If you’re a co-author or considered being in a book with other authors, did you know you can leverage being a co-author just like any other book?
Before I became a book coach, I was a co-author too, meaning that I wrote one chapter in a book with other people. If you haven’t heard of this type of book, it’s technically called an anthology or a compilation book. The book usually has a main theme and each co-author writes a chapter supporting that theme.
Since becoming a book coach, I have helped put together 4 compilation books, Courageous World Catalysts (pictured above), Rising Above, The Waiting Room, a passion project about Chronic Lyme Disease, and Courageous World Catalysts II. Some of the participants have gone on to give Tedx Talks, do other speaking engagements and book signings, host their own events and retreats, be featured in magazines, blogs and more. How did they do it? They leveraged the fact that they were an author (and best seller).
Unfortunately some participants of co-authored books may feel “less than” or not quite a real author. It’s the furthest thing from the truth. You still get to claim the title of author in an anthology and if the book is a best seller, you can claim the best selling author title too.
Watch for Quality
Table of Contents
If you are looking for a co-author anthology project to join, make sure you get the details. What’s the timeline? What’s the vetting process to get authors? Who owns the copyright to your chapter? How long are the chapters? Are you allowed to publish your story anywhere else afterwards? Are the stories professionally edited? What’s the track record of the person heading the project? What do you get in the end — ebook, print book, launched to best seller?
Benefits to a Co-Authored Anthology book
Writing a chapter might only take you an hour and then editing a little more time. One of my past anthology participants said it took 3 hours of work on her part to become a best selling author. Most projects committed to quality work will provide professional edits to your chapter. If you don’t feel like you’re a great writer, this is a bonus perk.
Potential Exposure to the Other Co-Author’s Audience
When you launch your co-authored book, all the participants launch the book together (some anthologies don’t follow this method, but I do). When your co-authors audience reads the book, they could also choose to read your book too. You expand your reach exponentially in this way.
Nothing feels better than having a community to support your goals. The energy of a group project like a book creates excitement and new connections. I would say that most all my co-authors in books are friends with each other, participate in each other’s online events and livestreams and cheer each other on. I have to say I feel like a mom who has a lot of children who actually love to play with each other — it’s a great feeling!
Combined Launch Day Sales Strategy
When you publish your book, everyone in the book promotes it together. With the combined effort, it’s much easier to get bulk sales and get to best seller. So now that you know why it’s such a wonderful idea to be a co-author in a book, you might be wondering how you leverage a book when you haven’t written all the content. It’s pretty simple, really.
Leverage Being a Co-Author
Promote the Other Stories as Well as Yours
You will make more sales if you highlight the other stories in the book that compliment yours. I learned these tricks from my coach, Lisa Nichols who owns Motivating the Masses. Example, “If you struggle with depression, read __________ story. If you have a teenager who is giving you trouble, read _________ story. If you feel like you’re all alone and no one understands you, read _______________ story.” Additionally, suggest that they buy books as gifts for friends or family who would benefit from those stories to get more sales.
Leverage Your New Title
Whether your title is “author,” or “best selling author,” own it! And do it like you would if you wrote the entire book. Us it in your email signature, your bio, your speaker one sheet, your media one sheet — everywhere. Be proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish and never downplay your chapter. You can even say, “author in the forthcoming book, ___________” before the book is published.
Speak and Tour Together
Most authors also want to speak on stages and do book tours. If each co-author hosted a speaking event and/or signing in their city, there would be a lot of opportunities! It just takes someone to organize and a group effort to commit to it.
It’s Not Just About Book Sales
Have an end game. Remember a book, whether co-authored or not, can’t be your only product if you’re an entrepreneur. Your book is an entry, not the end of your client’s journey with you. Most authors don’t even reach 1,000 book sales. That means that your chapter should tie into what you do in your business and lead the reader to want more from you — to want your product, service or package. The profit is in the upsell. Think about it. If you could get your book into the hands of 10 ideal prospects per month and you could close twenty percent of them (two new clients into your product), how much would that generate for you? And if you could get your book into the hands of even more people, that would just multiply your income faster.
Interested in becoming a co-author in my upcoming anthology with Les Brown Junior and his dad?
How has this article helped you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Vickie Gould is a book coach, content marketing strategist, best selling author, and speaker. She believes that everyone has a story to share and a journey orchestrated for their positive growth — and that those experiences should be written in a best selling book.
Vickie helps entrepreneurs to share their stories, self-publish and leverage their own business books, grow their following, create more impact and turn readers into clients through her Easy Writer Program, one-on-one coaching and her free Facebook Group, Write Your Biz Book.
She has written 10 best sellers such as Easy Writer (named after her signature program) and Standing in the Gap, and helped nearly 100 others to become best selling authors as well.