Putting Your Story on Paper
Let Me Walk You Through It
Let’s start by having a chat. I offer a free 20-minute consultation where we can talk about your project, run through a suggested plan, and see if I am the right fit for your project.
Before we start planning your book, it’s important that we both feel confident that I’m the right person for you. We do this via a sample write. This involves a 30 minute interview where you talk to me about a specific life event that you may want to include in your book. I take the interview and turn it into a piece of writing for you to review. I charge a discounted rate for the sample write (see pricing details below). There is no obligation to do the book after doing the sample write and the piece of writing I create is yours to use as you wish.
If you are happy with the sample write, it’s time to start planning the book. We’ll run through the general arc of the story, what the key messages are and what important life events you want to include. We’ll make a draft plan of where we think the book will start and where it will end. This will be drawn up into a final agreement, along with the payment terms and a rough timeline.
The interviews start and we begin our journey of telling your story.
How much will it cost?
I charge a flat fee of $700NZD per chapter/piece of writing created from a one hour interview. This is my commercial rate. Please ask me for revised pricing if you are a not-for-profit.
I invoice 50% ($350NZD) at the time of the interview and the remaining $350NZD when the piece of writing is approved by you. Note: Two rounds of revision are included for each piece of writing submitted so any changes you want to make will be incorporated before moving on to the next chapter. I charge in this way so that the cost of your book can be spread over time rather than requiring a lump sum upfront.
The sample write that I do at the beginning of our negotiations is $350NZD. This includes a 30 minute interview and two rounds of revision. 50% is charged at the time of the interview $175NZD with the remainder charged on approval of the piece of writing provided. It is expected that the sample write will be included in your book unless you decide to exclude it.
How many chapters will your book be?
I cannot say. It’s important that we do as many one hour interviews as you feel is needed to complete sharing the story and messages you want to share. You may find later that you want to remove some chapters or merge them together. I personally feel it’s best not to limit or restrict yourself by trying to keep to a certain number of chapters.
What’s not included in your fee?
There are extra sections of writing the book that are not included in the chapters fee such as:
Back cover synopsis
We can arrange to cover what you would like to include in these sections via an additional interview(s) which are always 1 hour and charged as per chapter costs – $750NZD.
I edit and revise the chapters as we go as per your instruction but the final edit of the book is not included in my fee. It is always recommended that books are NOT edited or proofread by the writer as a fresh pair of eyes is often required to pick up problems, errors and structure inconsistencies. I can provide editor and proofreader recommendations. As part of the editing process, the editor may suggest additional writing be added to the book. For example, there may be sections that require more details or they might find gaps in the timeline of the narrative. I am happy to make the edits to the manuscript suggested by the editor and can provide a quote at the time.
Do you expect your name to be on the cover of the book?
No, this is your story. You are the author. I do not get any royalties from the sale of your book as you pay upfront for all my writing work. If you have an acknowledgements section in your book, I ask my clients to include a reference to me as the writer of the book. I do not expect to be promoted as part of your book launch or promotional material. I request that if people ask you about the book writing experience that you will declare that you used a writer to help bring your story to life.
I thought ghostwriters weren’t acknowledged?
Yes, ghostwriters are not. I do not refer to myself as a ghostwriter, I say that I use ghostwriting skills. By that I mean that I work in the same way as a ghostwriter – writing books in first person from interviews with my clients. I would like more people to tell their stories and many people don’t because they either find it too hard to put painful memories into words or find that what they write doesn’t feel quite right. It is my hope that normalising using a writer to share your life experience will result in more amazing stories being shared. Of course no one is more qualified to write about your life than you, I encourage people to do it. And for those people who find it a struggle, there is no shame in enlisting help to share your legacy.