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Buyer is asking too much, didn’t speak to me first

Hi everyone. My ghostwriting gig’s very first sentence is “please contact me before placing an order” but yesterday a buyer placed an order for 10,000 words. I ask clearly for an outline and many clients are happy to provide a detailed outline with dialogue, character descriptions, etc and talk with me about it before placing the order.
This buyer provided a very brief outline, didn’t include anything about characters, saying I have “full creative control.” They said it like it’s a privilege, but it means they can’t be bothered doing it themselves and want me to do everything.
It’s not what I usually do. They don’t even have an ending or a title for their book, and I usually charge extra for a title. I’m thinking this time I should just bite the bullet and do it all, but I have a feeling more orders like this will come in. It’s frustrating to have this happen because I can’t reject the order and cancelling it will affect my seller’s rating. Should I talk to the buyer or pick myself up and get it done, although it’s going to take much more time than it’s worth? I’m loathe to ever criticize or disagree with buyers because they could threaten me with low ratings. Some advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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I would definitely ask for more information rather than just plough ahead. If the buyer is giving you full creative control, they should be told that this means you won’t be able to offer any revisions. That might spur them to be more proactive too.

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Hello, we all get some clients like this, My advice to you is: if you don’t have other orders that also needs to be done and have the time, think of the time you lose making the project didn’t went in nothing, you may pay more than you think if you canceled the order (Rates help a lot), you’ll not get these type of orders always (its a unique situation that may come from time to time).

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I have two thoughts after reading about your situation:

For the immediate situation: There’s no harm in reaching back out! I would begin by acknowledging that you appreciate the creative control. Next, ask for the additional information you need to complete the assignment. Of course you are concerned with your rating, and so my advice would be to go forward with the gig if possible!

To avoid similar situations in the future: In your gig description, consider making the first line say something to the effect of “please read my FAQs found below before placing an order :)” In the FAQ section, you can mention that you require a clear outline before taking on orders. I have no doubt that you already mentioned this in your existing gig, but the added emphasis could be exactly what you need to prevent similar orders in the future.

I hope this helps! :blush:

I would say you’ve got to reach out to your buyer and get a clearer idea of what they want.

For a buyer to “offer full creative control” is a deafening alarm bell to me. It’s a bit like me giving you £20 / $20 to go shopping for me. You ask me "what do you want me to buy?, and I say “I don’t mind, you decide” (I’m thinking you might buy some fresh fruit, cheese, maybe even a bottle of wine).

You then come back with the shopping (some frozen food, a pack of beers, and some sweets), and I’m disappointed and I say “why did you get that? I don’t like it”.

You then say “but you told me you don’t mind what I bought for you”.

I then say “but I wasn’t expecting THAT”!

It’s not the best analogy but I’m sure you get the idea! You can’t assume anything.

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If they don’t provide more info/the necessary info you could create the character descriptions etc. yourself and check with the buyer that they are basically okay before you create the full 10,000 word story.

I think having unlimited revisions could end up being much more work, especially on the 10,000 word package. I’d reduce the amount of revisions offered in each package.

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