Friday, November 18, 2016

6 Essentials for Co-authoring a Book

Tonight, I launch my third book!
Over the past couple months, I've written about a collaborative project--what I've learned from co-writing a novel with author, Christine Steendam. I'm very pleased to say we finished The High-Maintenance Ladies of the Zombie Apocalypse. Think The Walking Dead meets Sex and the City. We had it published and ready to go by our goal--Central Canada Comic Con weekend. We did some pre-launch sales at the con, so there are a few people out there who already have the book in their hands. But, tonight is the official launch. I can now look back on this completed project and tell you what I've learned.

Essentials for co-authoring a book:

  1. Communication. The ability to convey ideas, especially during the outlining process is essential. No one can read minds, so if communication is poor there are bound to be upsets.
  2. Flexibility. As with any novel, sometimes the story can go in a direction you did not anticipate, and this is compounded by more than one creative brain on the project. You must be able to roll with changes and adapt. 
  3. Openness. This runs alongside communication. If you're afraid to be open about how you feel about story ideas, especially talking to your partner about an area of the book that needs to change, this would be a tough process. You must be open to sharing your thoughts and hearing your partner's thoughts in return.
  4. Drive. We had a goal and were both driven to meet that goal. Because our drive to finish the book matched, we were able to work well together. Had one of us been more driven than the other, it might have caused problems.
  5. Trust. I trusted that when I sent a piece off to my partner, she was working on her piece without prompting from me. I trusted my partner completely, which minimized stress.
  6. A good editor. With two different people writing, we found there were multiple continuity errors. Thank goodness for editors! He caught those errors and brought them to our attention, while at the same time allowing us each our voices.
Now, on to collaborative marketing, but that's a blog post for another day.

Melinda Friesen writes novels for teens, but her alter-ego, Melinda Marshall, writes zombie fiction for grown-ups who still like to have fun.


  1. I'm always curious about author duos, and how the process works between them. And such cool promo pics!! Way to rock that marketing angle, ladies! =D

  2. Was a great launch and I sure had fun reading the book. A page-turner with sass.


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