Writing Partnerships

Be Prepared

The Boys Scouts’ motto is “be prepared.” But I failed several times this year. What about you?

With the recent release of Ruth Ann Nordin’s and my anthology, Bride by Arrangement, published by Parchment and Plume, I realized I was not prepared.

(The anthology includes two novellas – Ruth’s The Purchased Bride and mine She Came by Train. The story is where two women meet on a train traveling from Virginia to Lincoln, Neb., in 1876. They live separate lives but keep in contact. The Purchased Bride is a mail-order bride story. Who is this quiet man Ada is to marry? Janet’s character, Opal, becomes a governess of a widower’s two children. Two men vie for her affections. She Came by Train will she return that way?)

But writing She Came by Train took many late nights and wee morning hours to finish. Because of this, I did not update my social-media sites before the anthology was released in e-book. I failed. My only salvation is all will be completed before the paperback Feb. 1 release.

Thus think ahead. If you have a book coming out, update your social-media profiles BEFORE your book is released. Doing so, acquaints people with you, your book and its cover, such as our anthology.



One good thing I learned from Ruth is to publish excerpts of your work-in-progress on your blog and post on social media. Readers become acquainted with your work, and it entices them to purchase the product once done. This is an excellent marketing tool.

Also, respond to blog comments. In this way, you show you value the commenter’s input. Remember online interactions build relationships as do  personal ones.

How else can you be prepared? Goals help. Some people do longterm goals, such as when a book will come out and more. I do a little of this but not as intense as others. I will sit down in January and incorporate realistic expectations in completing my Cameos and Carriages, a prequel novel to Lockets and Lanterns, which was released in 2012.

However, more valuable to me is my short-term list. What do I wish to accomplish this week? A weekly planner (another great Ruth tip) sits beside my computer.

The small calendar allows you to see a week at a glance. I jot down my daily entries in pencil. Using a pencil is a great idea since if the day goes haywire you can erase and move that entry to another day. My entires include when to submit stories, join or rejoin organizations, write blogs, post work-in-progress excerpts and re-examine certain e-mails to better digest their contents.

How do I know what e-mails to re-examine? I star them in my e-mail system. There are days, as everyone of you knows, where you do not have time to study a confusing or lengthy e-mail. By placing a star beside it, you can return to it on a date where you have more time. I do this also with Facebook birthdays. If I do not have time to wish a person a Happy Birthday, I can return to it a day later as long as it does not pass their birthdate.

Well, I think I have said enough. Remember to be prepared. However, also remind yourself that you will fail at this. You are human by the way. Have a great new year and may the Lord richly bless you in 2014.

Categories: Blogs & Websites, Book Covers, Book Promotion, General Writing, Marketing & Promoting, Social Networking, The Reader, The Writer & Author, Writing Partnerships | Tags: , , ,

Guidelines to Making a Writing Partnership Work

One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that with the right co-author, writing books can be easy and productive. For those looking to join forces with other writers, here are a few things I suggest you do to make your partnership a good experience.

1. Pick your partner. Pick a partner you are familiar with and work well with. Many people gravitate toward their critique partners or long-time writing friends.

2. Have a contract. Even if you are best friends, have a contract made out for each project you will be undertaking. The contract protects all the authors involved and allows you to outline all your writing tasks before hand.

3. Assign each author a task. By outlining the responsibilities and assigning a task to each author, no one is stuck doing everything. Strengths can be divided among both authors and weakness in one author can be taken by the other.

4. Figure out who gets last say. This one is important. There will be times when you and your co-author don’t agree on how something should go. It is best to decided ahead of time who will have the last say in the argument.

An example contract

Anyone have experiences with writing partnerships they would like to share?

Categories: Writing Partnerships | Tags: ,

A Sample Co-author Contact

Thought I’d post this for those looking to Co-Author a book with another author. I suggest that you always write up a contract. This is the co-authoring contract that I use whenever I join forces with another writer. Depending on your needs, it may need to be modified for you.

Co-author/ address:

Co-author/ address:

Co-author/ address:

We, (co-authors names), are entering into an agreement to write a full-length book in the (Specific) genre with the sub-genre being (sub-genre) to (Working title of the Book).

The following shall set forth our understanding with respect to our respective rights in (Working title of the Book) and the royalties and other considerations to which we may be entitled pursuant to said Agreement.

1. It is decided between the parties that the book will be referred to as (Working title of the Book), a working title that may at a later date be changed.

2. The copyright in (Working title of the Book) shall be secured and held in the name of (author) for the term of the copyright, and for any additional or new copyright which may hereafter be embodied in any copyright law throughout the world.

3. All moneys, advances, proceeds and other considerations which may become payable to us with respect to said Agreement and from the sale, lease, license or other disposition of any and all rights in and to (Working title of the Book) now existing or which may hereafter come into existence shall first be used to reimburse any outstanding expenses incurred by mutual agreement in writing and researching the book; remaining funds shall be apportioned between us as follows:

Percent to author:
Percent to author:

4. It is expressly understood that we hereunder do not intend to form nor shall this agreement be construed to constitute a permanent partnership between us. The terms of this Agreement shall be coextensive with the life of (Working title of the Book).

5. No mutual expenses, for which we are all responsible, shall be incurred without mutual agreement of both parties.

6. The authorship of (Working title of the Book) shall be: (name of author or co-author). We will instruct the publisher that these names are to appear on the jacket and title page of (Working title of the Book).

7. Each party hereto warrants and represents to the other that any material written or provided by her in connection with (Working title of the Book) is not in any way a violation of a copyright or common law or right of privacy and that it contains nothing of a libelous, obscene, or illegal character, and each party agrees to indemnify and hold the other party harmless against any loss or damage arising out of a breach of any of the foregoing warranties or the other incorrectness of any of the foregoing representations.

8. It is decided by both parties and agreed upon that the division of labor shall be thus:

9. In the event that one of us is unable or unwilling to continue or complete work on (Working title of the Book), the other may complete work on (Working title of the Book), without the assistance or advice of the co-author who is unable or unwilling to continue or complete work on (Working title of the Book). In that event, we agree to discuss modifying the relevant clauses of this agreement to reflect the new proportion of work we each will contribute, and, if we are unable to reach an agreement, to submit these negotiations to binding arbitration. We agree that we will not take any action that will harm (Working title of the Book).

10. We have employed and hereby designate (Agency) sole and exclusive agent in connection with this (Working title of the Book). All payments due or to become due to us in connection with the sale, lease, or license of this (Working title of the Book) shall be made to and in the name of the said agent who is hereby authorized to give receipt for same in our behalf. Said agent shall receive gross commissions on all licenses of fifteen percent (15%).

11. The terms and conditions of this agreement shall be binding and inure to the benefit of the executors, administrators and successors of each of us. Our respective signatures herein below shall constitute this to be a complete and binding agreement between us. This agreement may not be assigned by any party without prior written consent of the others, except that any party may assign his share of the gross proceeds hereunder to a third person, subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement.

Signed and agreed to:

Categories: Writing as a Business, Writing Partnerships | Tags:

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