Premium Writer’s Package (12-month retainer)

Premium Writer’s Package (12-month retainer)


  • You want to write your memoir but you need support and accountability all the way through the process. You need someone to push you to meet those goals.
  • Writing a book is your lifelong dream but you simply don’t have the time due to work or family commitments.
  • You really would like to learn the craft but equally, you would like a ghostwriter to share the writing load or to keep you and your manuscript on track.
  • You want to understand the submission process and ins and outs of traditional publishing vs self-publishing or assisted publishing.

If these statements resonate with you, then our Premium Writer’s Package may be an option. We will guide you through the whole process of writing your first draft and beyond, taking over the reins to keep the process going where necessary.

A retainer style agreement means that you will have an agreed number of days (or hours per day) allocated to your project to take it as far as we can in that 12-month period.  Some weeks you will use many days out of your quota, other weeks will be much less – but payments are spread out in equal monthly installments to help you manage your budget.

On average, a professional ghostwriter will take 8-12 months to complete the first draft manuscript (based on a memoir of 50,000 words) – working 2.5 full days a week (or 2-3 hours every day). Time spent varies depending on the complexity of the project and how much research or project management is required outside of the actual writing.

With this in mind, if you desire to have a completed first draft at the end of 12 months we would recommend a commitment of:

  • 14 hours a week/2 full days a week: 96 days over 12 months. This option is for those who have limited time to progress their manuscript and will rely on the ghostwriter to keep things going in-between times. You will be expected to commit at least 0.5 days per week.

For those who wish to work be more involved in their own writing process, with limited (but consistent) mentoring – session blocks of 3.5 hours a week is the minimum option available under this Premium Writer’s retainer agreement.

  • 3.5 hours a week/1 day per fortnight (14 hours per month/2 days a month) 24 days over 12 months
    This option is for those who simply need guidance from a mentor for a few hours a month (to keep them on track and provide professional expertise when needed with limited ghostwriting). You will be expected to commit to writing a few hours a day or a few days a month if you want to complete your manuscript within 12 months.

Your mentor/ghostwriter creates a monthly report showing what has been achieved, what will be done next, and how many days have been used to date.

While this is a more cost-effective option than the budget required for a full-time ghostwriter, this offering is a dedicated Premium Service, teaching you how to write future books yourself. This does mean progress may be slightly slower if you are unable to meet the deadlines set by your mentor, so do weight this up if you have a deadline in mind. The benefit of this approach is – the more you intend to do yourself, the quicker you will get through the process.

Be realistic about what you can commit to both in terms of your time, and your budget over 12 months. The minimum retainer starts at $200 per week (for 3.5 hours) with one month advance to be paid on the start date.

Contact The Butterfly Bureau to discuss your specific requirements. Alternative arrangements may be considered depending on the genre/complexity of the project.

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