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To write solo or to co-write, that is the question

By Julie Ann

August 04, 2023

Why write your own book when you can co-author with others?

Most people are familiar with the “Chicken soup for the Soul” series of books where multiple authors contribute to a book with a common theme.

Bringing together a group of writers with a common theme celebrates the connection and the power of sharing stories. There are many opportunities today for storytellers to share their story in a published book without taking on the huge responsibility of 40,000 words and potentially years of writing and research.

What are the different ways that a book with multiple authors can be advantageous?

  • If you are creating a book to raise awareness of a cause, charity or association, Multiple writers sharing their own perspective is a better way to reach a more diverse audience.  You want your reader to relate to the story and having 10 to 20 different voices sharing different stories is a great way to do this.
  • Publishing is expensive if you are doing it alone.  Instead of paying for publishing services that are typically $20,000 USD for editing, design and marketing, you can divide those costs between the storytellers.  If you had 20 authors in a book, that could be as low as $1000 per person to be a published author with your own chapter in a collaborative book.

Three boks on a bookshelf


  • The power of collaboration and connection with like-minded authors is priceless.  Many authors form joint ventures together, to partner on different projects or do business with one another. When it comes to marketing the book and getting the word out, it is much easier for 20 people to market their network than one single author. If each author had 2000 people in their network, that is now multiplied to the power of 20, making a reach of 40,000.
  • A collaborative book is an opportunity to raise capital for your organization, nonprofit or charity.  By showcasing the stories of the people who have been helped by the organization, it helps other people to understand the impact on society.



Collaborative books can raise funds, create awareness or be used as a marketing tool for entrepreneurs, health and wellness coaches etc

  • One example is Kelly Snider who featured women who had overcome trauma in one book collaborative https://www.influencepublishing.com/kelly-snider/ The book empowered women who had experienced abuse to share their success stories of overcoming their trauma, to inspire other women that it is possible to overcome obstacles together.
  •  Women’s organizations have raised as much as $30,000 with a book project by sharing the publishing costs and donating all the book sales to a charity or foundation. The Woman of Worth series raised money to provide business education to new women solopreneurs who were in a transition house helping them to start a new life after abuse. https://www.influencepublishing.com/wow-woman-worth/
  • Business and entrepreneur organizations have used the collaborative book model as a marketing strategy to showcase the businesses of the authors. Customers buy from those they love and trust and sharing your vulnerable story about your ‘why’ is a powerful way to create your brand. https://www.influencepublishing.com/wild-wise-women/
  • Intellectual property, copyright and plagiarism.

It’s important to work with the right people and do not try and do this alone as a ‘self-publishing’ model.  Only use a publishing house that has a history of working on these types of books.  The process for coordinating the editing, proof-reading, marketing and distribution, and sales can become a nightmare with 20 people involved!


You may also like: Why a book is your 200 page business card


Ensure that contracts, copyright and intellectual property systems are in place, so you keep all the rights and royalties for your book and get the right permission from your story-tellers to share their stories. It is important you retain the rights and you own your ISBN number (the International Standard Book Numbering system is the way people find your book at book stores, online stores and libraries and how proceeds from sales are paid.)


Editing & Design

A collaborative book goes through a different editing process than a solo author book since you could have 20 different writing styles in one book.  The editor will ensure that a consistent tone and theme is adhered to by taking each author through a three-stage editing process (developmental, structural, content) and ensure the highest professional standards with a final proofread to ensure consistent grammar and spelling standards are met (one editing style for the whole book).

Writers of the WOWo Series sitting in front of the camera


Marketing & Planning

The advantage of a collaborative book is that all the authors will work together on promoting the book. A Marketing Strategy meeting with all the authors is essential to get everyone working with a common purpose to get the word out about the book to their network.


Are you a therapist or wellness coach who is interested in sharing your story?

Jennifer Nagel is currently looking for therapists, wellness coaches or professionals who would like to share their story on the theme of the reciprocity of therapy.  This is the second book in the series and there is a one-week residential retreat to write the book. For Puerto Vallarta residents there is a residential rate if you do not require accommodation. To apply to be an author in this book collaboration please go to:


This will be a weekly column where we will be inspiring writers and featuring local authors that live in Puerto Vallarta.  We will be giving you an inside look at the purpose of their writing and how they crafted their story to have an impact on their readers.

Julie Ann is the founder of Influence Publishing Inc, corporation from Vancouver, Canada.  She has lived in Puerto Vallarta for 5 years and is the owner of the Mexican Corporation, Casa de Influencia S.A. de C.V. which is a retreat and event center based in Old Town, Puerto Vallarta.  She hosts writing retreats and writing classes at the center. Opportunities to be a contributing author in one of the many Anthology book projects she is publishing can be found at www.casadeinfluencia.com





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