There are different ways how to handle co-authoring:
- An author takes another author’s finished (but unpublished) work, edits and remodels it, and publishes it.
- Both authors brainstorm an idea and plot, and one author writes the first draft. The second author will then edit and rewrite to publish the book.
- Both authors write simultaneously or in instalments / chapters until they finish, edit and publish the book together.
Mike Wells has tried both the first as well as the second method (with me). As for the third method, it works well too. There are quite a lot of books coauthored by a husband-and-wife duo or authors who are friends. Sometimes the team publishes under a common pseudonym, as is the case with Grant Naylor, Lewis Padgett and Judith Michael. Other coauthored books display the renowned author’s name prominently and show the coauthor’s name in smaller font. Usually the royalty is split or there are some other (financial) benefits for the co-author.
Here are some other examples of authors who ‘hire’ co-authors (some of them really famous):
- Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston
- James Patterson
- Bella Andre
- Tom Clancy
- Wilbur Smith
- Nicci Gerard & Sean French
- Janet Evanovich
- Clive Cussler
The Fun: Advantages & Tips
- One of the team might have specific experiences or special knowledge the other author doesn’t have.
- It’s a great opportunity for those who don’t have enough time, because you’re sharing the workload.
- You can learn a lot in the process, maybe even rediscover yourself or venture into other genres.
Here’s Mike Wells’ take on why and how authors can benefit from coauthored books: “One of the main reasons I am doing it is to amplify my range and output—the more titles you have out there, the more books you sell and the larger your reader base grows. The risk, of course, is that you produce books of lower quality due to various factors, such as the “too many cooks spoil the broth” problem. However, I think by carefully agreeing up front exactly how the book will go, who will do what, etc., you can avoid this problem and actually have a synergistic result, a book that is better than either author might produce on his/her own for the reasons Devika stated above.”
The Challenge: What to Keep in Mind
There are various famous examples of coauthored books, and there’s a lot of advice to be found on the internet. Personally, I am excited about the outcome of my stint with coauthoring. “Forbidden”, the romantic thriller series I coauthored with Mike Wells, is available for download here: http://www.devikafernando.com/forbidden.html
Book 1 is free | Book 4 is available for pre-order now (releasing June 30th) and will be serially published on my blog from next week on.