3 years ago, I remember having an initial sales conversation with a potential client. When I quoted him the price of $150 per 1000 word article, he balked.
He said that he was more comfortable with the price of $125 per article.
|Type of work
|1000 word articles
|$60 to $300 per article
|1000 word brand advertorials for mainstream media with national coverage
|$0.50 per word or about $500 per article
|10k book manuscripts
|Usually starts around $10,000, split into $3000 for the research, $5000 for the writing, and $2000 for the post-editing
Now, I balked. Was this some fish market where we were bargaining for the price of fish?
Yes, we get it.
You might be a little shocked when you look at the prices of ghost writers, and writers around you, wondering what exactly it is you’re paying for.
Here’s the TL:DR, so you know how much you should be paying.
But we also want to tell you that this is the price we’ve seen in Asia, especially in Singapore.
But it’s also to tell you the difference between the ghost writers at the top of their game, and those who are just average.
Chances are, you might not be able to tell the difference.
How do you tell the difference between what you pay, and what you get?
This is probably the most important difference.
Sure, in an ideal world we would want to get the best value for what we pay. But this isn’t always possible.
What you get from the bottom of the pile
Anyone can say they are a writer, especially with the likes of ChatGPT now being able to generate anything you want.
But read it, and you will quickly know the difference.
Little emotions felt from the writing
Any well-written article will ideally be able to do three things.
- Make you think differently
- Make you do differently
- Make you feel differently
If you read articles generated by ChatGPT, it may give you helpful information that supports you to think and do differently, but it may not provoke any kind of emotions within you.
If you’ve used an Apple iPhone before, you know what I mean.
Their products are so well loved because they ‘just work’.
Apple’s products are incredibly easy to use. Its reported that even if you gave an iPad to a tribal person who’s never interacted with technology before, they would be able to figure out how.
That’s why your baby probably knows how to use the iPad better than you.
But this analogy also holds true for the ghostwriter you want to find. Ultimately, you’re paying for a service that ‘just works’.
The ghostwriter is so experienced that he will be able to give you what you want, as you want it.
So what are you paying for?
You might want a better idea of what you’re paying for.
Here’s the breakdown.
Research through observations, interviews and desktop research
Let me take you behind the scenes of a day in the life of a ghost-writer.
I’m rushing. It’s 315pm, and I know I’m going to run late for my appointment with the CEO, who’s agreed to let me observe his meeting with his staff.
I rush into the taxi and ask him to drive faster. Whilst in the taxi, I quickly jot down:
- What I want to get out of this observation
- The questions I want to ask
- The points I’m trying to make through the observation
When I arrive, the CEO asks if I need a drink. I apologise for being late and say its alright.
He asks his staff to come along for the meeting.
I quickly stand up from the table he’s on, and take out my notebook. As he discusses with his staff, I listen, observe, and look at everything.
Like his gestures. How he puts his hands on his hips. How he bites his lip whilst trying to make a decision.
How he tries to poke fun into what is a pretty serious conversation.
Like a fly on the wall.
Later when I get back to the office, I quickly jot down what I’ve seen into the manuscript.
Its at 4000 words now, which is pretty impressive considering that I’ve only worked on his script for the past month.
I think we are moving nicely along.
I also know that we need an editor, because no good writer works in a silo.
He always has the watchful eye of an editor, who will help with sharpening the piece.
This is what you’re paying for when you pay for a ghostwriter
When you look at the initial price of a ghostwriter, it may sound scary because you wonder if he’s going to live up to the $13,000 he’s charged you.
I say that’s cheap.
Because you’re not just giving him a project to write. You’re giving him your brand.
And if that’s not worth the $13,000, you might be better off just looking for someone else.