Writing is generally a solitary process, and many writers cringe at the idea of co-writing a book with another author, because they don’t want to share their ideas, creativity and workload with someone else. However, one of the benefits of co-writing a book is exactly that – double creativity, a lot more ideas, brainstorming, and dividing the workload during the whole process. Co-authoring is, primarily, a business partnership, and if you are ready for it, here are steps to help you successfully co-author a book.
Step 1: Choose the right Co-Author
Before you approach another writer with your ideas, you need to research their books and their interests. This is easier if you already know the writer; however, they don’t have to be your best friends. You need to be sure that you want to work with them, and that you are ready to compromise with them in the process. Also, if a writer approaches you with a proposition, make sure you know enough about their work, their ideas and their writing style as well before you accept. You will be working together a lot, and you need to be certain that you’ve chosen the right person to partner with.
Step 2: Sign a contract
Make sure you put all the technical details about the project in writing. Who will apply for the ISBN and who will hold the copyright? How will the royalties be divided? What happens if one of you dies, or wants out of the partnership? Whose name will be first on the cover? These details might not seem important at the beginning, after all, you have yet to write the book, but this helps avoid problems in the future.
Step 3: Organize the writing process
This is very important, especially if you are writing fiction. You cannot simply divide the book in half and write it, just like that. When you’re done, the writing wouldn’t flow and the story will suffer. So, divide the work between you, structure the plot, chapter by chapter, scene by scene if needed, to avoid inconsistencies and to ensure the story flows better. Also, decide which parts of the book would be easier for you and for your partner respectively. This way, you will be both avoiding working on things you don’t want to, which will provide better results.
Step 4: Write and communicate
As each of you write your respective parts of the book, make sure what one of you writes, the other one immediately polishes and edits it. During this period, you need to communicate with your partner, and be honest about their work. Remember, both your names will be on the cover. So, be ready to cut some of their work, and be prepared for them to do the same to you. Be patient, and respectful towards each other, and communicate every step of the way.
Step 5: Determine your marketing strategy
After you’ve published your book, you need to advertise it. And the best thing about it, you don’t have to do it alone. You’re nervous about speaking in public? Don’t worry; your partner could cover that part, while you do administrative tasks. Divide your workload between you and your partner by playing on each other strengths and weaknesses.
Co-writing a book can be a difficult process, but it’s also very rewarding. You get to share the highs and lows of the publishing process, which will bring you and your partner closer, and it will open a world of possibilities for other collaborations in the future.
Image credit: Zach Taylor on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic.
As a 22-year-old art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.