4 Reasons Why You Should Join a Collaborative Book Publications
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Have you heard of the power of a group when it comes to building your business? Well, now the power of a group is being used in publishing to launch niche, collaborative books.
Multi-author books are one of the biggest publishing trends this year. Also called collaborative books or anthologies, multi-author titles typically work by gathering together a group of like-minded, aspiring authors. The publisher is usually a small, niche publishing house, which charges authors up front to participate in the projects in exchange for providing their services.
There are obvious benefits to the aspiring author. Instead of writing an entire book, each co-author contributes just one chapter, usually 1,500-5,000 words long. The publisher then steps in to organize the editing, formatting, publishing, and collaborative book launch.
These types of books are almost always bestsellers on Amazon because they have 10-30 authors promoting them at the same time. And that is a big draw to potential contributors; You can become a bestselling author without spending the time or money it takes to write and publish your own solo book.
Multi-author books can be a great service for the right aspiring author. But it’s essential to be realistic about the advantages and disadvantages of joining one.
Four benefits to being a co-author of a collaborative book
1. You will get experience as an author. How do you start writing your own book, let alone publish and market it? It’s a complicated and overwhelming process, which is why less than 1% of aspiring authors succeed in finishing their manuscripts.
Many co-authors join these types of projects as a stepping stone to their own solo books. They learn about the writing process, what goes into publishing and especially how to launch and market a bestselling book. By the time you publish your own book, you will be much more prepared.
Related: 5 Business-Expanding Benefits of Collaborative Book Publications
2. You will grow your network. What is your network worth to you? To your business? One of the biggest benefits of joining a group book project is the opportunity to meet, network and collaborate with like-minded peers. Your co-authors will likely be in your niche and have similar backgrounds and professional goals.
If community and collaboration are important to you, then a multi-author book makes a lot more sense than going at it alone.
3. You will expand your reach. It is getting harder and hard to reach anyone, let alone your ideal audience on social media. It is just too saturated. And to top it off, the algorithms are constantly changing. It’s frustrating and can be a serious problem for your business. The key to any algorithm is engagement. And that is the principle behind any group book launch.
If you happen to see a multi-author book launch on your social media, take a second to look a little closer. You will likely see an exciting announcement where all the co-authors are tagged in the publication, that it has been shared several times and has plenty of co-author comments, emojis and GIFs below it.
All of these factors tell the algorithm that this is a good post, so it will get shown to exponentially more people across all of the co-author’s networks. It costs a lot of money for solo books to compete with that kind of book promotion within their own niche.
Related: Top 7 Questions About Publishing a Book That Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know
4. You will open a lot of doors. Becoming an author will open you up to speaking engagements, press and media coverage, brand sponsorships and collaborations, and more. I’ve also seen authors use their books for job hunting, handing them out as business cards and adding them to their resumes.
But remember, you still have to be the one to walk through them. You will need to actively practice author marketing and branding if you want to make the most of your multi-author book contribution.
What being a co-author of a collaborative book WON’T do for you
1. You will not get rich from the book royalties. This is still a shock to many people. They think of a bestselling book, and thousands of dollars in passive income immediately pop into their heads. But it’s not like that at all. Let me explain why.
First, when your book is published on Amazon, you must remember that Amazon keeps a cut of the profits. For an eBook, they take 30-70% and charge a delivery fee per copy based on the total size of the file. For a print book (paperback or hardcover), Amazon keeps 40% of the royalties after the printing cost.
While these percentages might not be so bad for a solo book, when it comes to a multi-author book, you split the work between 10-30 authors, so you split the royalties as well. That’s why many multi-author book publishers don’t even include royalties for co-authors.
Example: If you co-author a $2.99 eBook with 14 other contributors, that amounts to a $2.10 royalty per sale to be split between 15 authors. Each author would get .14 cents per sale. Considering the average non-fiction book sells about 250 copies in its lifetime, that would be only $35 in royalties per author.
There you have it. These are the most important factors to consider when joining a multi-author book project.
The decision to join one is right if it makes sense for you, your personal and professional goals, and if you deeply align with the project.
Related: How to Make Money From Your Book Without Selling a Single Cop