RU co-founder Adrienne Giordano is back with us today to discuss the finer points of co-authoring a book. Welcome back Adrienne!
So you want to co-author a book?
Good morning, RU Crew. I’m thrilled to be back and chatting with you.
Having had the experience of co-authoring a book, I know it’s a big decision. When faced with big decisions, I will typically take time to explore all options, run possible scenarios and list pros and cons.
That’s what I typically do.
Then there are the times when my excitement gets the best of me and I—er—don’t do all the things I just mentioned. Yep. I just go for it. Which is exactly what I did when it came to co-authoring Stealing Justice with my pal Misty Evans.
First, let me say I don’t advise this jumping-in approach unless you know exactly who you are jumping in with. Had I not known Misty personally and understood that we had a similar writing style and liked the same types of stories, I would have analyzed this opportunity until my eyeballs fell out.
With Misty, our co-authoring project began as a free novella that we’d offer to our readers. As we started discussing the project, we decided to go ahead and write a book. Well, I may have said, “To hell with the novella, let’s just write a book.” Again, not something I would advise if you’re not familiar with the author you would be working with.
I have a slew of reasons why I wanted to co-author a project with Misty, the first being I simply like her and her books. But there are other things to consider when deciding whether or not to write a book with someone. The list is actually too lengthy for a blog post but I’ll give you some of my personal highlights.
This list is not meant to be a catch-all. As individuals, we all have different reasons we will or will not work with someone, but if you are thinking about entering into a partnership with someone, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Are you familiar enough with the person to know if you can work together?
Thankfully, I did know Misty well enough. We’d critiqued each other’s work and helped each other plot, so I was fairly confident that we would do well in a working relationship. The actual writing of the first draft happened in Google Docs. We would schedule times to write together and wrote “live” so we could immediately see how the story unfolded. Once we had the draft down, we moved everything to Microsoft Word and did our revisions by sending the file back and forth. In a lot of ways, I think Misty and I simply got lucky because our work habits are similar. For example, what if one person likes to write at night and the other likes to write in the early morning? Even if it doesn’t present a challenge, it’s probably something that’s good to know. Misty and I knew enough about each other to know our styles would mesh.
This might sound like an awkward thing, but Misty and I approach our writing careers as a business and we decided we wanted to have a written agreement. Our agreement outlines exactly what is expected of both of us and the financial split. Plus, we wanted something in place that outlined our partnership in case something should happen to one of us. I strongly recommend drawing up an author agreement if you decide to co-author a book with someone.
3. How will the money be split?
Misty and I decided to split everything. Whether it is royalties or paying for advertising or the printing of books, we each pay half. We agreed to that upfront. I think any author considering co-writing needs to ask their potential writing partner about handling the finances. If it’s discussed ahead of time, each party knows what to expect.
4. What are your expectations?
Since this was my first co-writing project, I had no expectations of what it would be like. I kept an open mind and found I loved the process. It helped that Misty and I are in similar places in our lives and careers. We both have teenaged sons who are busy and need rides to whatever commitments they have. We’re also both workhorses. I knew Misty was serious about her writing and had the same level of commitment I did. As exciting as the process was, co-writing a book is a lot of work. Both authors need to have an understanding of what the expectations are. One author may be thinking the book would get done in three months, while the other is thinking a year. It’s important to discuss work habits, schedules, etc. before jumping into a project.
Beyond the above mentioned items, entering into a partnership with someone is always a risk. Particularly if the author is a friend. For me, the co-authoring experience has been a terrific one, and I hope to be doing it for a very long time.
RU Crew, what are some questions you would ask when considering co-writing a book?
Join us tomorrow for Pat Haggerty’s final episode of WordPress Authoring.
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USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com . Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdrienneGiordanoAuthor , Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdriennGiordano  and Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/AdrienneGiordano . For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/dangerousdarlings .
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