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Ghostwriting, Editing, and Proofreading Guide

As your book editor or ghostwriter, my goal is to bring your manuscript to its highest level possible. To do this, I can provide a range of services from complete ghostwriting to editing to proofreading, or any combination. Whether you have an idea for a book or a completed manuscript, I?ll do what it takers to ensure that your book is competitive with the very best books on the market today.


I provide my valued clients with personal one-on-one service. I never outsource and I use no lower-priced assistants. When you become my client, I?ll provide you with:

  • Original research and writing as necessary for ghostwriting projects.
  • Developmental suggestions about overall structure and flow.
  • Line editing and proofreading with unmatched attention to detail.
  • Professional formatting for Kindle or submission to a literary agent or publisher.
  • Assistance with your query or agency submission.
  • My personal office number (above).
  • Confidence that your book is of the highest professional quality.

For projects over $250, it is a good idea to establish milestones. This provides you with confidence and protection because you are not committed to using my services beyond each milestone.

For example, let?s say you hire me to edit your 80,000-word novel. The fee might range from $800 to $1,200, depending on the condition of your manuscript. Let?s say we agree on $900. We might agree on four milestones of $225 each:

  1. Basic formatting and first 20,000 words.
  2. Editing up to 40,000 words.
  3. Editing up to 60,000 words.
  4. Final editing and polish.

At each step, I deliver drafts for your approval. When editing, I use the Word edit tracker so that you can see every change. The process is collaborative and I welcome your phone calls or emails.

If you are an Elance or Guru client, both of these services offer convenient escrow accounts. You pay into an escrow and release the funds only when a milestone is complete. This system offers a high degree of protection and confidence for both you and me.


When you don?t have the time or the expertise to write your book, I can write it for you. I?ll work closely with you to bring your ideas to the printed page. Your book will be written based on your input and in your voice, and you will retain full copyright. The book may be sold or offered under your name alone. I will gladly sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

How is my fee calculated? Ghostwriters are usually hired on the basis of the word count.

E-books can be as few as 10,000 words. Non-fiction books, such as self-help books and memoirs, can be nearly any length above 25,000 words. For fiction, a short novel is generally between 50,000 and 80,000 words. A full-length novel is above 80,000 words.

Specifying the number of pages can be difficult, because the page count will vary depending upon size of the text, margins, and chapter breaks. However, for a typical document in 12-point Times New Roman with one-inch margins, you can expect to get about 500 words per page. So a document of 200 typewritten pages would be about 100,000 words.

Here?s an example of how page counts can vary. Ever read Tribes by Seth Godin? It?s a book of 147 pages. The pages are only 5 x 7 inches with about 25 lines of text per page and about 10 words per line. So the book is about 147 x 10 x 25 = 36,750 words. Probably less if you consider space taken up by headlines. And it is a best seller.

If you take your typical Tolstoy novel, it will be in 10-point font with 35 lines per page and 15 words per line. The same 147 pages would be 77,000 words – almost twice as much.

It is always better to agree on a word count. It is measurable and there is no ambiguity.

Ghostwriting prices range from ten to fifteen cents per word. I will always provide a price based on a flat rate for the project, or based on a price per word. I do not get involved with graphics or cover art; writing is a highly specialized occupation, and like most good writers, I just write.


When you have a nearly complete book, I will provide editorial services. I?ll read the entire document and help you to organize and present your thoughts as effectively as possible. I may suggest adding material or deleting passages that aren?t effective. In this process it pays to have an open mind, because many authors are sensitive about their work and it can be difficult to be objective. I?m very easy to work with. You do not want an editor who is bossy and won?t explain why he or she favors certain changes. It?s your book and your name on the cover!

Editing prices range from two cents to ten cents per word. I will always give you a price in advance. Then, as the work progresses through the milestones, you review the results, and only when we are in agreement should you continue. There are never any surprises.

A full edit means that I work in partnership with you to develop and shape the text and the content. This is also called developmental editing.

A copy edit means that I will look at every aspect of your document. Does it make sense? Is it readable? I may ask to re-write sections or suggest changes. The ?five Cs? summarize the copy editor?s job: Make the copy Clear, Correct, Concise, Comprehensible, and Consistent. I also provide formatting services so that your book or document has a professional look.

A line edit is when I ensure that every sentence reads properly, but I do not address larger issues of theme or continuity.

When deciding questions of grammar and punctuation, I use the Chicago Manual of Style. It is a highly regarded industry standard. But there are others, and you may specify which style you want to follow.

No matter which style you choose, the key is consistency. For example, if you choose to write out numbers below ten (one, two, three, as opposed to 1, 2, 3), this should be done consistently throughout the document. But in cases where there is some ambiguity, the bottom line is always readability: does it make sense?

I will always work closely with you to preserve your voice and your personal vision. Your story is unique, and whether your style is chatty or hard-boiled or academic, I will always be in tune with your expressive voice.


For documents that are ready for publication, I?m an experienced and meticulous proofreader. I will check for mistakes of grammar and spelling, fact check, and correct typographical errors. I will not interject my editorial opinion about the content of your work.

No proofreader is more meticulous than I am. My goal is for your manuscript to have zero errors and to stand up to the most rigorous scrutiny.

I ordinarily use the Chicago Manual of Style for tricky questions of usage and grammar. I know correct punctuation (when to place a semicolon instead of a comma, for example, or the difference between an m-dash and a hyphen). I have a thorough knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar (when to say ?ensure? rather than ?insure,? or ?farther? rather than ?further?). These details are very important to any professional document. One needless mistake in your book may cause a reader to go elsewhere.

You can hire me on a per-word basis or by the project. I will provide a firm estimate in advance.

My Invitation to You

Even if you are not sure which services you need, I invite you to contact me so that we can discuss how I can help you reach your goals. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thomas Hauck ghostwriter, book editor, author– Thomas Hauck is a professional author, ghostwriter, and book editor dedicated to helping you reach your literary goals.

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