HotGhostwriter enlists freelancers to write, edit, narrate and design both fiction and non-fiction books — sometimes from scratch.

Expected pay: 1 to 2 cents per word

Husl$core: $$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide, worldwide (remote)

Requirements: Experience, samples of your work.

What is HotGhostwriter?

HotGhostwriter is a book writing service that enlists freelancers to write, edit, narrate and design fiction and non-fiction books — sometimes from scratch.

How it works

If you want to apply to be a writer, editor, graphic designer or narrator here, you’ll need to fill out a form and either provide samples of your work or take a test (for editors). In some cases, you’ll also be asked to complete a video interview. It normally takes 7 to 14 days for the site to complete its review process.

If accepted, you’ll be presented with book projects as they come up.

HotGhostwriter review

People who have worked with HotGhostwriter say two things consistently: The work is interesting. And the pay is miserable.

That’s in almost every category — writing, editing, narrating. Design jobs pay unremarkable but semi-competitive rates. Not surprisingly, the site gets poor reviews from former freelancers and from

To be specific about what’s wrong with working here, we must address the four remote work categories separately.


Writers are paid at a starting rate of $7 per 1,000 words. That’s less than a penny a word.

If you’re great, you can potentially join the site’s so-called “elite” team. That gets you $20 per 1,000 words. That’s 2 cents per word “for the highest-tier fiction writers.” Even some of the worst content mills on the web pay better than this.

Notably, that pay is for everything involved, including attending client meetings and providing the client with revisions, if necessary.

And, by the way, someone else gets the credit for the book you’re writing. So, unlike some content mills that at least allow you to build your reputation as a writer, here you are anonymous.


Editors also earn $7 per 1,000 words. And they’re supposed to make sure that manuscripts are consistent, well-written, are grammatically correct and error-free. If you edit a 500-page — 150,000 word — manuscript, which is likely to take weeks, you’ll earn about $1,000.


Narrators turn written books into audio books. They earn $70 per 10,000 words of non-fiction and $90 for 10,000 words of fiction. You must record and edit the entire book, keeping your tone lively and consistent throughout. Naturally, with that many words, you’ll probably have to edit and splice your audio file numerous times to create a finished work.

What should you earn for this job? Let’s compare to the voice-over artists on Fiverr, many of whom have thousands of reviews (indicating they have plenty of work). There, the least expensive voice-over artist was charging $10 per 300 words. If you applied that rate to this job, each 10,000-word narration would net you $333 — almost 5 times more.


Design is the one area where HotGhostwriter rates appear to be competitive with other sites. For a ebook cover, designers earn $70. If the client wants a design for an ebook, paperback, audio book and a hardcover, the designer gets between $120 and $200.


The site says it pays freelancers twice a month. However, freelancers on Indeed and Glassdoor say they often need to badger the company to pay them at all.


There are much better places to write, edit, and narrate. And, to be honest, we have a hard time believing that designers aren’t somehow mistreated here too. If you want to sign up with HotGhostwriter despite this, you can find the site here.

However, you’ll find much better ghostwriting opportunities with ServiceScape, which allows freelancers to set their own rates. If you’re interested in helping write and edit self-published books, also check out Reedsy.

The best place to advertise your voice-over/audio-book narration is Fiverr.

What their users say (from Glassdoor)

Low paying work and not much of it.

They’ll hire just about anyone. And the work is pretty easy as long as you know what you are doing. But it is delivered first-come-first-served. So if you aren’t actively monitoring Slack every second of every day you will not get any assignments

There are plentiful opportunities in the realms of romance and serial fiction and private clients can be a joy to work with. On-time bonuses are nice. But the pay rate is on the extreme low end of the industry standard.

Abysmal pay

The pay is abysmal. And I regularly had to remind them to pay me for completed projects. I took the job during COVID when I needed work, and I got out the first chance I could.

You only get a measly pay and the people who are the managers are deeply unpleasant. And this comes from one of their top writers

Their website advertises full-time work and guarantees $2k/month for writers without the need to bid on jobs. Those are all lies. You actually make .01 cents/word and work can be hard to come by. Get an assignment to write 40k words? Great! Don’t write over 40k or you’ll have to edit out those words without extra pay. Edits in general are not paid. And clients will occasionally demand the most unbelievable amount of editing. Too bad. You just have to make the changes they want without expecting to see a single cent more! If you’re assigned an ongoing series, you’re expected to read whole books. And you’re given no time to do it (often just a couple of days WHILE you’re expected to be working on the outline for your project). AND guess what? You don’t get paid for that either.

High expectations; low or no pay

They set high expectation for you as a writer with ridiculous deadline turn-around times. Waited 2 months to get paid for my last book. Pay was 2 cents a word and I was an elite writer. Most get .015. The owner made a whole post about how big things were changing and improving for the company, while he still hadn’t paid us. Will promise you work. But if you don’t write seven days a week, they’ll replace you. Not worth it.

This company is an absolute dumpster fire that exploits their writers and pays them TERRIBLY. Nor do they pay on time, and frequently cite one excuse after the other.


New management is awful. You’ll work on a project and not receive compensation — and can be dumped from a project on a whim and not be told. If you try to address the issue with management (in the past you would have a constructive conversation), now they just treat you like crap.

How on earth can you justify paying $390 to a writer for a 30k book when the company is getting almost $1600?? This rate is including research, editing, formatting, and client reviews! Pay your ex-employees their due. It really is the least you can do. When employees leave/get fired before they receive due payments, the company should ensure these payments are made without them having to pander for it.

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