Being a part of a co-authored anthology of stories and wisdom from several writers can be great fun and good business practice.
But a word of warning, it could end up being a nothing project for you where once published, you do not feel like a published author. It happens when the authors leave the marketing to the lead author and do not invest in using the book to build their brand.
First, what do we mean by co-authored and anthology?…
What is a Co-Authored Book?
A co-authored book is a book that is typically written by multiple authors. In the world of fiction, it is more common for two or more authors to collaborate. One of my creative writing teachers went down this route, and I think they had great fun.
In the world of non-fiction, a multi-author book is also called a co-authored book. For example, I worked with a group of women to publish Rebirth – The Phoenix Rising.
What is an Anthology Book?
An anthology is a collection of works that could be fictional stories, non-fiction or perhaps poetry by many authors. So not dissimilar. An anthology is organised around a theme. This could be self-love, for example.
What about Jack Canfield and his Chicken Soup series?
This kind of book project is typically run and published by experienced book coaches or people with a great team around them.
In the last project, I was the lead author and wrote a chapter for the anthology. I’m also the writing and book coach. There was an editor and proofreader for last eyes, a cover designer, an interior designer, marketing support, and not forgetting my invaluable VA.
In a previous project, I was the lead and did not write as the book was for a women’s group, and all of the directors wrote a chapter.
How Do You Become A Co-Author Of An Anthology?
This is usually by invitation, or you discover a great book project you want to be a part of.
Typically there is a fee. But, in return, the writers reap the benefits of my many year’s experience, and they get to create an impact with their book if they take action.
Yes, some people do offer this for free. However, I have written many chapters for books where there hasn’t been a charge, and honestly, once I’d written and submitted my chapter, my interest disappeared.
What Are The Rules?
What I mean by rules is, what does the project lead expect from you?
I would expect the authors to write two chapters totalling no more than 5000 words. However, I will have trained and coached them through this. There is a deadline, and if that is missed, which it shouldn’t, they could end up with their chapters left out…
I also expect them to attend training and get it done sessions. Although I do provide a training course should they miss anything.
They need to actively participate in the group and support the other authors, with no cross-selling or offering to heal other people either.
And of course, they need to be an active member of the marketing team for the 3 weeks of launch and whenever it is marketed later.
I invest in marketing during the project’s lifetime, so the profits remain with me. Authors are encouraged to buy books and market them under their brand.
A comprehensive contract, a list of guidelines, and a project plan are provided.
The project lead bears the costs of producing the book, including editing, cover design, layout, proofing, publishing, printing, marketing, and distribution… and retains the right to reject any author’s submission or participation in the project.
Why Would Anyone Want to be in an Anthology?
That is a great question. You would think that people would want to publish their own book. And this may be true, but there are many reasons why this route is attractive.
Someone Else Does The Heavy Lifting
This is a no-brainer. The author writes and edits their chapter and learns how to do the rest of the book stuff by watching someone else do it.
Writing Your Own Book Can Be Hard
Actually, there is no can be; it is hard. Not all of it. Many people find that once they get a good outline, writing is easy. It’s the rest of the stuff that may present challenges to someone’s motivation.
It’s Less Effort
All you have to do is write your chapters. Then, you can concentrate on writing your brilliant story and wisdom piece while doing what you do best – running your business.
You Are Supported
You are in a team, and that team is not in competition with you – rather, they are rooting for your success.
A Book Is Your Business Card
You must have heard this a million times. Saying I am the author of Rebirth or whatever your book carries a lot of weight. So many people want to write a book and don’t.
You Can Say I Am On Amazon
Or you could say find me on Amazon. This is a fantastic feeling. You would set up your author account, add your book and voila!
It’s A Canny Marketing Move
With a team of people tagging you in their marketing, you’ll be getting lots of visibility. It also allows you to tell your story and lead people to your products and services. In addition, you will get seen in the other author’s networks from which you can reap other benefits.
You Can Create Other Things From It
I see a book as a stepping stone to creating other products and services. For example, you could create blogs, an e-book or even a mini-course from your chapter. It may also lead you to write your own book or design an online course. And, of course, this becomes your signature talk.
Things To Think About
Make sure you are willing to be a team player. The project lead runs the show, and if you act up, chances are you will be asked to leave.
Read your contract. This goes without saying.
Check out the project lead. Are they experienced in supporting others to write and publish books? If not, do they have a great supporting team? What’s on their website?
Watch out for best seller offers. Yes, I say that I will work with my authors to attain this, but I cannot promise it. So beware of anyone who says that they absolutely will…
Market the book. It is also your responsibility to market the book too. It’s all too easy to say I don’t want to and leave it to the rest of the team. That is not a good move.
Buy books and sell them yourself. This means that you can recoup some of your investment by selling them at events and off your website.
Only do it if it makes sense. That makes sense, right? It’s one thing to brag that you are a bestselling author and quite another to use the book to create something worthwhile from it.
What’s Next For You?
When you have done this once, I believe it’s time for you to write your own book. You might blog your book or create your own anthology from things you have already written. Or possibly, this is the right time to write your little book.
Join me in the creative space – who knows where it will take you?