Ghostwriting Rates 2021 – What Should You Pay?

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2021, erick mertz, ghostwriting ratesWhat are competitive ghostwriting rates for 2021? What should you pay for your writing project?

It can be difficult to know.

What might not be clear right away is that this question is equally difficult for ghostwriters, both aspiring and experienced. Answering the question, what do I charge is the cause of countless headaches.

Why? Because it feels like there is no clear answer.

Understanding ghostwriting rates can be complicated if you don’t have the right information. In this blog, I’m going to cover a few things you need to know to find the right ghostwriter for your project.

Ghostwriting Rates Are Set By The Writer

Photo with woman's hands on typewriterEver hear the announcer in a car commercial talk about the “manufacturer’s suggested retail price”? Without getting too complicated, this number represents the car’s price as suggested by its manufacturer.

Ghostwriting rates are not structured the same as cars though. There is no “baseline suggested” price for writing an article, book, or screenplay.

Over my twenty years in the business, I’ve encountered writers charging as little as a penny per word and others charging well over a dollar. That is quite a wide range. The difference can make it very difficult to know what you should pay.

What’s key for you to understand is who sets that rate. The writer does. 

How Does A Ghostwriter Set Their Rates?

The range I described above is pretty wide. At first glance, it may be hard to believe the rates are for the same service. The difference between the two might make you wonder what goes into that cost calculation.

Just like with a lot of services, ghostwriters charge based on several factors. Here are just a few:




*Subject expertise


Any one of these factors will affect how much (or how little) a ghostwriter charges.

For example, a highly skilled ghostwriter with a great deal of demand for their services can charge more for what they do. If your book project required a high level of research or knowledge of a specific topic, or your desired ghostwriter has clients in the queue, you can expect to pay top dollar.

On the other hand, for less demanding assignments, a newer ghostwriter might charge less. They lack the experience to charge more and without anyone lining up for their services, they’re willing to charge a little less. 

Are All Ghostwriter Rates Per Word?

The answer to this is simple: no. Some ghostwriters don’t charge by the word, choosing to structure their rates differently.

While charging clients by the finished word is the most common basis, others charge hourly, others on a whole project basis.

The same truth applies here as above. The writer dictates what works for their business and clientele.

How Do I Know The Right Ghostwriting Rates?

erick mertz, ghostwriting rates, 2021We know that, unlike the cost of a car, ghostwriting rates are based on a wide range of factors. But it also has something to do with you.

Yes, the consumer drives a lot of what makes an appropriate rate.

Here’s how.

You know what you can afford for your project. If you don’t know that yet, you’re not ready to hire someone. My advice for you is to go back and figure out your budget.

Be honest with yourself. Spend some time deciding what you can really afford. When you settle on that number, finding the right writer who can work to create a great book in that price range gets easier. 

The key is to budget the right amount that works for you and the writer. Knowing your project and being committed to it will help attract the right person. Working with them to make sure both parties have what they need to create the best possible project.

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


Your Free “How To Hire A Ghostwriter” eBook

hiring a ghostwriter, erick mertz, hiring an editor

I believe that knowing how to conduct a proper ghostwriting interview is the bedrock of success for your project.

In fact, I believe in that so much, I wrote a book about it.

While this book does not necessarily cover ghostwriting rates as this blog does, it will help you prepare for an interview with a ghostwriter. In this book, I cover questions about plagiarism, contracts, and, yes, of course, money.

If you would like a complimentary copy of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Project all you have to do is click and download.

If you have read this book, like it, and found it helpful, please share it with some of your fellow writers and take a moment to review it either on GoodReads or Amazon.

How Do I Contact You?

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.

Meanwhile, here are some links to other articles on ghostwriting services

What Goes Into A Ghostwriting Contract

Fiction Ghostwriter Services

Ghostwriter Services For Memoir

What Ghostwriter Services Cost

How To Hire A Ghostwriter – 8 Questions You Must Ask

Ghostwriter Services – Are They Right For Me?

Erick MertzGhostwriting Rates 2021 – What Should You Pay?

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