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Would you write a book for money if it was offered to you?

Discussion in 'Original Fiction Discussion' started by Andrela, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Say that someone contacts you via e-mail or using a different method on the internet and offers you money in exchange for writing him a book.

    Exact method of payment would be discussed, etc. For example, you could demand to be paid by each chapter or instead get half of the money up front and the other half after completing the book.

    In this particular scenario, assume that the client wants a novel-length urban fantasy story. For the sake of the thread let's assume a 100k word count (Prisoner of Azkaban had around 107k words, so that's about it).

    The glient gives you the initial premise and some elements of worldbuilding as well as a small list of things which should not be included (like for example rape scenes).

    Would you agree to such an arrangement and if yes, how much would you charge?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  2. Vira

    Vira Order Member

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    Depends if I already have an idea that meets his qualifications. Otherwise, there's some considerations to think of: it currently takes me a year to write a draft and it seems to take two years to completely finish a book. That's two years away from my real book and other ideas.

    If he wants me to write a book, I better being getting paid enough for it to be a full-time job. I would want 90k a year and if agrees to that, I may or may not write him a book depending on the specifications.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I do a bit of freelance work, and my rate varies per client and what they are after - and whether or not I receive a writing credit, which can be just as valuable if not more than money.

    If I were to write a project around 100k (though I wouldn't write someone else's novel - long term, I'll make far more from writing/publishing my own work), my average rate would produce a bill somewhere in the region of $30,000 USD.

    Standard contract: half on signing, half on delivery. There would be stipulations on how much additional work I'd be required to do after the draft is completed. Rewrites and such. Anything more than 10% and we're talking a new fee.

    Edit: Oh, and I'd give a time frame of roughly four months (25k a month) to produce the first draft.
     
  4. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Isn't every advantage in just writing your own book? Selfishly speaking.
     
  5. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Not necesarily, you don't know for a fact if the book you've written will be a success and a money maker.

    Here you have a situation where you have a guaranteed amount of money.


    Joe

    Assume that once the book is made, you have full copyright and the original client is simply listed as a "consultant". So basically once he has that desired book, he allows you to publish it under your name (you wrote it anyway) and make money of it.

    Think of it as paying Universal Studios or Warner Brothers to create a movie just for you, exactly as you want it with the demanded actors and then once the movie is made you allow them to put it in theaters.
     
  6. Nauro

    Nauro Headmaster

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    Trying to find out a writer for you book, Xandrel?

    I'm not sure you can even have enough cash for all of your ideas, because you generate seven Harry Potter plot bunnies before breakfast. ;D


    Depending on the amount of payment I'd most probably agree to such a deal. If the payment is ludicrous enough, I think I'd even agree to write a "Fifteen Shades of Slash" book, but it wouldn't be good. Just expensive for the one that's paying me.
     
  7. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about ;)
     
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    It really depends on if you get to retain the rights or not.
     
  9. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

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    This kind of thing actually goes happen. Not exactly how you're describing it - usually it's ghostwriting and giving up author credit/copyright. Like, sometimes if I see something interesting enough on Elance, I'll bid on it. Usually I just go for short projects, and in that case I set up an hourly rate, but yeah, depending on subject matter / how specific the guidelines were, I'd probably end up billing somewhere in the $20,000-$30,000 range for a "novel-length fiction of publishable quality" type project.

    The way I think about it is, if I treat it like a full time job (40 hours a week), how long would it take to finish? 3-5 months, ish, including polish and edits. That amount puts you a touch under the EFA recommended rates, but, meh, the guidelines you're talking about allow for some wiggle room.

    I think in your specific case, Xandrel, I'd be way more likely to be interested in such a project. Most of the ones I see go up on Elance are a) ghostwriting for some 20K e-self help book about how to attract women some stupid shit like that or b) someone's really, really, really specific genre fiction (usually chick lit) idea that they have a million and one guidelines for.

    The kind of creative freedom you're talking about - worldbuilding, a "hook," some blacklisted types of scenes - plus getting paid and retaining copyright? That's a pretty enticing deal.
     
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    It would seriously depend on how much they were offering, and how much assurance I'd have that I'd get paid.

    Consider this: I cannot, at the moment, write a professional quality work. If that's what they want to pay for, then we have a problem because I can't produce it at my current level of writing. I can produce 100k of 'not shit' words, but that's about it.

    Even to do that though would take a lot of my time and effort, and unless you're going to pay me somewhere in the 25k range I'd rather not bother taking on what would basically be a second job. This is compounded by the fact that I wouldn't be happy doing it, because I'd know I was spending a lot of time on what wouldn't be a quality product (especially since after I give it to them it's theirs, I assume they'd want to the copyright, so I couldn't even put it in a drawer to edit in another year or two).

    I'm not that broke. If I was then yeah, I'd jump on any chance to make money if I was out a job or something.
     
  11. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    As the Space-faring Cheese said, how much are they paying and what is the expected quality?
     
  12. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Depends on how much do you want? Surely there are limits in both directions?
     
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