How An Affordable Ghostwriter WorkS

Feb 10, 2023 | Ghostwriting

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How to Hire a Ghostwriter

I have written quite a lot over the last few years about the ghostwriting business. Specifically, I have focused a lot of attention on what a top notch professional should, in the long run, cost you. Why that topic? When step outside of my place in the business and look at the field from a customer’s viewpoint, I see the potential for confusion. Is really there such a thing as a high quality, affordable ghostwriter?

I’ll spoil the rest of the blog and say, I think there is. Let me try and explain my answer.

Affordable Ghostwriter & Quality

Throughout my career, I have worked very hard to establish a very high standard of quality in my finished product. Whatever end goal you bring to the table, a fiction novel, personal memoir, or feature length screenplay, you should walk away from your ghostwriting contract with a product you can use.

What does that mean when it comes to writing though? Something you can use?

If you want a life story then it needs to deliver something you can be proud to share with your extended family. A film producer with a screenplay project needs a script that can get them funding, or the project into production. Memoirs that can touch an audience go the furthest.

A product you can use is one that ultimately achieves its end goal. Just finishing a book is one thing. When you go to the extent of hiring a professional ghostwriter, a finished book that you can publish and sell should be the expectation. Not the exception.

An affordable ghostwriter should be able to achieve this goal for you. You shouldn’t have to compromise on quality (or anything else) just because you’re looking at overall affordability. 

Dollars & Sense

A ghostwriter is, by definition, a professional writer. By professional, that means we provide high quality work to our clients in exchange for payment.

This begs the question, when it comes to an affordable ghostwriter, how much is enough?  

When it really comes down to it, you’re not going to be able to work with the ghostwriter you cannot afford to pay for. The ghostwriter has a bottom line rate they charge for their work. Every client, regardless of how wealthy, has budget constraints. 

How do we make those two things match? 

Try and think of this like you would a car. Wheels that get you where you need to go come in all shapes, sizes and, of course, prices. You might never be able to afford to get behind the wheel of a top of the line sports car. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re doomed to an uncomfortable, unreliable ride.  

The keys to the whole question of “do dollars make sense” goes back to that question of quality. In my experience, the ghostwriters that ultimately cost the most are the ones that don’t deliver on the promise of quality. Instead of costing you a lot in terms of money, it’s in the pain of unprofessionalism, re-writes that take up time, a book you can’t publish, a project you’re disappointed in. 

The affordable ghostwriter that makes sense is able to deliver a product you can actually use for a price you can live with. They’re experienced professionals, creative at solving story problems, and are able to clearly communicate on changing expectations. They know how to get the job done. 

The cheaper ghostwriter, the one that came in the lowest when you called around and compared prices, is not terribly likely to deliver on that kind of quality. The lowest price point doesn’t necessarily make them the most affordable ghostwriter. It just means they cost the least. 

Since you’ve already made a commitment to quality, the next thing to know going in is your budget. With that framework in mind, you can find an affordable ghostwriter that fits your needs.

An Affordable Ghostwriter Costs… What?

Let’s get down to it then. When it comes to determining affordability, it really boils down to the bottom line question of how much money. 

How much will it cost to hire the ghostwriter you need for your project? 

I have written extensively about expected costs in numerous past blogs. What it costs to hire a ghostwriter is an ever evolving figure, one that changes all the time. If you would like a more detailed breakdown of current (as of 2023) ghostwriting rates, check out this blog

Without going into too much detail, an affordable ghostwriter should quote you a rate on a per finished word basis for fiction, non-fiction or memoir projects. Per page or per finished project doesn’t really make much sense for the client or the writer. 

After trying out a lot of different structures, I have decided to work within a price range. I usually charge between $.50 and $1.00 per word, depending on a wide range of circumstances that vary between clients. If the rate you are quoted comes in above that top rate you may be looking at a “celebrity” type of ghostwriter; too much less than that, then I would guess they’re more than likely inexperienced. 

They may be an affordable ghostwriter when it comes to price. But at the expense of quality? We’ve broken that down already and it really becomes a risky proposition. 

For that rate, you can expect a high quality manuscript, one you can rest assured will get you noticed on the highly competitive publishing market. In my experience, that is the very definition of affordable: a manuscript you can stand behind and be proud of for your money. 


I hope this blog addressed some of your questions about an affordable ghostwriter. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.