I talk to people every day who love the idea of writing a book but find the challenge of it too overwhelming. Like any new task, it takes time to build up the skills to do it well. This is where shared work can help make the challenge a reality.
There are many good reasons to work with other authors to produce a book, regardless of the type of book you want to write. It could be a book of poetry, short stories or self-help techniques. So long as there’s a synergy to the content, it will work. If you run a business, you could work with another professional who has a complementary business. Examples of this might be a naturopath and a dietitian, or a make-up artist and a wedding celebrant.
Share the workload
Having two or more authors in a book means less actual writing. Sit down with your coauthors and define what you intend the book to be and divide the content accordingly. If you were to have two contributors to a book, you might set a target of 40,000 words for the whole book, which means around 20,000 words each. This is less daunting than the task of 40,000 words on your own in both time and mental capacity.
Each author can potentially be a reader and editor for the other contributors making the product much more professional before it gets to the assigned editor. One or more of the contributors may also have skills that help with the production of the book which will reduce time and money on the project.
Share the cost
If you’re self-publishing, this will be very beneficial to share the cost. Whether the publishing is a complete package, or you use service providers for parts that none of the contributors can do, the costs to edit, design, typeset, proofread and print the book can all be shared, not to mention promoting and launching the book.
Multiply the promotional power
For each contributor there will be a list of family and friends and well as business connections that will multiply the amount of people you have at your fingertips to promote to. Not only that but each contributor can be given tasks that add to a promotional campaign making the amount of work much less for each person. Ideally you can have a person assigned to social media promotion, another to print media, another to online media etc.
A word of warning
When you collaborate with anyone please be sure that you talk about the big picture for the project to make sure you all agree on where it’s going and put this down in writing so that everyone knows what to expect, what’s expected of them, what money they may need to outlay and what money will come back to them from book sales. I have seen many good friends end up in legal tangles because they didn’t have anything in writing, not to mention the end of the friendship.
Coauthoring is a great way to dip your toes into the publishing arena in a manageable way. if you’d like help planning your book, check out my Book Camp.