How Much Does it Cost?: A hard one to answer, but here’s the ballpark

How much to write a book? Hard to answer, but here's the ballpark.

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When I get asked this question, there is no easy answer. People probably suspect I’m being cagey, but that’s not the case. Writing projects come in a full spectrum of scopes and sizes. It’s like asking how much a computer or car costs without any parameters around how big, how capable, or what features it includes.

Before we can begin to set a price, I’ll have to ask you several questions. For example, what is your purpose in writing, how much have you developed your themes or ideas, is it a one-time project or a series, will you write the first draft or will I?

To help frame the pricing discussion for you, here is some additional information:

  • Rewriting your first draft will usually cost less, but depends on the quality of the draft.
  • For me to write a first draft it will typically include time to interview you, then transcribe and rewrite to produce it.
  • There’s more time involved in producing a quality project than just writing, such as communicating with you, outlining, researching, etc.

Quality writing sets you apart

Many, many people want to produce a book, but you do have to be willing to invest a bit up front to do it well. And doing it well is important if you want to be a successful author.

Recently, I went to a presentation by Cevin Bryerman, publisher of Publishers Weekly, and more than once he reiterated the point that writing quality is vital in making a book stand out from the thousands and thousands of titles published each year. PW, a key resource in marketing books, won’t even consider reviewing or listing a book that is poorly written in terms of deficient grammar, typos, and clunky prose.

Your credibility is on the line, and writing quality can either be a facilitator to getting your ideas across to your readers or a barrier that will turn them away.

I’ve been writing for decades and can count on one hand the really good writers I’ve met. Many people think they can write well, but only a rare few have exceptional ability.

Market pricing for collaborators and ghost writers

To help you get at least a high-level view of project costs, here is some market pricing information:

  • According to Writers Market, collaborator flat fees range from $5,000 to $100,000 with an average of $36,000 (for 200-250 pages)
  • If you want to look at it from a price-per-page perspective, $150-$250 is a typical fee range

Google this topic and you’ll also see that virtually every article will state, “you get what you pay for…” So beware of lowball estimates.

Let’s talk first about your writing project

As you can see, the price is not trivial. Most projects will take many hours over a few months to complete. Also, for most non-fiction authors, your book will be part of a complete marketing plan, so the investment should be seen in that light.

The bottom line is that I want to work with authors like you who have great stories to tell, but need some help sharpening their ideas and getting it done. I work with each individual based on what they need and what resources they have. I’m willing to take on your project for a fair fee, and you’ll still get the highest quality writing.

Let’s talk one-on-one and work from there.


For other writing services and less comprehensive projects, see my Writing Services and Rates page.