Many hands make light work.
Two heads are better than one.
Team work makes the dream work.
While I’m exactly not sure where or when any of these sayings originated, I do know that they all speak to the same basic truth, which is that most tasks are easier to accomplish if you have the help of another person.
This is why partnerships are so popular in business and in everyday life.
But as a self-published author who is used to going it alone and depending completely on your own efforts, perhaps the thought has never even crossed your mind that you too could benefit from using partnerships as part of your long-term success strategy.
If you do some quick investigation you’ll realize that self-publishing partnerships are actually already “a thing” and becoming more popular because of the many benefits it delivers for co-authors involved in a project.
But why would YOU want to do it?
Here are just a few of the ways that partnering up with another self-publisher can boost to both your writing careers.
Delivering More Value to Your Readers
One of the most important benefits that comes with co-authoring is the ability to provide your readership with even more value that you could on your own.
Information that is provided by two or more sources typical results in more interesting content. This is directly attributed to the combination of different and very individual perspectives regarding a singular subject matter.
By combining your strengths, skills and knowledge into one cohesive and well-developed package, your audience receives twice the benefit and enjoys a more complete and fulfilling reading experience with your fiction or non-fiction offerings.
Sharing Research and Writing Responsibilities
Taking on the task of researching and writing an entire manuscript by yourself is a daunting prospect for even the most experienced author.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed and flustered with the demands of completing a manuscript solo, co-authoring a book helps to ease the pressure by allowing you to share the workload with someone else.
By splitting up writing and researching responsibilities, you can approach developing your contribution to the finished project in a more relaxed and focused way.
Moving from Idea to Finished Manuscript in Less Time
Two people working on one project usually means completing that project in less time than going it alone.
One of the keys to successful self-publishing is being able to create compelling content quickly and on a regular basis.
As an author, working exclusively on your own significantly slows down the potential progress you can make towards completing new manuscripts in a timely manner.
On the other hand, working with a partner helps to give more momentum to your projects because of the task sharing aspect.
Helping Each Other Become Better Writers
An excellent benefit of working with another author on a writing project relates to the firsthand feedback they are able to give you as you write a book together.
Being able to bounce ideas back and forth works to sharpen both authors writing skills and helps them to push boundaries with creativity and logic.
Having someone with a different perspective constantly giving constructive feedback has a way of improving our abilities.
Broader Promotional Scope for the Finished Project
The benefits of co-authorship don’t end once a manuscript is complete.
In fact, that’s where a large portion of the benefits kick in, in the form of marketing and promotion.
When you self-publish a book alone the responsibility of promoting that book in order to gain widespread exposure falls squarely on your shoulders.
On the other hand, by partnering with another author, you can leverage both of your marketing and promotional efforts and potentially see twice the results you could ever achieve on your own.
Between marketing on each other’s blogs and social networks as well as through individual contacts, the chances of gaining more exposure through multiple marketing channels grows exponentially.
Combining Resources for Book Production and Marketing
Sometimes the major benefits of a partnership boil down to basics like having access to the money and resources necessary to get things done.
It’s no different when it comes to co-authoring.
By going “Dutch” on many of the expenses associated with creating and promoting your book, the chances of delivering the best offer possible increase.
Having Accountability and Moral Support
An often overlooked but vital benefit of co-authoring a book has to do with accountability.
How many great book ideas never got published simply because its writer never had the follow through?
The world will never know, but I can guarantee…it’s plenty.
Having someone write a book with you is like having a gym buddy that you know will be disappointed if you don’t show up or if you start slacking off on your workouts.
Knowing that someone is depending on you to hold up your end of a bargain is often all a writer needs to ensure that they finish a manuscript on schedule.
Moral support from someone who knows exactly what you’re going through is another invaluable tool when it comes to writing a great book.
Co-authors can be there for each other and offer words of encouragement whenever they hit a wall or aren’t sure which direction to go in next with their book.
Successful partnerships are all about teamwork and leverage.
These types of collaborations work best when each of the partners brings a different but equally important skill or talent to the table for the mutual benefit of the partnership.
When you apply this simple concept to the task of creating new self-published books, what you essentially have is the ability to create offers that are twice as compelling in a fraction of the time it would likely take you to do it on your own.
So, what’s not to like?
The Potential Pitfalls of Co-Authoring
Well actually, there are a few things that could go awry.
With all the positives that come with co-authoring books, you have to be aware of the potential challenges.
Not being on the same page as your partner about writing style and manuscript development.
While this can be a big problem, you can usually avoid it by working with authors in a similar niche as yourself, who also have a complimentary approach to writing and content development.
Hoping that your partner is on time with their portion of the work towards completing the project.
Sticking to a tight schedule while one partner forges ahead and the other lags behind can become an issue.
However, if you sit down at the beginning of a project and come up with a timeline to completion that you both agree on, it becomes much easier to keep up with and manage expectations.
Becoming overly critical of your partner’s input in the project.
Tempers will flare and egos can be bruised if one or both book writing partners moves away from a mindset of collaboration to one of competition.
It’s important to always remember that you are both working together to create one single exceptional piece of work, so there’s no need to become overly critical or nitpick about each other’s contributions.
Offering manuscript-enhancing suggestions is very beneficial for both authors. However, becoming overbearing or overzealous with unconstructive criticism is always going to be disastrous for the outcome of the project.
A successful partnership, and ultimately the success of your co-authored book, hinges on setting expectations and having excellent communication throughout the creative and promotional process towards launching your new book.
For your greatest chance of success it’s important to never assume anything, clarify and document everything and always maintain open and honest dialogue throughout the duration of your partnership.
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