How Much Should I Charge For Legacy Writing?

Hi Angela,

I have read several articles that you have written and they have been of immense help. I have been writing for about eight years now, primarily for companies requiring freelance writers. I am in the process of taking my love of writing up another notch. I have been toying with the idea of taking up Legacy Writing.

I live in India and, while we have many biographers for famous people and achievers, we do not have legacy writers, at least that I know of. I have figured out the process, identified printers, etc., but I am stuck at how to charge my customers. I want to start soon and this is the one aspect that I am unable to figure out.

The printing, designing the cover page, the exact number of copies that the customer requires, etc., will be additional and based on the vendors I choose, but what about the cost of writing the book, the creative aspect of it? I am not even sure if I should charge by the hour, or a flat rate for the entire process. In my opinion 10-15 hours, over a span of few weeks, should be enough to gather the relevant information.

Please help me understand how to work out a cost?

I thank you for taking the time out to read my email.



You should definitely charge an hourly rate. Each client will be vastly different from the other, which means you really have no idea how much time each book will take. You won’t know until that book is finished. Some clients will be more needy than others. Some may require numerous rewrites. Others may want to insert more details later. The possibilities of problems you may encounter are endless.

I don’t believe your estimate of 10-15 hours for research is nearly enough and the writing and editing process will take considerably longer, and will also entail frequent consultations with your client.

Quoting a flat fee would be disaster in that type of business. You should come up with a professional hourly rate, along with a marketing message that explains why hourly is the only reasonable way to charge for legacy writing.

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