Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Co-authoring and Writing for Anthologies? Read this first.

There may come a time in your authoring career when you are asked to collaborate on a piece of writing. Whether it be a whole book that you co-author or a short story for an anthology. If this happens to you, congratulations—someone thinks you can write well enough to contribute. That’s all well and good, but before you jump in and start scribbling, there are a few things that you ought to consider.

Do I know the author/s?

If you know them, that’s awesome, but you also need to know their style and what they write. If you’re co-authoring, then you need to make sure that you write in at least the same POV. If they write in 1st and you write in 3rd, well unless there’s going to be a mixture of the two then it may not work. Of course, you may find yourself stepping out of your comfort zone and finding that you’re really good at it, but is this the best time to try?

What genre does the author write in?

 I’m speaking from experience here. I write New Adult and Adult and my stories are always served with a side of smut—not going to lie because I’m proud of that and my work. So, you really need to consider this. If the anthology or person you’re partnering up with is a writer of clean YA or MG then you need to make sure that your characters keep their clothes on (y’all know what I mean). At the same time, the voices in these books are very different and they should be. You can’t write a MG book using the voice of a NA—it’s not going to work!  

How will the book be published?

As a self-publisher anything I publish now or in the future will be done so using my time and expertise. I don’t expect (or want) anyone to do it for me. I will admit to being a control freak. From the cover design to the final publication there are only a handful of people that I allow to change my content—you know, CP’s and my darling editor. So, if you, like me, like to maintain creative control you’re going to have to learn to hand over the reins on this occasion. I can’t offer much advice on the traditional aspect.  

Who is responsible for marketing?

There’s a pretty easy answer to this question—it should be every person that writes the content. Should. That doesn’t mean to say it will be, so before you jump in just grab some clear details on this so you’re not the only one putting in a lot of hours marketing.  

Have the other authors published before?

If you’re asked to contribute to an anthology, chances are that a lot of other authors will be writing too. Seek them out, sample their work if you can. Try not to run in blind because as much as it would be lovely—not everyone that wants to write can write. At least not at first, anyway.  


This is pretty important if you’re working on a timeframe, and even if it starts off at a relaxed pace, toward the end when edits are flying back and forth and release day is looming, you need to know that you can ask about or action any problem quickly. Personally this has never been a problem for me, but it could be for you. Maybe you could put your heads together and come up with a way to ensure that, in the final hours, problems can be resolved quickly and efficiently. There would be nothing worse than an urgent problem arising just as you’ve fallen asleep for your eight hours.  

And that’s pretty much it. I’m sure there are many more things to consider, but there’s a few. Most of all, just have fun. Writing with others can be a lot of fun, it was for me!


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