Contract eBook Writing

I recently won a contract on Elance.com for the production of ten eBooks on topics relating to credit, finance, money and investing in Australia today. Without going into private details, the bidding was set by the client at under $500 an eBook as what they were willing to pay. I was fortunate that I was actually invited to bid for the job, based on the resume and blurb I had posted on Elance and the fact the American clients wanted an Australian writer.

Despite this requirement clearly stated, many writers from the USA, India, the Philippines and other countries bid for the work, over 80 in total. I feel very honoured I won the contract against such sterling competition from my freelance eWriting peers. In a nutshell, I have to write a 50 page eBook every two weeks. I was given the brief, came up with the titles and content ideas and have been left to get on with it. The clients are terrific to work for and the money is already in ‘escrow’, meaning it is held by Elance and released by them to me at every milestone (eBook delivery). The first title in the series went out and was accepted and paid for and the second one is on schedule.

Along the way I also wrote the agreement for the contract between us and advised on several copyright issues the client was not aware of but I felt it only fair they did learn how they need to protect themselves. After all, they are paying for the work, yet I could retain copyright in various ways that would effectively allow me to be paid for the work twice or even more often, something I would never do but others might.

You need to be able to let go of the work when ‘ghostwriting’. You are not writing your magnum opus but a contracted collection of words for a paying client. We all get attached to our intellectual property but it is not ours to keep in these cases. Being able to separate emotion and ownership are vital for a freelance writer. If you can’t do this, then you need to write, publish and market your own work otherwise it won’t earn you a penny. Writing is actually the easiest part of the whole gig. Selling your writing is the challenge.

Freelancing allows for the opportunity to be paid to write but you will need to write what the client wants, yet still retain your professional pride and write as if it was yours to keep and then let it go. That’s how I do it, anyway and so far, it is working well.


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