A while back a Facebook friend sent me a private message and asked how I liked co-authoring, I raved about it, because ... well ... I love it.
Flash forward to last week, when the same girl message me and told me a horror story between her and her friend (aka the co-author). They have since ended their friendship and had a third party publish the book, because they couldn't even handle the money.
It's sad to hear about that.
So that's what is why I'm doing this.
Let me tell you a story first ...
Lindsay Paige (aka LP) came into my life a while back when I read her book Sweetness . I reviewed it and started to Tweet her (or stalk her, whichever). Her love and passion for hockey is what brought us closer, and during the lockout of 2012-2013 made us almost best friends.
When I made the step into becoming an author, LP is one of the first people I told. She read Melting Away the Ice she loved it. I'm not sure how much longer it was, but she sent me an email asking me to co-write with her. I said 'yes' right away.
When I calm down for all the excitement LP and I had a serious discussion about the book and the contract.
YES, we wrote out an actual binding contract. Not only did I want to cover myself, but LP too.
We worked out all the details and dived into writing.
LP doesn't like when I say this, but I'm going to say it .. LP is by far the greatest author I've had the privileged to read. Her talent amazes me daily.
We are about to embark our one year anniversary of publishing together. We have wrote The Penalty Kill Trilogy, and are about to finish a brand new series called Oh Captain, My Captain (more details to come).
So, let me give you some rules of co-authoring.
1. (AND THE MOST IMPORTANT) Respect.
|this is the wrong way|
When LP and I bang out our ideas, I have to remember that this is her baby too. I have to listen to everything she comes out with, and if I want to express my ideas, I do it with respect. I'm not going to smash them like a person holding a hammer. I listen, and we go from there. And she does the same for me.
2. It's not only you!
Like respect you need to remember that there are two people involve. I think of it as a relationship. I need to remember everything is a two-way street. Communication, trust, and kindness is key!
3. Be flexible.
If LP wants a particular scene or character in our story, I have to think about how I feel about it. I might not always agree, but I do counteroffer her sometimes. If she doesn't go for it, then I have to figure out how I can put it into my story line too.
LP makes our schedules. When we publish. When we send to editor, or betas. Whatever it is, I hand it over to her. There is a reason for that.....a MANAGER! Every good company (or partnership) has a good manager, and LP is the best.
Now, she doesn't ORDER ME! She simply tells me the schedule. If (for some reason) I can obey it, we readjust before we write anything into the calender.
5. Be Supportive and Remember Co-Authors have Lives
Sometimes, we have personal stuff to do. LP is still in college, and I need to remember that she has to study, and what-not. I'm married and take care of my handicap mother. I also work at a local domestic shelter and tutor underprivileged kids, and LP knows this.
There are times the characters hate me, and I can't write a single word. LP has those moments too. There are times when our personal lives get in the way, and we can't find the time to write.
Do I get all pissed off and yell at LP? No. Never. I don't because I know how it is.
6. Don't fight about money
LP and I keep it simple. Everything is 50/50. No ands, ifs, or buts. If we make it, we split it. If we have to spend it, we split it. It's always that way, and it will always be that way.
Money can make some people act strange and I didn't want that. Plus, 50/50 is easy to deal with.
7. If it doesn't feel right, STOP!
If at any time you think you've made a mistake .. STOP! Never have I ever regretted a single moment with LP. No one can even realized how much I've learned from this little girl! She has taught me more about myself, and being an author than anyone! EVER!
That's it .. That's my advice in a nutshell
But, I want to take this moment and say:
Thank you LP for taking a chance on me. Thank you for becoming my best friend. In my life I've had people cross my path, but you have taught me more in a year than my thirty *cough* something years on this Earth.
You mean more to me than anything! I love you forever!
|This is LP and my tattoos. I have the open and LP has the close.|
We are forever linked!