Writing a book can be a tough slog when you’re on your own. All the tasks fall on your shoulders, and some days you’ll hit a brick wall when you just don’t feel like writing anything at all.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a partner you could turn to for help with some of the work, a fresh perspective, an informed critique or even some words of inspiration to keep you going?
While a coach or an assistant would fit the bill, you might also consider collaborating with another expert. Teaming up with others to write or publish your book has quite a few benefits.
You can play off each other’s subject matter specialties
Let’s say you’re a financial planner who specializes in helping family-owned businesses and you’d like to write a book about how to integrate business planning with estate planning. You might team up with a tax specialist to contribute information about minimizing taxes when passing the company from one generation to the next, and a lawyer who can talk about legally structuring the company, the owner’s will and various other documents.
You can deliver more value to your customers
Now each one of you – the financial planner, the tax specialist and the lawyer – has a product that showcases your expertise, and the product is three times more comprehensive than what you could have achieved individually. You’ve created more value for your customers by delivering a wider range of material.
You can gain exposure to each other’s customers
Every time the tax specialist or the lawyers sells or gives away a copy of the book, you get your name in front of someone new and vice versa. Because your individual subject matter specialties complement each other, rather than compete directly, this exposure to each other’s customers benefits everyone. Each of you has essentially tripled your sales force and potential customer base.
You can pool your resources
If you’re self-publishing, splitting costs with a co-author can bring your investment down, making the project more manageable for you. Or maybe you both put in a little extra that allows you to upgrade some production values or print more copies. You might also draw on pooled resources to launch a bigger, better marketing campaign than you might be able to pull off on your own.
You can play off each other’s content creation strengths
Maybe writing is difficult and time consuming for you but your collaborator loves it. You could split the project tasks so that your partner does the writing and you take care of the production elements such as layout, design and printing. Both names go on the finished project. This type of task distribution works best if you are both experts in a similar subject matter so that one person can knowledgeably write for the both of you.
One caveat about the collaboration route: be sure to have clear legal agreements in place before you start. Have a frank and open discussion to set out the expectations of each partner, assign responsibility for specific tasks and decide how ownership and revenue will be shared.
Once you’ve got the structure in place, collaborate away!