The Co-Author Effect

It’s probably no secret by now that when writing a book, the more eyes that look at your work the better. With each different person that reviews your work, you gain a different perspective. The end goal in any writing process is to have the most polished, “perfect” version of your work. One of the best ways to reach this end goal is to have many different people review your work before publication. Especially for self-published authors without a fancy editor, this is a really important step in the writing process.

I came across an article on Salon that provided another solution to the review/editing process- co-authoring. Yes, I know. You probably rolled your eyes or let out a large of sigh of stress just from the thought. Of course, just like anything else, there are many challenges to co-authoring a book. How do you agree to make decisions on style or content? How do you break up the work load? What if you prefer to work alone- how can you still do that if you have a co-author? What if you just want your book “your way”? Don’t we all?

Before we continue to freak out about the challenges, let’s take a step back for a moment and look at the benefits. Imagine how much easier writing and editing would be if you had someone there to take half the load. Imagine how many different ideas you would get from each other looking at the work on a regular basis- the amount of ideas you can bounce off one another. You can talk both your ideas out loud (even the most bogus ones), take some notes, then go your ways and write about it. If you find yourself in a major rut, your co-author will be there to dig you out. Maybe you aren’t versed with the knowledge to write a particular part of your story? Well, your co-author might be. Another set of eyes and another creative brain can only do great things for your writing and its success. When you can’t have an editor, a co-author is great tool- someone who is invested in the story/book just as much as you are.


A tricky component of having a co-author is to find someone to write with and co-authoring certainly isn’t for everyone. You need to find someone you trust, someone you can be honest with, and someone who understands your writing style and habits. If you find yourself struggling to edit your work and develop your ideas, I would give co-authoring a try. You may never want to do it again or it may result in some of your best writing. It never hurts to try something new. If nothing else, you will learn a few new things about yourself and the writing process along the way. Go ahead, write together, and write on.