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Ghost Writing for a Living
If you are willing to forgo the glory of seeing your name in print, try ghost writing for a living. Writer"s can charge upwards of $25 per hour working as a ghost writer though many start at as little as $2 per hour. The amount you charge will depend on the experience you have in the area where you are ghostwriting. Many writers start out writing keyword articles, which is a great place to hone your skills. Advanced ghostwriters can tackle areas such as writing memoirs, short stories, family histories or pamphlets for local organizations.
Ghost Writing for a Living
How do you get a start in the ghostwriting business? Many writers get
their first ghostwriting gig by being in the right place at the right
time. Other writers get their jobs by searching the freelance writing
ads that can be found on many Internet writing sites or in their local
newspapers. It is becoming more common for many people seeking
ghostwriters to advertise on the Internet. Freelance writers can also
post their own ads for work by stating that they are ghostwriters. The
number of people working as ghostwriters is relatively small because
many people want the recognition for their own writing. The great news
is that there are plenty of jobs to go around because of this.
Ghostwriters may be working in the wings, but many are members of the
American Society of Journalists and Authors as well as the National
Freelance Ghost Writing Tips
I'll be the first to admit I made some mistakes when I first started out writing, but luckily that didn't carry over into my ghostwriting business. Before you start ghost writing for a living, there are a few tips that may help you avoid pitfalls that have befallen other writers:
1. Don't write on spec. Meaning: don't write for free, unless you're getting something else of value in return. Don't write just because someone says they'll use you in the future, recommend you to an editor, etc. Bottom line- no one who is legit will ask you to do this, since there is no way to guarantee work in the future.
2. Get it in writing - if you're working on a long-term project, get the specifics in writing. For example, does the person who is asking you to write want you to edit as well? How many edits will they expect from you? If they're difficult to please, could your pay be held up indefinitely? If you put it in writing, such as you will perform one edit, and all other edits will be on a per hour rate (stating your rate as well), you'll have closed one loophole that some people use to hold your pay hostage.
3. Know the deadline, and be prepared for it. If you're working with an author who has a specific deadline, you need to meet that deadline. While it may be possible to get extensions, no one wants to work with someone who is going to delay publications. When you take on a ghost writing job, you should be in it 100 percent for the duration, including that last week before submission that will test your stamina, and sometimes temper.
4. State your terms upfront. If you're good at what you do, your previous experience should speak for itself, and as such, you should charge accordingly. If you're a strong writer AND editor, you should definitely charge top dollar, since you're doing the work of two people. While terms may vary, many ghost writers charge 25 percent up front, 25 percent half way through the project, and the balance due at submission. You may of course choose to do it weekly, per page, or any other range of options that you feel will work in your situation. A word of caution: don't wait to be paid until after you submit the work in its entirety; you may never see your payment. Many people have been duped this way- don't be one of them!
5. Do your research before you sign on. You should know a little about the e-book biz if that is what you'll be writing, or the market for paperbacks/hardbacks. The reason: knowing what the potential sales are for your client's book genre will help you set YOUR price. For example, many e-books make thousands (or much more) in revenue. If the author is only paying you $2 per page, for a 150-page book you've slaved over, the author will be cashing in on your mistake.