Thursday, January 10, 2019

Writing a Book with 10 Other Authors

Load the confetti canons - I have a new release this week!

HAPPY NEW YOU is out in the world and readers are LOVING it. If you like a smart rom com, I daresay you'll like it, too. I'll post the blurb at the end, but first let's talk about the fact that this book was written by 11 authors.

Yep. You read that right. 11 authors. 1 book. It's not an anthology, but one cohesive story, told in alternating POVs between the hero and the heroine.

"Um...how the heck did you do that?" you ask?

The honest answer? Via Facebook and Google Docs. The 11 of us "met" in Alessandra Torre's Inker's Facebook Group (which is an amazing author info group if you're not already part of it). Cassie-Ann L. Miller posted something along the lines of, "Hey, would anyone be interested in doing a collaboration to release around the New Year about New Year's Resolutions?" I've always wanted to do a collaboration so I jumped at the opportunity, as did the other nine authors. We had a long discussion thread going for awhile before taking it to our own private FB group.

Where we then moved pretty quickly. Working from the Romancing the Beat" outline, we had 2 planning calls (I'm still envious that Marika Ray could take her call on the beach!) and then we got down to it. Everyone volunteered for parts of the story they felt drawn to, with the aim that each author would write about 6K total. Some of us wrote a little more, some a little less, but I think it ended up pretty even. Each of us would post in the private FB group when our chapters were live, indicating they were ready for comment and critique - and the next person could start writing.

It meant that we essentially had 11 developmental editors per chapter, although it was up to the author of that chapter what to accept and/or reject. We had an early December deadline for the first draft to be done and then the real work began - cleaning up all of our chapters so we had a story to send to the copyeditor a week later. 

If I had to point to a difficult part for me, this was probably it. It's hard enough to go back and correct the inconsistencies in my manuscripts when I'VE written them, but remembering what someone else has written meant A LOT of back and forth for all of us. But, silver lining, there were 10 other authors there to say, "Hey, didn't we say the hero had blue eyes? You've made them brown here." As co-author Marika Ray said, "Having a handful of beta readers is one thing. Having 10 authors in your genre collaborate with you throughout the entire process of writing a book is amazing!" 

Fast forward to release day. I confess, I approach my release days with trepidation. Kind of like watching a movie with your hands over your eyes because you're not sure how it's going to go. But for yesterday's release, I was so excited! Our private Facebook page was buzzing all day and we had a group party in The Do Not Disturb Facebook group to top it all off.

Now we're coming down off the high that always comes with the final push in getting a book fit for publication, getting stuck into Facebook and Bookbub ads and going back to focusing on our solo books. It feels...weird. But, as Cassie-Ann said when I asked her if she had a quotable quote I could use, "This was a crazy project and I'm so proud that we poured our all into it and saw it through to the end. And that's the moral of the story, too. In life and in love, pour your all into it and stick it through to the end."


3 comments:

Karissa Laurel said...

What a fascinating process and a great way to meet some new author friends. Congratulations on your new release!

Brenda St John Brown said...

Thanks Karissa. It was really fun and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

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