I'm preparing to put together a proposal for a client in order for me to ghostwrite a biography for him. I've written (and published) a few books and screenplays of my own, as well as conducted many interviews, transcribed audio, and developed articles and other narratives from them. I have some light ghostwriting experience as well as done quite a bit of editing for various clients.
I'm trying to determine a rate that is fair for both myself and the client, so based on the following, what would you charge?
I expect the project to be in the neighborhood of 80-90K words. I can write at least 2K+ words per day, if not much more-- depending on momentum. I think it will take me about 2 months to complete the first draft.
The project will probably involve some travel, as he'd like to meet in person for the interviews. I'm in Los Angeles and he's in San Diego, which is about 2 hours away in decent traffic.
I will more than likely have to do my own transcription and assume that this will take a month or so.
Some of the content for this project may be a bit complicated (he's a scientist). I'm pretty confident in my skills and abilities to handle the work, as I've worked with complex material before but this may take a bit of extra time for occasional research.
I estimate that the interviewing, transcribing, and writing processes will take 3 or 4 months, and another 2 months for editing, making the whole project about 6 months long (I've given myself a little cushion in there-- just in case).
I know that he's a very busy man and may not always be easy to reach when needed.
I'd really like to get a sense of what other writers would charge in these circumstances so I can get an idea of what's right for myself. I don't want to go below $30/hr, but don't know if it's fair for me to charge $50/hr or more. When I get a good idea of a fair hourly rate, I'll then be able to determine a flat rate that can be broken into monthly payments or into 3 or 4 installments.
How would you charge?