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  • Writer's pictureEli Gonzalez

"But I've already written half of it..."

When someone has already written half of a manuscript and they realize that they need to hire someone to finish it, most assume that the price they will be quoted will be discounted being that they already wrote half of it. They are dead wrong.

The truth of the matter is they have doubled the ghostwriter’s workload. I’ll share with you why.

If you hire a professional ghostwriter, chances are he or she has written a fair share of books already. In my case, my most recent book was written far better than my first one. As I continued to master my craft, my writing techniques have improved. I began participating in multiple writer’s critique groups, attended book-writing conferences, and listened to hundreds of writing podcasts and watched more YouTube videos on writing than I care to admit. Through experience, trial and error, and educating myself on different forms of writing, I developed a methodology. I now have an ideal, a reason why each part of a book should be written a particular way. For instance, I have a four-step process on how to write an introduction. Remind me to blog that another time.

Before I take on a project, I share with my prospect my proprietary methodology on book writing. I discuss with them topics such as the importance of a well thought out outline, the tone of the book, and other aspects that an engaging, effective, and intelligently written book should have. In most cases, the prospect is impressed and he or she begins to tell me more about their idea/story.

As one might expect, every conversation gets to the investment required for me to write the book. I divulge it. I also divulge that the total amount is not all due up front, but in stages, and that they can get out of the agreement once we’ve reached certain milestones. They tend to like that. At that time, most people will ask to see it in writing and a few steps later, we are off and running.

This is also the point in time when some of my prospects will say, “Well, I love everything you said Eli and I would really love to have you write my book. However, since half of the book is already written I don’t have to pay the full amount do I?”

Again, they assume that they’ve done some of the work for me so why should they pay the same amount I quoted when now it’s obvious, to them anyway, that I have to do less work.

What they forget is that I have a process by which I go by that has been proven to create best sellers. They don’t take it into account that they don’t know my process, that they haven’t been in the writing classes I’ve been to, and that the book I write for them, as a professional writer, will be different than what they have already written. For me, marrying two different styles of writing and making it read seamlessly, as if from one “voice,” is more difficult and time consuming than just writing it all myself, even if the other contributor is also a professional writer. Reading their material, disseminating it, rearranging it, editing it, rewriting it, repurposing it, and deleting parts of it is much more work for a ghostwriter than going through their process.

Conveying that message to the client, without hurting their feelings or insulting them, is…complicated. It can make the difference between hiring a ghostwriter that will give you the book the market needs or you getting the book you want to write. It is also a place in time where book ideas go to die because the prospect might decide to just finish it themselves, only to never do so.

So, if you are planning on writing a book, and you know deep down that you aren’t the best writer or that you will never have the time to finish the book, don’t bother wasting your valuable time attempting to write your book. Talk to a professional ghostwriter before you start.

It will save you a lot of time and it will also spare you the sticker shock when the ghostwriter tells you that because you’ve already written half of it and want him or her to incorporate it into your manuscript, the price is nearly doubled.

Eli Gonzalez is a best selling ghostwriter and CEO of The Ghost Publishing, the premiere ghostwriting services company in the country.

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