By Ian Tingen
I owe you guys an article or two. Sorry, hectic week. In the interim, an email exchange I just had made me fire up ye olde WordPress. I had found an ad online for someone who needed a ghostwriter. I contacted them, with the following:
Hello! My name is Ian Tingen. (BOILERPLATE EXPOSITION, LINKS TO SAMPLES AND CV).
A few questions about your project:
1) Who is your target audience / market for this manuscript?
2) What is your target length of the manuscript?
3) When do you need it completed by?
I send it off. After a few hours, I get this reply back:
1 males, females & others
2 when it is finished (?)
3 30 to 40 days
I’ve come to expect that this kind of response either means a) someone is horrible at communication, hence their need to hire a writer or b) they have no effing clue what they want. This means that, as the contractor, you have to find a way to define the product that the client wants. Here’s what I said:
(NAME) -Thanks for your fast reply. I forgot to ask: what is your target budget for the project?
I have found that this question gets people’s attention. I’m not doing charity work here, folks – if you want an honestly good product, then you should be willing to pay an honestly good wage. Besides, the bottom line can go a long way to help clarify what the scope of the project will be. This is the response I got:
my business. you want to tell me how to spend my money?
Just doing my due diligence. I pride myself on being able to finish on time, on budget, and without complications.
I don’t argue about compensation. You appear to be more interested in money than doing a quality job.
If you do good work you make good money.
How would you all have responded? Any hints out there from readers who have dealt with similar situations? Thanks for letting me rant.