There are steps you have to take when co-authoring that you wouldn’t typically think about if writing solo. Here are 10 tips about co-authoring your book:

What to Know About Co-Authoring a Book

There are steps you have to take when co-authoring that you wouldn’t typically think about if writing solo. Here are 10 tips about co-authoring your book:

There are steps you have to take when co-authoring that you wouldn’t typically think about if writing solo. Having a writing partner can be very beneficial when it comes to splitting the work and dividing tasks based on strengths and weaknesses. But there are also a handful of steps you should take when co-authoring a book that you wouldn’t typically have to think about if you wrote solo.

Here are 10 tips about co-authoring a book:

1. Pick someone with a similar writing style and work ethic as yours.

The best way to get your joint writing project off the ground is to choose a partner who writes in a similar tone and style as your writing style. Also, make sure that person has the same work ethic as you do. The quickest way to have a co-authored book go south is for the writers to realize they aren’t equally yoked. A large imbalance will create too much conflict that could hinder the project from being finished.

2. Iron out all the details.

Not only do you need to work out if you’ll be writing a fiction or nonfiction book together, but you’ll also need to decide how you’ll publish—self-published or traditional—how you’ll split any incurred business expenses, and what your desired final deadline will be.

3. Set a clear and robust outline.

In order to write a cohesive, co-authored book, the two writers need to be in each other’s heads and have a full grasp on the story and how to get to the end. Even if you’re a panster—meaning you don’t plot or outline your books—you and your co-writer will need to develop a full outline before either can begin writing.

4. Playoff each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re better at research, you may volunteer to pull together all the necessary sources and let your partner, who is a stronger writer, take a few more chapters to write to balance out the equation. If your writing partner is better at interviewing people, and you have to conduct a few interviews to get information right, allow your partner to do those interviews and maybe you offer to do a bit more during revisions. As long as both you and your co-writer feel confident in a task, you can tailor your experience as you both see fit.

5. Make a plan to write together, or separately.

If you and your co-author are the types of people who find it beneficial to write together, then be sure to schedule the needed time. You also don’t have to write together at all. Some writing partners don’t live near each other and have to write when it’s best for each writer. There is no right or wrong way to co-author a book, so make a plan for what feels doable for both of you.

6. Decide on a rewriting, revising, and editing process.

The biggest hurdle for co-authors to get over is making sure the book doesn’t sound like you melded two different books together. To help, make sure you read each other’s work as you go. Also, be sure to trade chapters for a full self-edit. After that, you may decide it’s best for one of you to take over the reins for rewrites and revisions and the other one of you completes a basic edit after that.

7. Put your egos aside.

You will certainly run into a time where your egos will get the best of you and you’ll disagree. If you find yourself disgruntled about a change or revision your partner thinks your chapter may need, remember that you are partners and you’re both working toward a common goal—a great book that is published and shared with readers. Ask yourself if there is any truth to your partner’s editing note and work together to find a solution as needed.

8. Mini deadlines are a must.

Not only is a final deadline important to make sure you finish your co-authored book, but mini-deadlines are also important for making sure you both stay on track to that final goal. Decide what your daily or weekly goals will be in order to reach your final goal. Then, keep up with each other to make sure neither one of you falls behind.

9. Stay in constant communication.

In order to write a book together, you and your writing partner need to stay in constant communication. Brainstorm your chapters together, talk about a writing block if one of you hits a wall, and provide each other genuine support as you work together. This will also help create a cohesive, co-authored book.

10. Remember everything about the book is a joint decision.

If you have very specific ideas about how to write your book and you aren’t willing to be flexible enough to work with a co-author, you may need to go it alone. Everything about co-authoring a book requires joint decisions. While you both may be neutral on some aspects of the joint writing process, you both may also have strong opinions about other aspects. So knowing how to compromise is a huge part of co-authoring a book.


Co-authoring can provide major benefits for both writers, but it can be stressful, too. Call 1-866-381-2665 to speak with one of our publishing consultants about the best fit for you.


Erika Bennett is the Content Manager for Xulon Press. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade and her passion is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands. You can also find her writing on

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