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Why Indie Authors Should Seek Further Collaboration Opportunities In 2018 (and A Call For Case Studies)

Why Indie Authors Should Seek Further Collaboration Opportunities in 2018 (and a Call for Case Studies)

photo of Kate, Lucienne, Debbie and Michael

Collaboration in action: Kate Frost, Lucienne Boyce, Debbie Young and Michael MacMahon, photographed by A A Abbott after their joint event at Bristol Literature Festival 2017

New entrants to the indie author community often remark on how friendly and supportive it is, valuing the camaraderie and sharing that goes on in networks such as our own Alliance of Independent Authors.

Since ALLi was founded by Orna Ross in 2012, we have shared best practice and moral support every day, and as time has gone by, this collaborative imperative has gained ever more momentum.

headshot of Ricardo Fayet

Reedsy co-founder Ricardo Fayet

Just a year ago, Reedsy co-founder and director Ricardo Fayet observed on our blog:

one of the defining aspects of this exciting new stage in indie publishing (2.0) is widespread collaboration

He went on to predict that three key means to collaboration would really take hold in 2017:

  • authors assembling a team of specialists around them that replicated the division of labour in a conventional publishing house (editor, designer, etc)
  • new forms of cross-promotion (e.g. Instafreebie)
  • the rise of specialist technology to help manage collaboration between team members (such as Slack and Trello)

One year on, I'd like to highlight the growing number of examples of other kinds of collaboration between authors, as all but the hardiest non-team-player would agree that we are each stronger when we work together to mutual advantage. In 2018, I predict that we'll see an increasing number of authors collaborating in the following ways, to work together to make their books more discoverable and more viable in our crowded and ever-changing market:

Photo of A A Abbott reading at an outside event

AA Abbott reads from her work at the Bristol Book Busk, organised for a large group of local indie authors by Ana Salote

  • task swapping to save money (“if you design my cover, I'll proofread your ms”)
  • cowriting (a great way for writers in the same genre or even in different genres to reach each other's established audience)
  • joint ventures (buying into shared resources or services for economy of scale)
  • joint events (banding together for launches to attract a greater audience)

But collaboration of this kind is not only about saving money, increasing efficiency or boosting profile. It can give you confidence (there's safety in numbers!) and can also make the whole process more enjoyable.

Working together with supportive kindred spirits will help keep you motivated and on track to achieve your 2018 writing goals.

Not sure who to collaborate with? A good starting point is to look to fellow ALLi members!

Not yet a member of ALLi? The start of the new year seems an auspicious time to join us for the ultimate in collaboration. Most members more than cover their membership fee via the savings made on the many members-only deals and discounts (e.g. free set-up and revisions on Ingram Spark). We're so confident that you'll agree that if you're not happy with your membership after joining, we'll refund your subscription in full, no questions asked.

Picture of Celia reading at their launch

ALLi authors Celia Boyd (reading) and Josephine Lay (seated) did a double-act to co-launch their two collections of short stories together before Christmas in their local independent bookshop, The Cheltenham Anthology

CASE STUDIES WANTED! If you have successfully collaborated with fellow indie authors – swapping tasks, co-writing, joint ventures, joint events – we'd love to share your story on this blog. Please contact Debbie Young, Commissioning Editor of this blog, if you'd like to volunteer.

(Please note: only ALLi members are eligible to submit guest posts – so there's another good reason to join ALLi in 2018!)




Indie #author collaboration: the way forward for #selfpub #writers in 2018, says @DebbieYoungBN Click To Tweet


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