Ghostwriting Fees: The cost of a good ghostwriter in 2023 (2023)

You have a great idea for a book, but you have ZERO time to write it.

So you're toying with the idea of ​​hiring a ghostwriter.

But you're wondering how much a ghostwriter costs.

More importantly, you want to know how much agutCost.

Because the last thing you want to do is pay tens of thousands of dollars for something that is completely useless.

This is exactly what happened to me during my first search for a ghostwriter.

The book didn't sound like me at all and I didn't have a lot of time and money.

In this post, I'm going to break down ghostwriting fees and contracts so you know what to look for as you begin your search for a ghostwriter.

How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

A good non-fiction ghostwriter costs between $25,000 and $250,000.

Where a given project falls within this range depends on:

  1. Number of pages you need
  2. topic of your book
  3. Ghostwriter experience

You can expect short and easy books to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, and longer books that require the ghostwriter to have expertise on the higher end.

You can also expect experienced ghostwriters with a track record (like several well-respected books under their belt) to cite more than six figures.

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A word of caution

The phrase "You get what you pay for" has never been truer than in ghostwriting.

Stay away from anyone asking less than $10,000 to ghostwrite a non-fiction book (even if it's short).

You end up with useless work and no money.

That doesn't necessarily mean you can't use marketplaces like Upwork to find ghostwriters, but it does mean you need to make sure everyone you work with is producing quality work.

And it's really hard to get quality work for less than $10,000 (and sometimes even less than $25,000).

Whoever you get on the "cheap" side is either brand new trying to build their profile or a company trying to source your project for as little as possible.

How do ghostwriters usually calculate?

There are 3 main ways ghostwriters process payment:

1. Per word

Some ghostwriters charge by the word - that's usually somewhere else$0.30 to $2+ per wordfor non-fiction.

This is unusual and should be approached with caution as it encourages the ghostwriter to add filler to your manuscript.

2. Per hour

Few ghostwriters charge by the hour, but those that do typically charge somewhere in between$50 - $250 per hour.

This can be dangerous when trying to set a budget for your project as it is very difficult for the ghostwriter to make an accurate predictionHow long it will takethem. They are also encouraged to last longer rather than turn in the best work possible.

3. For the Project

This is the most common pricing structure for a ghostwriter. As mentioned above, you can expect to pay between$25.000 – $100.000for a non-fiction book.

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I highly recommend only considering ghostwriters who bill by project. Sure, you can find good ghostwriters who charge by the word or the hour, but that's less common.

If you're working with a ghostwriter on a project rate, you can expect them to set up delivery milestones where they get a cut of the fee.

For example, you can request to receive a percentage upon completion of the rough draft, specific chapters, second draft, etc.

This is common and protects the ghostwriter from doing a lot of unpaid work if things go wrong.

Frequently asked questions about payment processing for ghostwriters

1. Do ghostwriters work for a royalty?

Generally no. The risk on the part of the ghostwriter is simply too great to be interested in this type of design.

2. Do you need a contract when hiring a ghostwriter?

Yes, you definitely need one to set scope of work, content ownership, and more. Havea contract, even with someone you trust is just a good deal.

How to choose the right ghostwriter for your project

Choosing a ghostwriter is similar to hiring a full-time employee.

You will:

  • to hold an interview
  • Review of portfolios
  • Verification of references

You can easily spend more than 20 hours on your search - and rightly so. This is a high stakes decision.

The last thing you want is for your project to end up like my first...

I was advised to do this when transitioning to a new businesswrite a book, so the first thought I had was to hire a ghostwriter.

But after many months of interviews and a lot of work, the draft I got back didn't even remotely sound like me.

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The book had goodContentsbut what was needed was missingcontextto catch my voice And the draft was completely useless, so I ended up writing the whole thing myself.

As bad as this experience was, it taught me a lot and actually got me startedBestseller publisher.

Here are 3 things you MUST consider when looking for a ghostwriter if you want your project to be successful.

1. Make sure the ghostwriter has experience in your industry

The ghostwriter (or agency) you hire doesn't have to be an expert in your field, but they areAgainneed experience.

Otherwise, you won't have the context you need to write a good book for your target audience.

That's not to say that a great ghostwriter without industry experience can't do a good job. There are certainly some ghostwriters charging in the $100,000 to $250,000 range that could pull this off.

But these types of ghostwriters are few and far between.

You can dramatically increase your chances of a successful project by making sure your ghostwriter has either experience writing or working with writers in your industry.

