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message 1: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments Ok guys, thought it would be nice to have a thread for authors to ask and answer questions of each other. I know there are times when I run into situations where it would be nice to brainstorm with fellow authors and get feedback. So here goes...

Question to my fellow authors. I have two published books, currently working on my third and final installment for this romantic series. I have been playing with the idea of expanding into a different genre for my next project. A friend has approached me with a very interesting true story based on his personal experience. He has expressed a desire to have his story written, but not being a writer himself has no idea where to begin. I think this story would make a very interesting "based on a true story" novel. So now to my question, how much percentage do I split with this person providing the story? He is in no position to pay me a flat fee and vice versa. Splitting royalties would be the only viable approach for us each to make money on this project, but what is a fair split. It's his story, but I'll be the one doing the writing. Any thoughts?

message 2: by Lady (new)

Lady (bestnewfantasyseries) | 78 comments My personal feeling is "who does the vast amount of work?'

If he's giving you a story idea...but you write the whole thing, turn a short verbal story into a whole novel and then do the marketing, blogging, Twittering, FB, etc..then maybe getting the 90

If he works along side you working the story chapter by chapter, basically spends a lot of time with you..then maybe getting the 60.

It really comes down to a relative split based on work put in. So only you can actually judge that.

Just my thoughts. Hope it helps,


message 3: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 47 comments Straight talking. Explain to him at the early stage(like now, ) money is not of importance. Is there enough material for a book. Yes or no? Does he have fact to back up content for a book? Photographs. maps. Letters and the like.Does he need permission from ANYBODY to publish what might seem his own POV. Has he written anything down so far. Anything that might follow exactly what you might write. Yes or No? Does he live in the same country as you? Do you need to meet? He might say no. But it might be you doing the writing. If it is you then you'll need to tape what ever meeting you have with him.
Suppose also you've discussed who will market the book ,find a title , do a summary, chapter by chapter summary,overall summary, blurb and press release, letter to an agent then you might start getting down to business.
For a first person POV biography/autobiography(ghost written) you'll probably agree to the first 3 chapters being written and supplied to him.That shouldn't be too difficult to put a price to. Of course you will need to edit the work to the highest possible standard.If this is your first venture into ghost writing put it down to experience.Maybe 5c a word might be the answer.Try it. Talk about it and see what happens. If he or you don't agree you've lost nothing at the initial discussion stage.
If you read back over what I've written you'll understand how a task as you've mentioned is broken down into tiny parts. There also lurks the contracts to be signed. And will your name be on the book. Lay all the details out on the table.
Best wishes

message 4: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments Thank you for all the helpful advice! He is a friend with an interesting tale, he has nothing in writing and his wife has been encouraging him to write his story but he does not know where to begin. They both jumped at the idea of having me write this story for him. I think the fictional "based on a true story" approach eliminates much of the legal permission issues since real names would not be used, it also gives me more freedom to build story elements where he may lack in his recollection of events or where more is just basically needed. I think I would like to approach this as a fictional book, written by me, marketed by me, my name on the cover. The work here will lie in my lap. I agree that all these details need to be discussed and agreed upon before any writing begins. I know that he is in no position to pay me for services, splitting of royalties would be the only realistic approach to compensation for both of us. So basically I need to come up with a percentage split to propose when we sit down to iron out these details. LE suggested 90/10, would you agree with that Cleveland?

message 5: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 47 comments Hi Tracey on the 90/10 split there must always remain certain other considerations. Would you mind if I requested you as a friend? That way I can answer you better. FYE only.
Best wishes

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