Ghostwriting Price Quotes — Per Lynn Wasnak

The late, great Lynn Wasnak’s guide titled Beyond the Basics: How Much Should I Charge? is an “outdated” resource for establishing rates for writing projects of all types. I say “outdated” because the original version was published in Writer’s Digest’s Writers’ Market based on 2005/2006 research, yet it is still referenced by writers of all disciplines and genres today.

If you lack the time or the skillset to write your book or feel blocked and overwhelmed, I can write your book for you. I’m considered an “anonymous ghostwriting consultant,” and you are the author. As a trusted and highly experienced ghostwriter of memoirs, autobiographies, legacy books, historical fiction, romance novels, sci-fi, and more, I carefully determine the scope, degree of difficulty, and projected deadline before providing ghostwriting price quotes to my author clients.

Price quotes hinge on the following questions:

Will I ghostwrite some of the book, the majority of the book, or all of the book?

What assets (details) will the author provide?

For fiction novels, does the author have an outline or loose premise? Or are numerous ideas in play, and the trajectory is left up to me as the ghostwriter? Or am I to conceptualize the entirety of characters, plot, setting, and the story arc?

For autobiographies, are diaries, journals, notes, documents, news clippings or links, outlines, a partial manuscript, images, or graphics available? What fact-checking and genealogical research will be involved?

Ghostwriting Price Quotes Vary from Project to Project

You can download Lynn Wasnak guide here, and below I’ve shared screenshots of the ghostwriting section (from the original version). Brace yourself — ghostwriting is not inexpensive. In fact, it’s a significant financial investment for the author, and a significant time and labor investment for the ghostwriter.


Ghostwriting Price Quotes
Ghostwriting Price Quotes


Why So Expensive?

Notice the “as told to” at the top of the chart, meaning the author credits the ghostwriter by name. A ghostwriter may opt to charge less for this mention due to the promotional value of having one’s name published. Still, ghostwriting projects are traditionally anonymous with no mention of the ghostwriter whatsoever, and that compels a higher rate (no credit).

I don’t quote on the high end or the low end of the spectrum. My rates are fairly average, although, as I mentioned, I take many factors into consideration, which may increase or decrease the quote. For instance, I’m prone to discounting works of faith, law enforcement memoirs, and military autobiographies because these types of books mean a lot to me personally, and I believe we need more of them in the literary universe. Sometimes, the project expands well beyond the agreed-upon scope, which can lead to additional invoicing. The bottom line is, there are no cookie-cutter books, and there are no cookie-cutter quotes.

Canadian Ghostwriting Prices are Similar

Check out my blog post, “Ghostwriter Costs — Canada” to compare U.S. ghostwriting rates against rates in Canada. The rates are similar if not identical, and this helps solidify my quotes (although, again, each project is different and has various degrees of difficulty).

Time, Labor, and Ghostwriting Price Quotes Plans

I share with authors what it takes to tackle their projects. In my experience, an average of a year is required to complete each manuscript. Sometimes, though I might finish in six months or two years, depending on twists, turns, and surprises that are uncovered during the research. If an autobiography stretches back 80 years, there are bound to be forgotten details. Sometimes I interview the author’s family and colleagues to fill in the gaps, find the backstories and understand nuance and context. In almost every case, I research publicly available data, ancestry sites, and newspaper/media mentions.

The project deadline may be determined by the author’s budget. Some authors request per-month invoicing that stretches over the span of six months, a year, or two years, depending on their needs. I accommodate to the best of my ability. After all, these books leave a legacy. They share unique journeys that would otherwise be lost to time. My mission is to capture the memories and milestones in the author’s voice and from the author’s unique perspective.

Let’s Connect

Do you need help writing your story? I am an email away!

Contact, and I’ll get back with you to discuss your book project. I look forward to collaborating!