I love books! I read several every month. Ever since I was a child I had an affinity for them. Publishing a book has been my dream for several years. When I was presented with the opportunity to co author a book I thought it was the perfect way to learn about the book writing process before publishing one of my own.
It wasn’t until the week the book launched that things started to go wrong. I hadn’t seen or approved of any copy of the book but I promoted it anyways. Really I hadn’t seen anything except for the copy of my chapter that I submitted originally. Two days after the book launched the copy of the book I ordered arrived while I was away at a conference. As soon I returned home I excitedly opened the package that contained “my book”.
When I opened the book and started reading I saw several grammatical errors on the pages I read. These were things that should have been fixed by a professional editor. I don’t deny that in my original copy there were a few grammatical errors but those could have been caught easily by an editor. However while comparing what I submitted to what was in the book I realized some of the edits made to my chapter actually made more grammatical errors. They hadn’t fixed some of the ones that were present in my original submission.
As a professional I hold my work to a certain standard. I don’t aim for perfection but aim to provide a certain quality. Personally I feel a published book should have little to no grammatical errors in it. This book had not met that standard and I started to ask myself where everything went wrong. What could I have done differently?
I realized I had to make some major decisions regarding the book and how I would utilize this experience. I decided I would use it as a learning lesson. By sharing the lessons I learned with others I hope to help them avoid any of these problems in their future.
This is what i learned
1) ALWAYS have a signed, legal contract that CLEARLY STATES the terms of your agreement.
2) Make sure you are able to not only see but approve of the final draft before the book goes to print.
3) Do NOT promote something you have not seen.
4) Get to know your fellow co authors before committing.
5) If at any point in time in the process you get the feeling like this isn’t for you trust that.
Don’t let this dissuade you from co authoring a book. There are many amazing things that can come out of such an experience. Co authoring a book is a great way to split up the cost of self publishing. It will also provide a bit of diversity in your book. If you utilize these tips when co authoring a book you should be able to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunication.
Remember YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!
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