2. Storytelling skills are a must

People may read your book for the value they expect from it, but youContinue readingbecause of the stories.

In our proprietary Enhanced Ghostwriting process, we use the following 5 steps for each chapter to deliver incredible content with compelling stories:

  1. Story- Begin each chapter with a compelling story that ties into the content you will be discussing.
  1. open loop– We don't culminate the story yet because the human brain wants to know how the story ends. We stop at the very point of greatest uncertainty and fear and move on to the next step.
  1. Contents- Readers are now drawn in and motivated to read more as they draw their own conclusions and learn from your story. This is where you add valuable content to your chapter.
  1. Close the loop– After the content, we want to end the chapter with a bang. Complete your story with a dramatic ending. Each chapter is a microcosm of your entire book, which is why each chapter needs to engage, intrigue, and provide readers with valuable content and information.
  1. Conclude– Conclude your chapter by giving your reader next steps and recommendations on how to apply what you have learned.

You don't have to work with a ghostwriter who follows a process similar to ours, you doAgainyou need to know who you are working withhow to write compelling chaptersthat combine storytelling with valuable content.

3. Context matters

Traditional ghostwriting tends to produce content without context.

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Because it is based on your answers to specific questions and a general table of contents built by the ghostwriter.

And that can very easily result in a book that doesn't sound like you at all (which is exactly what happened to me).

This is a very common problem and the reason most customers are not happy when they finally see their book.

I therefore strongly recommend speaking to any prospective ghostwriter about their process.

You need to make sure they have a solid plan to give the necessary context to make the book sound like you.

Now it's time to find a ghostwriter

You now know everything you need to know about ghostwriting fees and choosing the best ghostwriter for you.

The next step in this process is actuallyfindyour ghostwriter.

I wrote an entire article on this subject for you to readHere.

And if you're intrigued by the concept of enhanced ghostwriting, you canClick here to learn more about how we can use our proprietary process to write a bestselling book for you.

This could save you a lot of time and heartache. 🙂

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(Video) What Ghost Writers Fees Do Famous Ghostwriters Charge?


What is the average cost of a ghostwriter? ›

A good ghostwriter costs between $40,000 to $70,000. Pricing per project depends on the ghostwriter's experience level and the genre of your book. Based on 2021 data from Reedsy, ghostwriters charge upwards of 30 cents a word to write memoirs, while manuscripts for children's fiction can see a rate of 24 cents a word.

What is a good rate for ghostwriting? ›

Ghostwriting fees in the range of $12,000 – $15,000 are usually the low end for a book of 200-300 pages and may be a competitive place to start if you do not have other projects under your belt and want to get the experience. For a much shorter book or e-book (let's say 80-100 pages) you might charge $8,000 – $12,000.

How much is a cheap ghostwriter? ›

LOW. Inexperienced ghostwriters or “discount” ghostwriting companies might charge anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000. I recommend taking a hard look at their qualifications, training, experience, and industry expertise.

Do you have to pay a ghost writer? ›

Most ghostwriters have a clause in their contract about payment of fees; they will ask for a down payment before starting the work, then you pay the rest over the period of time that the book is being written. If you'd like to know more about my ghostwriting services and fees, go to my ghostwriter page.

Where can I get a cheap ghostwriter? ›

You can find cheap ghostwriters by logging on to ghostwriting bidding sites or outsourcing overseas. Ghostwriters at bidding sites often take on such jobs on a part-time or occasional basis. Their fees may be lower than those of other professional ghostwriters, but their experience is likely limited.

Do ghost writers make a lot of money? ›

On average, a ghostwriter can make between $10,000 – $50,000+ for a nonfiction book or memoir. For blog posts or articles, ghostwriters can easily earn between $150 – $500+. Rates vary based on word count, the writer's ability, the client's goals, and budget.


1. How to Get Your First Book Written with a Ghostwriting Company (and Which to Choose!)
(Mikkelsen Twins - PublishingLife)
2. How to Make Money as a Ghostwriter | Ghostwriting for Beginners
(Alexandra Fasulo)
3. How to become a highly paid ghostwriter
(Write Your Book in a Flash with Dan Janal)
4. How To Hire a Professional Ghostwriter Through Upwork (Amazon KDP)
(Dane McBeth Publishing)
5. How to Find a Ghostwriter (DON'T GET SCAMMED)
(The Nonsense-Free Editor)
6. How To Make Money With Ghostwriting & Copywriting For Beginners (2023)
(Mr. Money)
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