Some guy on Fiverr is trying to convince me to ghostwrite his novel (40K) for $250 because that's already 'more than the going rate'

I guess this post is about how annoying people’s disrespect for writers is. I would only charge $1200 for that service because I want to provide a more affordable option, but I’m considering upping my rates if it’ll keep people like this away. I charge more to copyedit a book of that length than he’s willing to pay to have it written. That’s insane.

Granted, a lot of people are charging that, but I highly doubt they’re producing anything worthwhile (and exchange rates may be coming into play. That $250 USD can be a livable wage somewhere else). I know what I provide, though, and I’m already being extremely generous.

People are willing to pay for quality with everything except writing, it seems. Also, I feel part of this may be due to a lot of men’s belief that women shouldn’t be so sure of themselves (this is especially common between black men and black women). He’s been actively trying to get me to drop my rates through sly insults and the like to break my confidence in my abilities. It’s interesting.

What is your experience on that site? Do you get gigs often?

Most of my work doesn’t come from Fiverr. Before I deleted my first profile, I got a good amount of editing gigs from the site, though. I pretty much threw some gigs up on my new profile and left it alone, so I haven’t gotten nearly as many gigs this time.

I see people offer 1000 words for $5 - are they serious? That’s ridiculously low.

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Exactly. Those people are making him think Fiverr is indicative of the general writing industry (in which ghostwriting rates tend to start at low as $.50 per word). I keep trying to explain that those rates and extremely low and he will absolutely be compromising where quality is concerned, but it’s hard to help someone who knows it all.

Why do you do ghostwriting? Not exactly on topic, but I’m curious. The most important part to me as a writer is having my worlds and stories known and recognized. I can’t fathom writing a story, but then have someone else take the credit.

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Snort. I wouldn’t ghostwrite a book for less than $10K – and that would be a short non-fiction book with solid resources to draw from. Someone’s novel? No way.

I have zero issue with work-for-hire, but it would be through a reputable book packager, not someone on Fiverr.

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It’s good money. That’s the main incentive for me. Also, it takes away the need for me to do marketing and everything else.

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That’s fine. Give your money to who you’re comfortable giving it to. I never beg for anyone’s business. Freelancing is a solid industry, though.

Fair enough.

As a creator, I also wouldn’t want to use Fiverr myself. The site is so competitive people are forced to ask down to 5% of normal going rate (I’ve only looked at covers, but most seem to be offering for $30 what others offer for $750-900). Editing prices are scarily low there too.

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Yeah, this is why I don’t actively market myself on that site. If someone stumbles across my gigs, great, but I don’t care for the platform too much.

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If you don’t mind sharing, where do you find better freelance gigs?

Most of my FB circle is made up of people in the writing industry. I make a lot of connections through word of mouth and just marketing myself when appropriate.

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Oh, I don’t mean to imply it’s not. Ghostwriting novels is probably the only one where I would stick with a packager. I’ve done freelance work (editing, nonfiction articles, white papers, etc.) for two decades, and I’ve never had a problem with people approaching me directly. Fiction just… it’s just DIFFERENT. A book packager would give me a lot more control on the project than an individual would.

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Gotcha. That makes sense.

I looked into joining Fiverr as well but I didn’t like the looks of it… nothing agents it it just wasn’t the lay out I was looking for. I joined Textbroker instead but you can’t start writing until you get your rating… It’s annoying. I may just close off the account and be done with it.

People wouldn’t offer such insulting pay if there were writers who didn’t do the work for next to nothing, bringing down the whole pay scale. You get what you pay for, though, as you point out. I would NEVER work with a client who expected a whole book to be written for $250.

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Exactly. I charged by the word for the memoir I just ghostwrote…and it wasn’t cheap.

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I loved getting paid to write, not have to schlep the book out to publishers, not having to worry about sales AT ALL (though my name’s on the cover so more sales=more name recognition opportunities.) Plus someone else comes up with “the story.” It’s more like writing a research paper–in first person.

I think I’m more frustrated with the writers offering the low prices than the clients taking advantage of them. The person I was dealing with acknowledged that my work was better than the other people’s but still tried to haggle. But even sub-par writing deserves more than $250 for a novel.

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