time, there were four writers, each struggling on their own to get their
stories out to the world. And it was tough. Each writer needed editing, good
covers, more knowledge, and had to market each work individually.
Dale met at the New England
a perfect venue for networking. Dale had some books out with small presses, and
Vlad had just self-published his first book. They discovered a like-mindedness,
and a dedication to quality work and professionalism that soared far above the
norm for self-publishers.
sharing information, and ventured to a nearby writer’s group, where they met
Ursula. She hadn’t published anything at that time, but her talent was
apparent, and her work improved by leaps and bounds. She carefully considered
feedback, and each draft was so much better that it didn’t take long before she
published her first story, and then another. Soon she had written her first
book, and was seeking information on how to publish.
writer’s group didn’t offer the help they needed as their work progressed. So
Vlad, Dale, and Ursula joined forces. Soon, they were collaborating on more and
more projects. Everyone had to step up their game, because their editing of
each other’s work was fierce, the kind of structured, forced story critiques
that might sting at first, but are necessary for growth. Sometimes the truth
hurts, but it is better to hear it from a friend who will help you improve the
material, than from a bad review by a disgruntled reader.
improving not just the writing, but the packaging and selling of books. They
shared a superb, affordable cover artist, started working bookselling
opportunities together, and improved everyone’s reach in the market. They communicated mostly via email, but got to know each
other over home cooked dinners.
owned a bookstore and was a long-time writer and editor. There was instant
chemistry, and Stacey joined the group, adding her prodigious editing skills
and industry knowledge. Of course, bribing her with gourmet chocolate might
have influenced her decision to join.
wonderful to the mix, adding skills and abilities that made the whole better
than the sum of its parts. Since we’re a co-ed team, we can scan both male and
female characters for believability, which is a huge boon to rounding out rough
edges. Each person reads with a
different eye, and picks up something that would have been missed otherwise. So
far, there hasn’t been any clash of egos, because we realize we’re all rowing
this boat in the same direction. We want to succeed in getting quality work
published and sold to as wide an audience as possible.
four of us have broad reach in different states, different genres, and
different story lengths, which extends our collective reach. Every one has book
projects that now move along faster with help and support. We work four times
faster, and four times harder. We get the answers we need without slowing down.
know that when I send out a story to our group of four, I will get in return
valuable, high-quality feedback on content and storyline that will ultimately
make my writing better.”
informal. Each of us work and publish as separate entities, although we are
collaborating on our first collection of short stories (Insanity Tales, due in October 2014). Because we are sharing the
writing, we have contracts formalizing the business aspects such as copyright,
allocation of profits, and responsibility.
Finding like-minded writers in classes and workshops, and forging new
relationships can make the road easier for both new and established authors.
improves the quality of books. As Vlad says, “collaborating
can be the solution to keeping your Indie fire stoked and white-hot.”
think of our collaboration partners as family, and in a good way.
this story have a happy ending? We sure hope so – and so far, the odds are
a further discussion on the benefits of collaboration, see the guest post on
the site of Joe Konrath, Giving Our Way to Success
by Dale T. Phillips and Vlad V.
(a collection of horror) and the editor of Wicked Seasons. Her novel Ordinary
Boy is due out in early 2015 from Dark Alley Press.
out Dale’s story
on his website:
www.daletphillips.com or the latest Zack Taylor mystery, A Shadow on the Wall.
All of Vlad’s ebooks are just 99 cents for a limited time! Buy The Button, Brachman’sUnderworld,
and Yorick at rock-bottom