that, I have three recommendations for you to find high quality, low priced content writers. (By "low price" I mean around $5-10 per 500 words, typically is what I have found in the past)

    1. Hire from the Philippines if you want as cheap as possible with still decent English. People there speak native English and can live on much lower wages than US minimum wage.

    2. Alternatively, if you care a bit more about quality, you could hire a new freelancer who has little freelancing/marketing experience but is a good writer. You can offer to give a good review to a new freelancer in exchange for cheaper rates.

    3. Finally, you can hire US college students. There are a lot of college students desperate for money who can write at high quality levels. You can find some on freelancing sites or even go to a university near where you live and put up a job poster.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh MacDonald
      Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post

      I don't have experience hiring a writer for that amount of content. But I would highly suggest having a writer create the first chapter as a separate job to begin with so that you can judge their writing abilities before paying them for the whole project.

      Also, some people are concerned about the quality of the writing that is available at low prices.

      For that, I have three recommendations for you to find high quality, low priced content writers. (By "low price" I mean around $5-10 per 500 words, typically is what I have found in the past)

      1. Hire from the Philippines if you want as cheap as possible with still decent English. People there speak native English and can live on much lower wages than US minimum wage.

      2. Alternatively, if you care a bit more about quality, you could hire a new freelancer who has little freelancing/marketing experience but is a good writer. You can offer to give a good review to a new freelancer in exchange for cheaper rates.

      3. Finally, you can hire US college students. There are a lot of college students desperate for money who can write at high quality levels. You can find some on freelancing sites or even go to a university near where you live and put up a job poster.
      I already have a writer who does all my guest post. He's always in Venture Beat, etc. His rate is $5 per 100 words and gave me a 25% discount on top of that. $875 for 25k words.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonjoel
    I've never hired one. But would you mind telling us about your book(s).
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    The last ghostwriter I used almost got me banned from ezinearticles. From there I've created my own content ever since. You might want to do the same thing - or check the "Warrior for Hire" section of this forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      The last ghostwriter I used almost got me banned from ezinearticles. .
      Anymore that is not necessarily a bad thing. Eza is sure not what it was 7 years ago


      - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author DrForum
    Originally Posted by Josh MacDonald View Post

    I want to hire a ghost writer to help write and edit a book.

    What does the average internet marketer pay in editing fees to get a book competed?

    I've seen job postings like this one: https://www.upwork.com/jobs/_~0104aa93001e5d8082/

    ... where people are paying $1 per 100 words.

    Generally, I'd be looking to write 20,000 to 40,000 words. I would likely write up lots of notes and plan the chapters for the writer to use.

    Does anyone have experience with this?
    Yes I have hired a ghost writer on the same agency and he has been a great employee to me. he has been handling all my ebook related works and I can say I am proud to have him. Just make sure that you are cautious and the people you are hiring have some experience in this field. You find it easier to fine tune the person into what you want rather than having a fresh person and teaching him or her everything. First give a trial contract to a few people and see who works out best and you will choose to hire him.
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  • Profile picture of the author irawr
    Banned
    I hire ghost writers every day.

    Reality check: real professional writers get paid .15 a word MINIMUM.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh MacDonald
      Originally Posted by irawr View Post

      I hire ghost writers every day.

      Reality check: real professional writers get paid .15 a word MINIMUM.
      I don't know who you write for but my writer is on Venture Beat and Entrepreneur.com among others and he's $0.05. You must be on Forbes or something.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomholen
    I've dabbled a little with ghost writers for fiction, and it is possible to get very good writers from Elance or other freelance sites. The key is to find those with little or no reviews, ask to see a sample. If you like the work, tell them the fact that they have no reviews and you are hestitant to hire them. Many writers will then give you a chance to show them your price/offer....they will then of course use that job to get good reviews.
    Somewhat the same as in other internet marketing, you offer review copies of your product to get the reviews going....
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  • You first want to test the quality of the writing with ghost writers, before committing to thousands and thousands of words.

    Hope this helps
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh MacDonald
      Originally Posted by selfdisciplineacademy View Post

      You first want to test the quality of the writing with ghost writers, before committing to thousands and thousands of words.

      Hope this helps
      It doesn't help. If you read the thread instead of spamming, you'd see that I've written with the writer I have in mind several times.
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  • Profile picture of the author harris96
    Nope I never ever hired anyone to write for my site. I always use some best techniques to write killer content for my site. Just PM me if you are interested in to get 1000 words daily only free.
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