I write business and personal development books that leverage my University of Michigan MBA in marketing and corporate strategy.
Get your business book published with my help!
Clients have hired me to write about:
- Corporate Histories
- Corporate Strategy
- Growth and Scaling
- Real Estate
- Personal Finance
- Personal Development
Answers to questions you may have about hiring a ghostwriter
What does it cost to have a book ghostwritten?
Every ghostwriter sets his or her own rates – there is no standard answer. What ghostwriters charge typically depends on their level of experience and the success their previous books have had. Other factors include how quickly you need your book written, how long it is, whether you need any research gathered as part of the process, and how many final decision-makers are involved.
A good rule of thumb is that you can expect to pay me around $1.00/word for my work. That said, shorter projects can sometimes cost more than $1.00/word, because of the work required to get started, and longer projects may cost less than $1.00/word, because of economies of scale.
For that, you get someone who will help develop an outline, zero in on what information is essential and what’s less important, and then ask questions that help you articulate your message. You get a ghostwriter who is part strategist, part consultant, part coach, part marketer, and part writer and editor.
Do I have to pay that all up front?
No, not at all. In fact, I prefer to break up the total cost of the writing of a book over multiple milestones.
I typically require a down payment to get started; that shows me you’re serious and committed to the project. Then I bill a portion once we finalize your outline, once I deliver a draft of chapter 1, which is often the most difficult, and then when I deliver 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the manuscript, and a small payment once all the editing is completed.
By breaking up the project into several smaller payments tied to delivery of chapter drafts, you pay when you receive something from me and the amount due is more manageable.
How long does it take?
That answer all depends on several factors. I’ve written books in 30 days and others have taken more than a year.
The pace at which we work more often depends on your availability and the amount of thinking and information gathering you’ve done in advance of starting work on your book than on my schedule.
How long should my book be?
Since I specialize in business books, I can only answer that question with respect to business titles.
And the answer there is generally between 30,000 and 60,000 words. That equates to around 200-250 pages.
The truth is, a graphic designer can shape almost any amount of words into a book of, say, 200 pages, which is about how long most business books are today. The trick is in how you want your book to be perceived.
Most readers today want to be able to consume a book fairly quickly. The yardstick often used is a cross-country flight, which is about five hours long. You want your reader to be able to finish your book in that time.
If your primary goal for your book is to position you as a thought leader and expert in your field or as a marketing tool for your business, making sure your reader gets through your whole book is important. If they don’t finish it, your investment may be wasted. Because of this, my recommendation is generally that books used as promotional tools should be closer to 35,000-40,000 words than 60,000.
On the other hand, if you’re aiming to interest a traditional publisher, you’ll be asked to write more than 40,000 words, typically. Publishers prefer more like 50,000-60,000 words.
How can I interest a major publisher in my book idea?
If you aspire to work with a traditional publisher, such as John Wiley, McGraw-Hill, Random House, Simon & Schuster, or Penguin, for example, your first step is not to write your book. It is to create a book proposal that knocks the socks off the publisher’s acquisition editor.
Then, if and when a publisher offers you a contract to write your book, you proceed to write it. Since publishers often like to have input into the focus and direction of your book, you’ll save yourself time waiting to hear what they want.
How do you work?
I’m a very methodical person when it comes to creating books. I like to figure out a roadmap up front – your outline – and then work systematically through each chapter to the end.
Once we’ve prepared an outline, we pick a day and time to meet every week or every other week by phone. That’s our time.
We start with chapter 1, with you talking me through what you want to share in chapter 1. I ask questions, I suggest additional information that would be useful, and we brainstorm case studies or interviews that could help illustrate the material.
After we hang up, I get to work on pulling everything together and writing a draft for you to review.
The next call, we talk through chapter 2, and so on, until the manuscript is drafted.
I like to write the introduction to the book last, since it’s much easier to describe what the book is about and how it addresses the topic after it has been written.
Then we start editing. I include two rounds of edits with my fee. After that, if you want changes or more edits, I bill at $100/hour.
How can I be assured my book will be successful?
My focus is on crafting a manuscript that is well-written and achieves your objective, whether that’s to position yourself as the expert on the topic, to educate your target market, teach your reader how to do something, or to market your company. That’s how I measure success.
If you measure success based on books sold, then you’ll want to invest time and money in promoting it long before it’s ever released.
However, I have no control over how you market your book or how large your potential market is. We can write an amazing, bestseller-quality book and it may not necessarily sell enough to become a true bestseller. That all depends on how much you market it.
If you want to be sure you get a bestseller, you should get in touch with ResultSource, which has different programs that guarantee bestsellers, based on how much you’re willing to invest.