I’m moderating! Book collaboration basics at 2012 ASJA conference

As a professional freelancer, book collaboration is probably my greatest expertise. So I’m totally tickled to be moderating a panel where I can spill all my secrets at the American Society of Journalists and Authors annual writers conference next April in New York City.

I’ve been on my share of panels, but this is my first chance to moderate and shape the content of a session. I lined up two panelists who have even more experience than me: agent Madeleine Morel and author Nancy Peske. The three of us will walk everyone through the subtleties of contracts and payments, division of labor and ground rules for a good working relationship. We’ll also cover ways to handle conflicts and the myriad of other issues that pop up when two people produce a manuscript together. Participants will learn how to avoid pitfalls, have a great working relationship, and produce a terrific book.

We’ll cover the actual process of collaboration/ghosting. The next day, veteran ghostwriter Ellen Neubourne will moderate a separate workshop on retooling your resume to break in to ghosting.

I was an editor at a book publisher before I started writing for a living, and that taught me a lot about how to work in a professional yet also rather intimate way with someone else. Aside from the personal/professional interaction and plain old writing skills, you need to know how to draft a collaboration/ghosting contract that will be fair to both parties and protect the writer at the same time. And since books are now so (relatively) easy to publish independently, whether on paper or as ebooks, that contract can be complicated. We’ll talk about that too. In the meantime, you might want to check out the articles on book collaboration on my website.

Find all the details about the 3-day conference here. Panels cover everything from books to blogs to tweets, from marketing to the newest technology.

Twitter: #ASJA2012


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