Love the question! First of all, we probably shouldn’t comment on other agency prices… However, we can do a bit of an evaluation process together and analyze the results, eh?
“Ghostwriting Advice: What to charge?” was written from the perspective of helping the ghostwriter to know what to charge his or her client(s). It was also written nine years ago. If we were to guesstimate that the rate of inflation was, say, 14% (please see US Inflation Calculator) would need to also increase that rate for the ghostwriter.
For a 14% increase, we would take the original rate (say $25,000 as a starting rate) and multiply that by 1.14 (to add the 14%). The resulting rate would be $28,500. If we used $30,000 (another rate listed on ur referenced article), it would be $34,200. While that may not sound like a huge increase, it is something to be considered when comparing rates on the internet, ensuring that we also look at the date when the rate was included in the article.
If you read further in the article (great article, BTW), you will see that the lower rates (four digits; less than $10,000) have to do with little or no experience as well as books that I heard one publisher reference as glorified pamphlets (in other words, very short).
Do other agencies charge less? Yes. I have seen it. But, you need to pay attention to the quality that you will receive, as well as the length. Keep in mind that quality is not cheap. So, if you want your book to do well and you want to be viewed as a successful author, you should probably look at the price in the context of the quality that you will receive.
One final thought… Do the math!
I was doing some research on what other agencies charge and wanted to ensure that we were within that ballpark (not too cheap and not too expensive). Oh, and by the way, yes, we are in the ballpark and maybe even a little less expensive than what we should be, when comparing to other agencies.
So, I used an example agency and referred to two of the resources that they used to support their pricing structure. Now, I happen to be a “math person” and solve algebra problems for the fun of it in my spare time. Instead of counting sheep to fall asleep, I do math problems in my head. Yet, I had to calculate this twice, to be sure!
What am I talking about here?
The resources that this agency used supported prices such as $100,000 for a book, or at least $80,000 and certainly not less than $40,000 (giving the benefit of the doubt). You know what? The agency quoting these resources gave quotes that were less than $10,000 and even in the most complicated projects, did not rise above $12,000. The math simply did not support it! If the links pointed to calculations that were supposed to support these lower rates, then we missed the boat with those calculations!
So, if you are comparing prices to other agencies or doing a competitive analysis like I did, make sure the math works. No, you do not have to do the math in your head. Pull out a calculator and run the numbers. Do it twice if need be to ensure that what you are comparing is really what you are comparing!