posted on August 27, 2019 by Amalie Howard & Angie Morgan

A&A GUIDE TO CO-AUTHORING LIKE A BOSS

How to Partner Up…

Choosing a co-author is like choosing a life partner, so when considering who to write books with, ask yourself:

  • Do I like this person’s writing style? Does this person like my writing style?
  • Do I get along with this person enough to want to talk/chat/text to them every day?
  • Would I be comfortable editing their work?
  • Do our styles and work ethics mesh?
  • Is this person someone I am comfortable with representing me?

Before You Start Writing…

It’s essential to agree on the nitty gritty details first, like:

  • How you’re going to communicate.
  • Anything having to do with money.
  • What happens if one of you decides they don’t want to co-write any longer.
  • How you’re going to edit each other and revise the work.
  • Who writes what? Decide if you’re going to each write one character, or if you’re both going to write both characters.
  • Do a legal Collaboration Agreement.

Get on the Same Page…and Outline First…

OK, you pantser writers out there, BREATHE. Whether you like outlining or not, it’s the ONLY way (in our experience) to write a book quickly and with very little conflict. Why outline?

  • You both know where the story is going.
  • Character development, motivation, and conflicts are clear.
  • Plot holes can be easily fixed.
  • Disagree about something? It’s much easier to change it during outlining than when half of the book has already been written.
  • The actual writing of the book happens MUCH faster.
  • Use Google Docs! Word and track changes also work, but it’s far more cumbersome.
  • Take turns writing in the outline. Start with Chapter One, and leap scene by scene, chapter by chapter, all the way to the final scene.
  • Use track changes (or an alternate method of different text colors) for editing.

The Actual Writing of the Thing…

You’re committed now. You’re in. And you’re so ready to do this.

  • Give yourselves a deadline! Work with a goal in place.
  • Use a “one day on, one day off” writing schedule. Or whatever works for you!
  • Decide together if you want to lightly edit the previous scene/chapter before you start writing, or if you want to wait until the whole draft is done. But always read what they just wrote!
  • When you want to deviate from the outline, ask your co-author first!
  • Sometimes, life gets in the way. Make allowances or schedule your time wisely.

Road Blocks and How to Survive Them…

Conflict is going to happen. Avoid damaging your writing partnership, and instead continue to strengthen it!

  • Be straightforward and upfront. Constructive criticism is always the way to go.
  • Embrace the mantra: MY WORDS ARE NOT PERFECT. And trust your partner enough to edit your words and make them better.
  • For big issues, get on the phone and talk.
  • Take a breather if you need it.
  • Your work partner can’t magically read your mind – so be vocal while being respectful.

More Nitty Gritty: How to Sell It…

Congratulations! Your manuscript is done and ready for the world! What do you do now?

  • Unagented? Consider looking for one that will represent you both for your co-authored projects. If you want to approach editors without an agent, follow the submissions guidelines for unagented manuscripts.
  • Does one of you have an agent? It’s possible the agent would represent the entire deal, including both authors. Just ask!
  • Both represented by agents? Contact them and ask what their process usually is. Introduce them via email and then let them get to work!

Best Part About Co-Authoring?

  • You’re in this together! You always have someone by your side. You can celebrate together, cry together (especially when dealing with rejections or reviews), and laugh together.
  • Blog posts, social media parties, and promotional activities are more fun!
  • You get to do events together!
  • We always have each other to bring the other person up. This is a tough business. Writing with someone who has your back is pretty awesome.

_______________________________________________________

 

Highlander Ronan Maclaren must marry, but he’s in no particular hurry. He’s perfectly happy as the laird of his clan, running the Maclaren Whisky Distillery, and besides, he just hasn’t found the right woman.

Lady Imogen Kincaid has cleverly avoided wedlock for years. Men, she has learned from painful experience, are not to be trusted. Determined to remain independent, she takes an indecent amount of pleasure in making herself as unattractive to potential suitors as possible.

When desperate measures are taken by their parents and a betrothal contract is signed, it’s loathing at first sight. They each vow to make the other cry off—by any means necessary. But what starts out as a battle of wits…quickly dissolves into a battle of wills.

Each book in the Tartans & Titans series is STANDALONE:
*Sweet Home Highlander
*A Lord for the Lass
* What a Scot Wants

Amalie Howard

Amalie Howard

Amalie Howard grew up in Trinidad & Tobago where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees, and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks, and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn't entirely convinced which takes more guts. An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie's poem "The Candle," written at age twelve, was published by the University of Warwick press. At fifteen, she was a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed dual Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for her research contribution to Raffael Scheck's article, "German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic," and his subsequent book, Mothers of the Nation. She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge (A-levels) as well as a postgraduate certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, account executive, and global channel sales director for a Fortune 500 company. She is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, SLJ, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid's INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national silver IPPY medalist and a silver Moonbeam award winner. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.

https://amaliehoward.com/

Angie Morgan

Angie Morgan

Angie is the author of several young adult and middle grade books, including The Beautiful and the Cursed, The Lovely and the Lost, and The Wondrous and the Wicked (written under the name Page Morgan) and Everlasting and The Eternal Sea, and two Suzanna Snow Mystery novels (written under her real name, Angie Frazier). Critically acclaimed by Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, and The Bulletin, Angie's novels have been an IndieNext selection, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Book Club Read, and a #1 Amazon bestseller. A lover of history and romance, and with a number of bookshelves stuffed with paperback romance novels by her favorite historical romance authors --- Sarah MacLean, Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Hoyt, Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas, Sabrina Jeffries, and so many more --- Angie has finally taken the leap into adult romance. My Rogue, My Ruin is the first of three books in her new Lords of Essex series, co-written with her good friend and fellow author, Amalie Howard. Angie lives in New Hampshire with her husband, their three daughters, and a menagerie of pets. When she isn't writing, she's either reading, training for a half marathon, cooking, shuttling her children to school, dance, and gymnastics, or --- if she's lucky --- sleeping.

https://entangledpublishing.com/author/angie-morgan

One thought on “A&A GUIDE TO CO-AUTHORING LIKE A BOSS”

  1. Thanks for the article!
    Lizzi Tremayne

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