I've previously published my Top Ten tips for writers, well, these are my Top Ten tips for GHOST writers. And naturally that means there's actually 11 tips. Anyway, this one is for all you ghosts out there...
1) There is no such thing as a “simple editing” job. If it was, then the client would be hitting up one of his friends instead of hiring you.
2) Don’t be afraid to charge your worth. After all, this might be the only gig you get for the next three months.
3) If the client asks why you charge so much for just the one job if it’s only going to take you just three weeks to finish, remind them that one 3-week job could have to pay your bills for the next three months.
4) Just because you find this sort of thing easy to do does NOT mean it is easy for anyone ELSE to do. You spent a lot of time and effort figuring out how to be that proficient. Just look at the plumber: $60/hr because for HIM it’s a snap, but for YOU a nightmare.
5) No matter how much they study, there are many people that just cannot write. You’re special, so act like it.
6) If your client consists of a team of two or more partners each of which will be a co-author and you’re supposed to report to all three… RUN!!! The job is not worth the pain and aggravation.
7) Unfortunately, the best you can sometimes do for a client is to advise them the one time, then if they want to go ahead and have you write the worst thing since Vogon poetry at least you’ve warned them.
8) Get a payment UP FRONT. 50% is preferable, but get something before you lift a finger to start working.
9) Some projects will be fun and interesting, while others will be “just a paycheck”; make sure you get paid either way.
10) if a client offers you a percentage of future profits instead of cash up front, be firm and insist on the cash. No matter how good a book you write, or what big plans the client says he has in the works and his solid contacts, there is absolutely zero guarantee that his book will go anywhere.
11) Don’t forget your own dreams while putting to pen someone else’s. Remember this is only to keep your wallet full while you figure out how to get your own Big Novel finished and selling.