1. An 80-page or longer ebook covering successful homeschooling techniques to use specifically with gifted children. Research to be done by the writer. Two revisions if necessary.
2. Maximum acceptable bid: $1200.
3. Close bidding date: 12/05/05.
4. Will need completed book within 21 days of job start.
Tip: A good length for a for-sale ebook is 80 pages. Other common lengths are 40, 60, or 100 pages. To specify that you'd like an 80-page ebook, require at least 80 pages, or 80 pages + in your post. A free-give-away ebook used to market other products or services may be any length.
You can specify any other parts of the book you like, but keep your list of requirements relatively short. For example, you may specify that you need a glossary chapter or that you will need drawings and/or photographs included. For an ebook on how to tie your own flies, you may ask that the ghostwriter provide drawings, or you may provide the drawings yourself. The former is easier for you, but will probably drive the cost and delivery time up somewhat.
When you come to an agreement with a writer, you will naturally provide all the other details he or she will need to complete the book. He may need to know what font you would like or what personal details you want included.
It is a good bargain to pay around $1,000 to get an 80-page ebook ghostwritten without drawings, photographs, or cover art included. It is possible to get good ghostwriters sometimes for a tad less. If you offer to pay a maximum of $150 for an 80-page book, you will not likely get a ghostwriter who knows what he is doing. You can advertise a maximum of
$1,000 for a 60-page ebook, and you will get some legitimate offers in the range of $500 to $1,000. Although you don't want to pay a huge amount more than necessary, I do recommend that you offer and pay an adequate amount to get a good ghostwriter. It's worth it.
My rule is for a simple ebook, I will pay up to $1500. I add more if drawings or photographs are required or if length is greater than 80 pages. My math indicates that I will need to sell roughly 100 ebooks to recoup that money. No problem, since I'm working the marketing and sales end instead of writing the book. And my sales are much higher, generally.
Tell viewers what kind of qualifications you are looking for. Either make the selection on the screen by clicking on the categories provided by the service, or indicate clearly in the text of the ad what type of person you're looking for.
You will also want to indicate that you may require that the ghostwriter make revisions after you review the ebook. Note this in your ad as well. It is okay to indicate that you would like two sets of possible revisions to be included in the bid. When you negotiate the final terms with the writer, you can specify what types of revisions are included and the timeframes for them to be done.
One thing you do not want to do is to change your mind on what you want after you have already posted your ad. Although posting is free on the ad sites, if you make changes or otherwise renegotiate on terms already established, word will get out. Besides it's just not a good idea. It wastes your time.
A great way to make sure you've included all necessary details, but have not gone overboard with too much detail in the initial stages, is by browsing other ghostwriter-wanted ads Elance or Guru. In ten minutes, you'll be able to jot down your ad by using one of them as a template.
Create Your Own Ebook!
Posting projects (or, running your ad to find a ghostwriter) requires a little bit of reading time on your end. But once you learn how to post ads the first time, you can repeat the process over and over again with little effort whatsoever.
DO IT YOUR WAY WITH GHOSTWRITERS
Don't be fooled into thinking that you can have it your way with any other route. To get exactly what you want without writing it yourself, hire a competent ghostwriter. There is another way to sell or give away an ebook without having to write it. I'll tell you about it and then tell you why I don't much care for it.
Ebooks that have already been written are available for purchase. The process is often called "ebook reselling." You can actually buy, and pretty cheaply I might add - sometimes for less than a hundred bucks, a pre-written ebook. With the price, you obtain the license to resell. Then you can sell that ebook as many times as you like for any price you like.
A couple of Internet sites that do this are listed in the last chapter of this book in case you want to see how this is done for your own edification - but I actually do not recommend going this route.
I don't recommend ebook resales for several reasons. First, you don't get to create your own personal and unique book. Others will also have resale rights. The very customers you are trying to sell to may be also receiving marketing materials from someone else for the exact same book!
Second, many of these resale ebooks contain marketing information or links to other services which serve the purposes of the original writer and not you or your targeted readership. This is one of the ways that an originator gets by with selling the ebooks so cheaply for resale. He heads straight to the bank whenever a reader that you sold the book to buys one of his offered services or other ebooks.
Third, ebook resale services are heavy-handed with advertising. You can't even pay a visit to one of their web sites without getting bombarded with popups. Nobody likes over-the-top selling or advertising. In fact, no one likes sneaky, subtle advertising either. If your readers go back to the originating web site, which will most definitely be listed in the ebook, then they'll be bombarded too. With your own ghostwritten ebook, if you utilize advertising of your own services boldly or subtly, at least the advertising you're exposing to the readers is for products or services that you will receive compensation for. And then maybe you could resell your book...just something to think about.
Ghostwriting gives you a one-of-a-kind product. In the end, although someone else wrote it, you dreamed it up, and you own it outright. Ghostwritten ebooks, compared to resales, offer maximum flexibility for you to market, revise, advertise, and more. You can actually legally pursue anyone that tries to copy the written work or resell your ebook without your permission. You're protected by the copyright law. Pay the money to get a unique book created that you have control over. Pay extra to get an excellent ghostwriter if you need to (what I mean is don't always take the lowest bid necessarily). Then you will be proud to sell your well-written, distinctively-your-own, ebook.
--HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST WRITER FOR YOUR PROJECT--
Good news! After you place your first ad, within days if not minutes, you will likely have multiple freelancers who have responded wanting to ghostwrite your ebook. If you contacted any ghostwriting services outside the freelance banks, then you'll probably also get immediate responses and interest in your project. At that point, you will have the wonderful problem of having to choose which writer you'll use.
