Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Collaboration: Tips for Writing with Someone Else—Publishing as a Second Language, Part 1


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

One of the most fun and exciting ways to write a book is to find a like-minded writer and collaborate. Or is it?

At your first thought of co-authoring, you probably immediately make a list of your writing friends. After all, who wouldn’t like to spend hours writing a new book with your best writing buddy. 

Here are several things you may need to take into consideration.

1. Even if you are good friends, friendship is different from co-authorship. Enjoying each other’s company is one thing. But hours editing and picking your words apart is not a party. It is hard work. And sometimes you and your co-author may have different ideas about the importance of specific information or where it should be placed in the book. I’m not saying writing with your best friend can’t work, but you will want to make sure it’s a good fit before you get started on a book project.

2. Do you need an expert as a co-author to give your book credibility? You may have learned something you really wanted to share with others but an important part of your new knowledge is technical, clinical, or medical based. A co-author who is an expert in that field would be a great choice because it would being extra credibility to your words. That is a win-win situation because not only does it bring credibility to your writing, the expert will have a book he or she can share with others.

3. Make sure your personalities will work well together. If you and your co-author have spent a lot of time together, you probably know the positives and negatives of your co-author’s personality. If you are a check list person and your co-author prefers to ponder every word, make sure you both understand that your methods of writing are very different and vow not to get aggravated with the other person’s way of working.

I have had wonderful co-authors and the experience only brought us closer together. But I am sure that is because we knew what each of us would be responsible for before we ever started. We knew each other’s strengths and made plans to capitalize on those strengths. For example, one of us was very strong in organization so she was in charge of making sure the layout of the book made sense. The other had tremendous strength as an editor so much of her job was done once the words were already on paper.

4. Before you start your book, make sure you have everything in writing. Create a contract that covers any questions that may arise. We will talk more about contracts in a later post.

Are you thinking about co-authoring? Choose wisely and ask God to show you the best person to co-author your next book. 

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Linda Gilden has coauthored 11 books with 5 different coauthors and has #12 and #13 coming out in 2022, adding a new co-author to the list. She loves every one of her coauthors and enjoys collaborating on interesting projects with them. She also has written many books on her own and realizes what a treasure and blessing a good co-author is.

4 comments:

  1. Co-authoring is double the talent and double the fun. You would know!

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  2. Great advice, Linda. Most of my co-authoring experiences have been wonderful, but some have been more challenging than others. Thank you for sharing this important post.

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  3. You ladies are both so full of wisdom. It would be fun to write with either one of you!

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  4. Thanks Linda, great post. If I have an idea, how would I approach someone I'd like to work with but am not sure how excited they might be (or not be) about working with me? How do I get that conversation going?

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