You and 1,482,599 other people searched for terms related to “get help writing a book” this month. This post is going to tell you about an easy and affordable way to do that—a way that is still pretty secret, a way that is unheard-of among most writers. It’s almost diabolical and might seem like cheating, although it’s a perfectly legitimate way to get help writing a book.
Here’s the secret: hire a person who is both a transcriptionist and an editor to transcribe and clean up the audio files you create as you go about your day talking into a digital recorder. While you’re driving, talk into the recorder. When you’re watching TV and an idea comes to you, whip out your recorder and talk about that idea. As you fall asleep at night, describe a scene or rattle off some dialogue.
How much does it cost to get help writing a book?
Straight transcription usually costs $3.00 per audio minute, so if a recording is 60 minutes long, it would cost $180. Some transcriptionists charge more, some less. Because there may be a lot of “dead air” when a writer is talking into a recorder, it may be fairer to charge by the page, and I offer that option. Transcribing and editing the audio files into a book isn’t a common practice. None of the other transcriptionists I contacted do that or knew what they would charge if an author wanted them to do it. With me, pricing is negotiable and depends partly on whether the writer just wants the tape transcribed, or transcribed and shaped into a more structured format (such as a book). Either way, it can save writers a lot of time and provide just the help they need.
For those who are curious, I’ll let you know that I do charge less for nonprofits that have small budgets, or for people in special circumstances—if it’s a straightforward transcript. That means one person talking, not a focus group. I also do some transcription that is unrelated to helping authors.
Some transcriptionists charge more for the kind of shaping-up that I do, and less for verbatim transcripts. Personally, I find that odd, and I do the opposite: I charge more for verbatim and less for the cleaned-up, edited versions, because leaving out false starts is a little faster for me to do (less time and effort means I can charge less). Also, editing just comes naturally to me. I think my clients deserve that “little something extra,” too. My goodness, why NOT have a document that’s ready to repurpose? lol I haven’t had anyone turn me down on that one yet, although I know if it is for any legal proceedings, they’d have no choice but to have it transcribed verbatim. Fortunately, I haven’t had that come up yet, and I hope not to. I don’t do transcription that is related to the legal field.
Getting audio files transcribed is an excellent way for writers to get help writing a book. I currently have two authors who have contracted me to transcribe whatever they speak into their digital recorders during their daily commutes, then clean it up and help them organize it into books. It’s a sweet setup for them, and it’s an option for you, too.