There’s not doubt that working with a memoir ghostwriter can be a costly undertaking. Depending on the length you wish for your memoir, it may take months and even years to complete your memoir. Understandably, people want to know how much ghostwriting will cost. Here are a few considerations for you to ponder as you assess the cost of a ghostwritten memoir.
1. Asking “How much will it cost to have my memoir written?” is like asking “How long will it take to cross the lake?”
Many factors will affect the time of crossing: the wind, the distance from one shore to the other, the design of the boat itself, the number of people on the boat, whether or not you wish to cross directly or whether you would like to make a few forays into coves and inlets.
In the same way, there are many factors that will affect the cost of your memoir. How much have you already written? How much of the materials (letters, photos, articles, journals) have you collected and annotated? How much will you participate in the writing itself? (Some people regularly turn in text while others prefer to let the co-author do all the composition.) Will the ghostwriter do the final copy edit (commas, periods, etc.) or will you do that with family and friends who are “good at that sort of thing.”
If cutting costs is important, do as much of the work yourself as you can.
2. The truth is that working with a ghostwriter will cost a lot.
You can shop for a ghostwriter based on price. You can shop based on quality. In the end you have to be financially vigilant so as to be able to finish the project, but “bargains” are not always cheaper. Quality usually wins the race here
3. What will be the cost to you of not hiring a ghostwriter and foregoing your story?
If you do not preserve the story of your life, or of your parents, or of your ethnic group, it will be lost. After you are gone, no one will have access to it. That is a price of not writing a memoir so you can leave your financial legacy to your family so they can go to Disneyland or Disney World–without you!
4. If you sell copies of your book you will recoup some expenses.
Most writers I have worked with recoup printing and ghostwriting cost after selling between 650 and 1,000 copies. Marketing your book is an excellent way to pay yourself back. And I have found that many people enjoy the process of meeting their readers and having conversations with them.
5. After telling your ghostwriter how much you will be contributing to the writing of the book, s/he ought to be able to share a “ballpark” figure with you.
This figure will most likely be based on a “per 100 pages of text turned in.” This cannot be a hard and fast figure. You need to have more in reserve than the figure.
6. OK. So how much!
My best guess is that a quality ghostwriter in 2013 will cost you in the vicinity of $8,000 to $12, 000 per hundred pages s/he turns in, depending on how much you do as suggested in #1 above. Any less than that and you are probably dealing with a hobby writer who may feel they are doing you a favor and so be difficult to work with.
Hiring a memoir ghostwriter will likely not cost more than redoing your kitchen and will cost a lot less than buying a summer home. It comes down to this: you buy what you value. How much do you value a written legacy?
Hiring a memoir ghostwriter is an excellent choice when you can’t write your book, or don’t have time to write, or simply choose not to. A good ghostwriter finds your voice to write a book that sounds like you. I have helped people write memoirs since 1988.
Call today at 207-353-5454 for a free consultation about how we can collaborate to write your memoirs. Please visit my memoir ghostwriting page.