Monday, July 18, 2016
When two or more writers are responsible for writing the content of a book (or other literary form). In most cases both/all of their names appear on the cover and title page. In a co-authoring situation, the authors will split the advance and royalties equally or percentage wise—if the contributions are not equal. Co-authoring can be most successful if each author has different strengths and they compliment each other. If they share the same strengths, conflict can be the result as they vie to do the same aspects of the project. It is important each author respects the abilities of the other(s), and allow them to bring their strengths to the project. It is essential to have a contract between the co-authors before work is started on the book. That contract should indicate who is writing what parts of the book, the order of the names on the cover, the advance/royalty split, who gets the final word when there is a disagreement, who contacts the publisher, plus any other issues unique to the book project that have the possibility of becoming a bone of contention. When determining who gets the final word, one person can have the final word on the content (Do we add another chapter?), while another has the final word on the writing (Does this word convey the right meaning?). Do not assume if your co-author is a relative, spouse, or best friend, the contract is not necessary. Any time there is money at stake, there is the possibility of conflict. For help in making co-authoring successful, go to: http://www.rachellegardner.com/2012/10/co-authoring-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly.