Part of the fun of ghostwriting is seeing new and exciting places with your author as your personal tour guide. But traveling out of town to meet your author raises the sometimes prickly issue of how your traveling expenses will be paid for.
Be sure to settle this in advance — the last thing you want to do is get into a fight with your authors over the cost of airline tickets, meals, and hotel rooms, especially if you prefer First-Class and The Four Seasons and they’re expecting you to fly Economy and stay at Motel 6!
Option 1. Let your author book your travel
This gives you less control, but makes it easier for your author to do the accounting. You might get stuck on an inconvenient flight or in a bad hotel, so be sure to come to an agreement about the quality of your accommodations before any reservations are made.
Option 2. Build travel expenses into your fee or line-item a travel allowance
This gives you the greatest flexibility. Once you agree on a price, you can decide if you want to slum it and pocket the extra cash, or pay for your own upgrades without feeling guilty.
Option 3. Get reimbursed for your actual expenses.
Most clients will pay your expenses as soon as they get your receipts, but sometimes these can get lost in the shuffle. Be sure to save copies of everything, and agree in advance on the general type of flights, accommodations, and meals you’ll be billing for to avoid surprises. You’re on the hook for the payment, so try to book at the beginning of your credit card cycle.
My favorite way of handling travel expenses is to get a travel budget approved in advance, or Option 2 from the list above. That way, my author knows what he or she is paying, I don’t have to copy and submit receipts, and I can decide where I want to stay and how I want to get there.
[Photo by ATIS547]