Why not just take the lowest bid?
You might be tempted to take the lowest bid, but if you are willing to invest only a few extra minutes, you could save yourself from heartache that might follow if all you are looking at is price. You need to find someone who will do a good job, deliver a timely result, and who is at least somewhat pleasant to work with.
First, read all details that each bidder has posted in response to your ad. Look for writers who have verified credentials and who have had positive client reviews at Elance or Guru. Verified credentials are those for which the site received confirmation in official form, such as a transcript or diploma.
Review customer ratings that have been posted on Elance or Guru. This type of feedback will not be available from individual ghostwriting sites, but is readily available on the database sites. Not all clients post feedback after a project because they get in a hurry or forget. But many do. And you can usually put some stake in the ratings because the clients were once in your shoes placing an ad for a similar service in the databank. Therefore the databank clients' feedback ratings and comments are not irrelevant. Clients'
comments help you see if they were satisfied with the working relationship and also with the quality of the finished product.
For ghostwriting services obtained through Elance, Guru, or an individual ghostwriter site, check out the writer's references. Don't just look at a list of names and assume that the longer the list, the better the references. Get contact information, and follow up. Contact the references; that's what they're there for. Reference lists and testimonials are only as good as the phone numbers that come with them so that you can confirm that someone was satisfied with the work.
It is the nature of ghostwriting that the ghostwriter is not at liberty to divulge or show you his work for others. But if you could speak to only one of his or her clients or collaborators, then at least that is something. Be hesitant to award your first project to a writer who will not provide at least one reference of some kind!
Where ratings and references will tell you how easy or difficult a writer may be to work with, writing samples will give you a more explicit idea of how well a writer actually writes. Although ghostwriters are not at liberty to post or publish work they did for others for a flat fee, they may be able to show you something they wrote for their own benefit or something that they published under their own name. In occasional cases, ghostwriters are given credit in the books (or ebooks) that they wrote. Those books would be good writing samples to look at. Require at least one or two writing samples at a minimum. An experienced ghostwriter should have a lengthy portfolio, but even a lesser experienced ghostwriter should be able to show you something they've written. Even a letter to the editor of a newspaper or an essay on their personal web site is better than nothing. You can tell a lot about writers from their samples. You can usually tell if they speak conversationally, if they have a comfortable command of the language you're looking for, and if they pay attention to detail (with no errors spelling or punctuation).
In addition to ratings, references and writing samples, you may want to also ask that your ghostwriter be fluent or proficient in a particular language. You may even request a native speaker if you like. Do ask, because when you are evaluating bulleted online information like job bids, you cannot always tell who speaks what language fluently. Short bids with line items that are purely factual are easily done by native or non-native speakers. The nature of the online bidding is that short and sweet is better than long and beautifully written. So don't base much on the bid. Read the ratings, contact a reference, review a writing sample, and request a native speaker. He who speaks a language well and fluently is more likely to write it well and fluently. That's what you want for your ebook.
Although terse ad responses are common, if you do see any glaring errors in the response to your ad, like a misspelled word or confusing explanations, proceed with caution in the direction of that writer. Give a responder some leeway in abbreviating or being direct. Beyond that, glaring errors in can be an indicator that the responder may not be the best one for your project. Remember, if you wanted to slap a book together throwing grammatical caution to the wind, you could write that yourself. You are looking for a skilled writer who pays attention to details.
Again, beware of responders offering to write you a 100-page ebook in a matter of days. If you want any kind of in-depth coverage or research, this isn't possible, even for a talented and experienced ghostwriter. These people are trying to steal your business away from bona fide writing professionals. Skim past outrageous ads; don't waste your time there.
It's not to say that an amateur wouldn't do a good job, it's just that with experience comes better writing that is faster and more accurate. Even the best ghostwriter cannot perform miracles. He or she will need time to read, study, interview, organize, draft, and revise before getting it to you.
Regarding amateurs, if you think that someone with little or no ebook writing experience would be a good fit for your ebook anyway, then you may be right. Everyone, even a ghostwriter, has to start somewhere. Although he may not have many client ratings on the site, he should be able to get you a resume, some writing samples, and some general business references. If a new ghostwriter is serious, he will have prepared these items. You don't go to a job interview without a resume in hand, do you? Well ghostwriters that are ambitious and have talent, likewise will be able to show it. Review the resume and writing samples, and contact the references, Then, who knows, you may find that you and he are a great fit. You may strike gold where other potential clients have walked on by.
As I mentioned, be extremely wary of outrageous claims. If a writer can't provide you with any verification that he has indeed written over 200 ebooks and made his clients over ten million dollars, then there is no reason to believe it. Nor is it generally possible to get any kind of quality book written in a matter of days. If you get tempted to use one of these mavericks, check their feedback from other clients. You may get the real picture there. If it seems too good to be possibly true, it is. Use common sense.
More on client rankings
On Elance and Guru, when you open your ad, you will see a list of the bidders who responded, how much they propose to charge, and some links to check out their qualifications. One of the links will take you to a responder's profile page. Go there and read all the entries carefully. You can glean what others in the system think about the writer's work - both the work product and how easy he or she was to work with.
As you're reviewing, keep in mind that just as some responders can be outrageous, so can some advertisers. It is possible that Client A advertised
that he wanted a particular ebook written. Writer B responded; they worked out mutually acceptable terms. Writer B, an experienced ghostwriter.