Often we get asked how we want to work with potentials writers, illustrators, editors, cover designers, beta readers, etc.. The truthful answer is that the right way to work with each person is a little different and depends on what they want out of the collaboration. While truthful, that answer is pretty vague, so here’s some examples of how we typically work with a writer. These are not written in stone, but rather provided as a means to understand our philosophy.
1 – Collaborative Equity Writer
Generally, a book is a collaboration of lots of people. The writer (or writers) are a big part of that team. We prefer not to take something that is already written and re-work it, rather we want to create something from scratch with the writer. We often work with a writer where we will give them a rough idea of the book and then we work up the outline together. Other times we will create the outline first, then have the writer work through that outline, it all depends on the project. The writer is an integral part of the creative process, not simply taking direction from us. We pay writers an upfront fee (that is NOT an advance) AND give them a cut of the royalties. How much of a cut depends on how much of the writing they do, and how much they want to be involved. We figure out these terms before we get started on the project based on what makes sense for everyone. Some writers like to have a bigger fee up front, and some prefer to have a bigger cut of the royalties. We work with writers to strike the right deal given their goals. This is our preferred way to work with writers.
2 – Collaborative Writer for Hire
Similar to the above we work with writers who prefer a flat rate upfront fee for their work. In these cases we’ll typically have the outline or the idea fairly well fleshed out for the writer and the writer takes that and runs with it. The creative process is the same in that we work in a collaborative manner with the writer throughout the project. This is great because the writer isn’t taking any risk, they are going to get their fee whether the book is successful or not. The downside is that the writer doesn’t have a cut of the royalties so if the book is wildly successful, the writer doesn’t see any of that money. It’s our preference to utilize the collaborative equity model outlined above whenever possible, however, we understand that some writers prefer to write for hire so we offer this option as well.
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