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How Much Do Ghostwriters Make Per Book?

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When looking for a professional ghostwriter, one of the concerns that pops out for authors is how much one charges. You're not alone, as most aspiring authors seeking the assistance of ghostwriters often stumble upon this question. 

If you're wondering about a price range, then we're sad to say there's no one-size-fits-all price for hiring ghostwriters. Instead, the cost varies between ghostwriters. Some charge less while some more. However, understanding why they charge what they charge could help you realize that every dollar is worth it.

The following piece provides the average rates ghostwriters usually charge (in USD), as well as the factors that affect them in addition. So, if you plan on hiring a ghostwriter, read this before you start.  

How Much Do Ghostwriters Make Per Book

Average Ghost Writing Rates in the Industry:

Depending on what you want a ghostwriter to write, they will have a different charge rate. However, they can charge you based on some specific criteria. We know that's not the answer you're looking for. To help make it easier, we provided some quotes on what an average ghostwriting service would expect you to pay for a writing project. So, let's take a look at 

  1. By the Word:

Range: $0.15 per word to $4 per word. 

Often applies to: Smaller writing projects, often spanning below 50,000 words. For instance, web content, articles, and manuscript rewrites.  

Most ghostwriters often charge you per word. It’s among the most common ways they ask for payment. But although it is common, it isn't the standard. The rate per word system doesn't account for the resources they utilized, including time on research and making up writing outlines. 

If you have a small, simple writing project like typing up some blogs for your new fiction book or want to have its manuscript rewritten, then this would be the right service for you.  

  1. By the Hour:

Range:  $35-$40 per hour

Often applies to: Editorial assessments or consultation regarding your book.

Picture this: You finished your first draft but don't have an audience to critique it with. You want an expert opinion to make changes and improve your story to make it a success. This is where these professional ghostwriters come into play. As they're more likely to provide consultancy than writing, they take their payments by the hour rather than by word; otherwise, they would be cheap. 

Their payment method helps bring their experience into play. The better their experience with editing and consultancy, the more they will charge for each hour. 

  1. Flat Fee:

Range: $2,000 to $70,000 per project.

Often applies to: Complete manuscript writing and book proposal writing.   

If ghostwriters are dealing with a complete or long-term project that may take months of research and writing, they may ask for a flat fee for the whole service. This typically happens when you need a ghostwriter to make a book from scratch. 

Flat fees can be expensive, especially if you're paying it upfront, but when they ask for this mode of payment, they can be negotiated to break the payment into smaller installments that run the rest of the project timeline. 

The Factors that Affect Ghost Writer Rates:

No two ghostwriters will charge the same rate. Their price range depends on several factors. Let's take a look at some of these factors:

  1. Project Complexity:

Not every project will be the same. Some would require more research than others. For instance, a technical book on mental health would need the ghostwriter to extensively research medical journals, academic papers, and doctor-approved blogs to write on it, than say a children's storybook. Depending on the project you're hoping to accomplish, you can set their standards high.

  1. Word Count:

Yes, the word count does affect the payment. It's one of the crucial factors that they consider when taking on a project. However, if the ghostwriter is offering consultancy rather than writing, they could charge the project based on the consultancy and time rather than writing.

  1. Genre and Niche:

The book genre and niche could also be another reason for varied payments. Certain niches require more effort in writing than others. We're not meaning to say that everyone can write some genres and niches; rather, we're telling you that some don't require as much extensive research as others. 

  1. Writer’s Experience and Expertise:

The writer's experience and expertise are also a rate limiter. A professional ghostwriter will always charge more compared to a novice ghost writer who has just started. But that's not all they bring with an expensive price tag. But, their experience in book writing can provide exceptional value to your book. So, it's crucial that you choose experience over budget when looking for a ghostwriter.   

Final word

All in all, no two ghostwriting services will have the same payment for the same project. Every project varies, and so do ghostwriters. Some might ask to pay per word, while others could ask for a flat fee. If you want to seek out a professional ghostwriter, then be sure to go for experience rather than budget. That way, you're sure to have a dependable service that can provide quality to your writing project.

Don't forget, you may also need a proofreader for your project too.


  1. How Do Ghostwriters Determine Their Rates?

Ghostwriters determine their rates based on a number of factors, including word count, complexity, genre, and niche, as well as experience. 

  1. Are There Different Rates for Different Genres of Books?

Yes, different genres can have different cost rates. 

  1. Do Ghostwriters Charge by the Hour or Per Project?

Yes, depending on whether the project is more of a consultation or editing a manuscript, then ghostwriters will typically charge by the hour.

  1. Should I Pay the Ghostwriter Upfront or in Installments?

It may vary on the ghostwriter. Some may ask for the payment upfront, while others would ask for installments. It's better if you can hire a ghostwriter and pay them in installments throughout the length of your project.