Ghostwriting Myth #2: “Very few people pay the big bucks. And they wouldn’t hire me.”

What is writing a book worth?

Not to you—to your client?

Well, what does authorship provide?

A sense of accomplishment? Pride in the author’s story? A box checked off the ole bucket list?

Think about these results of authorship in financial terms. What are these worth to a person?

You get a feeling of accomplishment mowing your lawn. I can mow half an acre on a tank of gas, so that costs me two or three bucks. Get that dopamine hit every week from spring through fall, and you’re looking at no more than a couple hundred bucks.

You take pride in a funny meme you came up with that went semi-viral. Took ten minutes to create. Free.

What about the bucket list? The #1 most common bucket list objective is to visit the great Egyptian pyramids. Roundtrip airfare plus Cairo accommodations for two—$2,600 on

You see the point, don’t you? For $25,000, $50,000, even $100,000+ to hire a Ghostwriter like you, your clients could receive:

  1. Accomplishment
  2. Pride
  3. Goal achievement

Or they could spend less than $3,000 and enjoy:

  1. Accomplishment
  2. Pride
  3. Goal achievement

Let’s be honest. What’s the better deal?

Which would you rather do? Buy a Word document (a manuscript) that you may not have the first clue how to publish, promote, and profit…

Or take your romantic partner on the all-inclusive trip of a lifetime to the last Wonder of the World?

I sure as heck know which I would choose!

This brings us to what authors expect of Professional Ghostwriter like you and I. If authors are only expecting intangible feel-goods like pride of authorship, we both know they won’t expect to pay very much.

Because it’s not worth it.

If you can enjoy a similar thrill for $2,600 or $26,000, which will you choose? Even for wealthy clients, money is still a scarce resource.


What if your author clients expected way more than an emotional, intangible return on their investment?

What if you built up so much value around having a book that a client saw a $26,000 book as a deal?

Yes, it’s totally possible! Here’s why (and how)… 

You caught the alliteration a few paragraphs ago, didn’t you?

Publish, promote, profit.

There’s a reason why—when you’re transforming an aspiring author into a published author, they get a lot more than pride in their work.

They get a book that wins sales calls, paid speaking gigs, investors, media interviews, and more. 

Not to mention they get to sell a whole lotta books! If you help your author independently publish their book and promote it like a New York Times bestseller, what’s going to happen?

Your author earns anywhere from $3 to $10 per copy. Times that by a thousand book sales. Ten thousand even. If your author is even semi-well-known in their industry (previous publications, interviews completed, email subscribers, etc.), they can easily earn $10,000 or more just like that. I have clients do this all the time!

Plus, what happens when just a few dozen potential clients or event organizers buy your author’s book? They are so freaking impressed with your work that they have to hire the author. Cha-ching!

In this scenario where you are providing your client a beautiful, professional book, directly helping them publish independently, and supporting book promotion efforts, you are printing money for your clients.

But you can’t sell a .docx or .pdf file can you? If all you are to your author is “my writer who sends me a Word file at the end,” what are your services worth?

Not a trip to Cairo for one!

Am I saying that Ghostwriters who deliver an unpublished manuscript to their clients and say Tchau! Deserve to get paid peanuts for their work?



Because it’s not a good trade-off. Would you spend $75,000 on a Tesla? Maybe. At least the machine does something for you. A .docx file in your inbox doesn’t do jackdiddledumsquat if you don’t already have a literary agent or book deal. And what percentage of aspiring authors fit that description? 0.000001 percent?

So what do you want to get paid to write a book?

$3,000 or $30,000?

What you earn from your work is based on what you sell. Sell intangible benefits that aspiring authors can fulfill another, cheaper, even faster way, and you won’t earn much.

But sell a money-making asset—AKA a ghostwritten, published, promoted, profitable book—and you my friend will be the one who profits.

Want to know how I do this with my clients and earned over $136,000 on a recent ghostwriting project?

In my next email, I’m going to hand you my entire business model for winning high 5-figure and even 6-figure ghostwriting clients.

Keep them eyes peeled!

2 comments… add one
  • GILLIAN BEHARRY Sep 2, 2019 @ 15:42

    okay, I’m curious, you have me thinking I need to build confidence

    • Joshua Lisec Sep 2, 2019 @ 15:44

      Confidence is queen! Authors need to know you have enough confidence for the both of you: confidence in their book idea and confidence in your own ability to take their idea and write the best version of it possible. You got this, Gillian!

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