The First Meeting

The first meeting may be in person or by phone. Frequently the author is far away, even in another country, so face-to-face is impossible.

I give a free hour of consultation during which I get the feel of the person and an idea about the project.  It doesn’t take long to know if I want to do it or not.

I ask questions, get a feel of what is needed and wanted, and if I like it, and if it is something I want to do. I am not going to work on a project that doesn’t resonate well.. As an author for over four decades, I have an idea what will work. I love writing about people’s lives, memoirs, areas in which the author excels and is expert, novels, and books that inform, enlighten and inspire.  I usually can bring to life the dullest of stories, but it must interest me for my muse to answer my call when I begin. Money is a motivator, but not enough to bring me to the monitor if I hate the story and have a question about the author.

I then find if the author has ability to pay, and has a budget for it. Many come to me with some idea that the story or tale will have a market and want me to write it with a percentage of sales. I do not do that. On rare occasions, if I think the book has sales potential, I may take a small percentage, but I always need to be paid up front and out back when it is done.

If it is a series of blogs or newsletters, will he or she supply any of the material if it is about a specialty or technical matter? Do I have to do the original research. In other words, I must discover in this first meeting before I can a quote a price how much work I will have to do and what input the author provide. I will have to look at time spent in research as a consideration of the fee. I then approximate the time, effort, expense and period it will take to complete. I have to be careful, for I can find myself working far too hard and too long for the money and once I am committed I will go forward for a home run regardless of the money. It must be fair.


My projects, except for short blogs and small projects for which I charge .50 a word, start at $5,000 and up, depending on the effort and time spent. I can easily work 14 or more hours a day to complete a 200 page book in 4-5 months. So dividing time and effort in to the calculation, that isn’t that much money considering my time, my experience and expertise. It may take six months to write a novel. How much money does an ordinary Joe make in six months? I  have spent lots of sweat and energy getting this good, and you are the beneficiary in hiring me as an expert for I bring 78 years of writing, 43 of which I was a courtroom trial lawyer, working with medicine, business, construction and hard work to the table and you get all of that, and my energy, intuition and take no prisoners writing. So you get MORE than you pay for, because my personal philosophy is exchange in abundance. In other words, I give you 13 doughnuts, a “baker’s dozen.”