Why Time Is More Valuable Than Money

 Why Time Is More Valuable Than Money


When ghostwriters are asked to quote a fee to write or edit a client’s project, the assumption is that there is pure multiplication going on: your hourly rate times the amount of time you anticipate the work will take equals the cost of the project. The process seems simple, doesn’t it? Very straightforward. And yet rarely does a ghostwriting project involve only two variables.

In fact, I would say that I value time more highly than money in my negotiations. What I mean is, the less time available to complete an assignment – whether it’s an article, a blog post, a case study, or a book – the more other work I will have to decline. My income potential shrinks in order to ensure the quality of my work on that particular project is high. That’s why I charge more for fast-turnaround projects.

Conversely, when a client has a project with a limited budget, I may agree to do it (assuming the budget is still reasonable), as long as the timeline for completion is well into the future.

Being able to fit a new project in alongside other articles, blogs posts, white papers, advertorials, and books enables me to continue accepting other paying work. My income potential is higher because the time I have available to devote to that project – and others – is greater. If my deadline is next week, I only have seven days, but if it’s next month, I have as many as 31.

I can then choose to work on it in short sprints here and there, I can stay up late one night to make some progress, or I can devote several days in a row to it while I’m waiting for feedback from other clients. That kind of scheduling flexibility is worth money to me.

Now, time isn’t the only variable. Others include the amount of research I will be required to do; whether the topic area is one I specialize in and, therefore, won’t need to do a lot of background research on; how interested I am in the subject; how much I want the opportunity to work with this particular client; how much (if any) travel will be required; how many decision makers are involved (the more cooks in the kitchen the higher the fee); and how easy they seem to be to work with. Kindness and friendliness are up there on my list of critical project factors, almost as high as time.

Besides time and money, what other factors do you weigh when quoting a ghostwriting project?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Marcia Layton Turner


  1. Maury on August 20, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Marcia, your blog is fantastic. Many posts, especially those referring to compensation of ghostwriters and the importance of time (the time/money connection) are subjects I have explained to clients and potential clients over and over again.

    You asked what other factors enter when making a quote on a project. Since I often write on medical subjects, and because in midlife I went back to university to earn a MPH and a then a doctorate, I often do articles and books that need to be cited. Properly citing references, using the correct style manual for the job (often the AMA Style Manual or the APA Manual) adds to the time needed for completion by at least one-third and has to be compensated for.

    I just joined the Association of Ghostwriters. I look forward to learning from my peers and sharing what I know. Regards, Maury Breecher

Leave a Comment