Ghostwriter Rates Explained!

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ghostwriter rates

Most of my clients end up shopping around before hiring me. If you have read anything I’ve written about hiring a ghostwriter over the years, I recommend everyone talk to a few ghostwriters before committing to one. After all, how will you know who you resonate with until you talk to them? All that shopping is a great first step, however, it can cause confusion when it comes to ghostwriter rates. 

Hiring a ghostwriter for your book or screenplay project is quite a unique experience. Like most professional services, the cost between any two providers can be wildly different. In my twenty year career, I’ve seen ghostwriter rates in such a wide range that I sometimes wonder whether the two providers are actually providing the same thing.

One writer says they can get the job done for a hundred bucks. Another wants one thousand. What accounts for the difference between the two? In this blog, I’m going to help sort that out.


The first factor I look at when I examine ghostwriter rates is experience. How long you’ve been professionally writing, and the level of expertise you bring, helps determine rate.

Take the big providers like Fiverr and Upwork. These websites offer a wide selection of freelance professionals, largely available at steeply discounted rates. That’s the appeal. Right now you can go on either of those sites and find “professional ghostwriters” for less than five cents a word.

Why do I throw quotes around professional ghostwriters in this instance? Because a nickel a word is hardly a professional ghostwriter rate. The writer behind that profile is, very likely, inexperienced in their trade. Even if they’ve written a lot, they haven’t worked with clients for long enough.

The higher the rate, the more likely the writer is a true professional. 

Women looking at computer screen


I’ll answer that straight off. Of course they do. If you know some of my theories on hiring ghostwriters, you understand that you should ask for one of two things: references or samples. 

In most instances, the proof is in the quality of the writing.

If you’re interviewing a ghostwriter and they quote you a cut rate for their time (anything under twenty cents a word) it is quite likely that they don’t have samples. If they do have something to show you then it likely doesn’t demonstrate the high standard of quality content you’re looking for.

What do the samples look like? Have they published a book similar to yours? If they have, does it reflect the level of the quality you’re looking for? 

Do the references speak highly of them? Would they rehire them for another project? 

If the answer is no, you probably need to look elsewhere. 


Here is a factor most shoppers don’t look for – professionalism. Does the person you’re interviewing manage themselves like a professional?

Are they effective, thorough communicators? 

Do they offer services with the kind of flexibility you’ll probably need to finish the project?

Have they presented reasonable timelines?

If you answered yes to these questions then you’re probably dealing with a professional ghostwriter. A talent for putting words on the page counts for a lot, but if that comes with difficulties in these areas, you’re probably not going to be happy.

How does this affect ghostwriter rates? Professionals know what they are worth. They understand the extra value that comes with that touch.   


You get what you pay for. You’ve probably heard that before.

My advice is this. Take the time to interview a few ghostwriters in your process. Ask a lot of questions. If you don’t like those answers, or you find yourself compromising your standards on any of the following areas, it’s probably not going to be a good fit.

I don’t know, you may end up getting lucky. I am of the belief, however, that more often than not, you make your own luck when it comes to hiring decisions.  

From my experience talking to clients and colleagues, you can start by looking at the ghostwriter rates. Too low is too much of a risk. 


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

Your guide to writing a memoirHave you always wanted to write your life story? Do you ever sit down to write but find you get lost? Do you struggle to get the story down the right way? If you answered yes to either of these questions, memoir ghostwriting may be the best solution for you. 

I believe every one of us has a book in us. If you’re trying to write a memoir, or considering it, now is a great time (actually, it may be the best time). I have written a book, Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know to help you get off the ground. 

Don’t wait. Get your free eBook Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know by clicking here to download today.

I created this volume to be a short and easy to read. The goal is to help you understand everything you need to know, from getting started to all the reasons why now is a great time to write a book.

Contact For Ghostwriter Services

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzGhostwriter Rates Explained!

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