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