Co-Authoring: A Successful Venture

Co-Authoring: A Successful Venture

By N. Bright


My writing critique group, WordsmithSix, hosted another get-together in our home town. We heard from Lubbock co-authors Barbara Brannon and Kay Ellington about their new series, The Paragraph Ranch.

The story began with a place, somewhere west of Abilene, Texas, where Kay lived as a child. With the place alive in Kay’s brain, the vibrant personalities of the people soon fell into place. The working partnership with Barbara Brannon began as a writer and editor. Before long, it became evident that together they brought different strengths to the project. One was good at plot and imagery, the other brought structure to the events that made up their story. Their goal was to create a series that would be literary as well as marketable writing. Here’s a few of their tidbits of advice on co-authoring and book promotion:

Story Craft

  1. Work to create a title and cover that successfully conveys the concept of your story. This will form the brand for your social media pages.
  2. Whether the location of your story is real or imagined, have a clear concept of the time and that place.
  3. Your story is all about what your character desires: who wants something badly (protag) and who is in opposition to them achieving that goal (antag).
  4. Reading is so very important for writers. Reading will elevate your own language and writing.

Business of Publishing

  1. There are many, many small independent publishers who can edit and curate your novels. They don’t offer advances, but they may offer a higher royalty than through traditional publishing.
  2. In today’s publishing environment, print and eBooks work cohesively together.
  3. Print books can generate the buzz for your eBooks.
  4. Consider all kinds of events, not just bookstore signings. Look for book fairs, grand openings, and other community events that reflect a theme that matches and enhances the promotion of your novel.
  5. Get those reviews on Amazon to generate the algotithms that will take your book to the next level.
  6. Facebook is a 70% penetration in every market.
  7. When posting on Facebook or tweeting, only 1 of every 4 posts should be about your book. Promote other authors, or post about things of interest to your target market readers.
  8. Consider every form of social media. The back of their business card lists eight different social media outlets—great idea!
  9. On Twitter, since their book is set in Texas, they follow every independent bookstore in Texas and every public library in Texas. Utilize twitter as a professional networking tool.
  10. Have a specific theme or goal in mind for your blog. For their blog, The Working Writer, they want to be known as West Texas writer central; a resource blog for every event related to writing where writers can come to find out information.

Thanks again, Kay and Barbara for your advice and conversation!

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