Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Collaboration: Tips for Writing with Someone Else—Publishing as a Second Language, Part 4

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

The best way to avoid problems when initiating a collaborative partnership is to make sure both parties know from the very beginning what is expected of them now and in the future. And the best way to do that is to have everything in writing. Yes, a written contract can avoid a lot of misunderstanding and hard feelings between writing partners. If you have everything in writing with a signature from each party, then you have already agreed upon the way things should be handled both now and in the future. And if one party questions that, you just refer to the contract.

What should be included in a written agreement? Here are a few things to get you started.

1. Who will own the project? Will it be owned jointly? Whose name will be on the copyright? 

2. Who will handle what part of the project? If you have already figured out who will be responsible for what part of the project, this one should be easy.

3. How will the Authors be listed on the front of the book? Alphabetically is one way. If one of the authors is the primary writer, his or hers may be first. Just remember you are co-authors and there is no “as told to” or “with.”

4. Each author represents to the other that any material written or provided by him or her in connection with the work is not in any way a violation of a copyright or common law or right of privacy.

5. How will the royalties be handled? Will the publisher send a separate check to each of the co-authors?

6. If one of the authors orders book for an event, what happens to the proceeds? 

7. If either author voluntarily decides he or she cannot complete the book, the other may finish the book alone or with another co-author. 

8. Will a deceased co-author continue to appear on all credits and future volumes? How will future royalties be handled? 

9. What happens if prior to the completion of the work, either author shall voluntarily withdraw from the collaboration? 

10. If expenses are incurred of any kind in relation to the creating, marketing, entering contests, or publicizing of the work, how will they be handled? 

11. Each author agrees to keep the other fully apprised of all matters regarding the work. 

12. In the event a dispute arises between the authors and cannot be settled amicably between them, a third party unrelated to the authors, will be consulted to settle the dispute.

These are just a few things you should consider. You will think of others. When creating a written agreement, be safe and include everything that may come into question. You will be glad you did.


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.

No comments:

Post a Comment