If you’ve ever thought about co-authoring a book with someone else, here’s the nitty gritty on what you need to know…
Co-authoring has several benefits:
- Half the work—If properly structured, your co-author agreement should take half the amount of work of authoring the entire book yourself.
- Twice the sales force—Each author in a co-author agreement should equally market the book. This instantly doubles your sales force and doubles each author’s potential reach as you’re introduced to a new audience.
- Easier brainstorming—With twice the brain power, you have someone to bounce ideas off of and create a winning strategy with.
- Stronger writing—Having a co-author is also like having an extra editor as you each should read each other’s work and notice typos and areas that need improvement.
Co-authoring also has several things you should be aware of:
- Multiple personalities—More than one person means more than one personality. Make sure your personality styles are compatible before getting into a large book project.
- Commitment—Co-authoring a book is a commitment. Just like being married, you’re co-author agreement is a long-term commitment beyond just the writing of the book, through the ups, downs, and surprises of sales and marketing.
- Stress—Any time you work on a project with another person, stressful situations may arise. Set your goals and responsibilities for who does what in your first meeting and you’ll minimize the stress levels.
- Attachment—Or more properly, detachment… When working with a co-author, you may need to concede some of your ideas. Don’t get so attached to your own ideas that you’re unwilling to consider your co-author’s ideas.
For our cookbook featuring all the food we made during the Beachpreneurs Mastermind Retreat weekend we took in Florida in October 2013, Natalie Wheeler and I decided on the following responsibilities:
- Natalie—typed all initial recipes from notes from the trip and her own memory. Wrote her own introduction and several filler pieces. Took photos of food and the beach for possible use on the cover and interior. Reviewed the final manuscript before going to the e-book programmer and gave her approval. Entrusted all publishing details to Kristen.
- Kristen—filled out all missing descriptive text throughout all the recipes and wrote her own introduction. Finished recipe descriptions that were her own and edited the final manuscript for consistency. Took photos of food to include on the cover and interior. Pre-formatted the manuscript for the e-book programmer, designed the cover with a mix of photos taken by both co-authors and enhanced by Natalie, paid for the e-book formatting and published the e-book under her publishing company.
Our roles were clearly defined on who did what from the start, which made for a smooth-sailing project. We also worked out a royalty payment structure of 50/50 since we put equal amounts of work into the e-book. From now on I’m responsible for letting Natalie know how sales are doing and paying out royalty payments to her when my company runs their quarterly reports, and since my company fronted the bill for the e-book programming, we used my affiliate link for Natalie’s services inside the e-book so I may get credit later on for any sales she makes on her site from people clicking through from the e-book.
Click here to get your copy of this e-book today and a lot of amazing tasty recipes, including my personal raw chocolate macaroon recipe many of you have been asking about!
If you’re struggling with writing a book, I highly recommend you get started with something small like a co-author arrangement. It’s a great way to get the credibility being an author brings, share in the time and expense of writing and publishing, and creates a win-win-win between you, your co-author, and your audience who seek to learn from you.
Have you co-authored a book? What’s been your experience? Share in the comments below!