Pro 25:21-22 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.
The concept above was written in the text of our messages, and he said, “I need to follow this principle, but my call was to figure out what that looks like in my co-author’s case. Thanks for taking my call. How do I feed this, when I’m struggling to quench my own thirst?”
So, what does a writing coach tell an author who didn’t get a contract? The same thing she tells herself when the contract isn’t in the works. There are just times when you suck it up, do what you have to do and move on with your life because nothing else matters.
I explained the basic concepts to him over the phone, going over the part where he had the opportunity at one point in time to put it all in writing, but that opportunity is missed, and long gone by now. He has a different opportunity now, and the key concept of marketing the book – as is – will either make him rich in wealth and fame, or knowledge. The choice is his. But the best option he has to make this a win-win operation is to step back and see the benefits as they are, instead of as he expected.
Here’s what I recommended his ‘flesh’ should do as he’s working to get this author to market his book. We have a contingency plan and it will work to make the whole book profitable.
Key steps to completing the agreement without confrontation or struggle would be to follow these steps:
1 – Market the book as a contributor. Continue to market your contribution to the book, and the outcome based principles offered within the content you contributed.
2 – Don’t try to convince the author to include your work beyond your contribution. The desire to control a project is often bigger than the author, and that’s okay. The author has control when a work is self published, without contracts, but there’s no limit to what you can participate, or demands to participate.
3 – Accept whatever payment as agreed. Consider any payment on this work a blessing, and appreciate it. Don’t get excited if it isn’t what you expected, what you receive is a blessing. Be grateful.
4 – Don’t be disappointed if the author doesn’t pay as promised. Simply regard payment as a blessing and appreciate what you do receive.
5 – Whatever purpose you have for the book, use it well. Distribute the book as a contributor of the book, market it, use it, reference it, and display your contribution, proudly. KEEP YOUR PROFIT.
The Author Owns the Book
Here’s the gaff you may need to focus on when you’re a contributing to a book written by another author. Your status is quite different from that of co-author. As co-author, you co-own the book, all decisions, editing, and any other costs associated with getting the book published.
As a contributor, without a contract, you can’t determine much about what the author does with your contribution.
“I can’t see the books, so how can I sell if I don’t know what I’m making?”
Without a contract, you’re up a creek without the proverbial paddle, and there’s nothing you can do but hope for honest current and good marketing winds. That’s the reality.
Reality in the market place.
Name Recognition is EVERYTHING
Designing and creating a platform, growing an audience, and building relationships with your market is power in the market place. Without these assets, you forfeit the win to whoever does.
Of course, the author who adds you as a contributor to their book is increasing their platform – THAT is their purpose behind adding a well known author as a contributor. They don’t want to give up any ‘rights’ to their book, but they want contribution from well known, well marketed individuals who are out to make a name for themselves. Because Name recognition is EVERYTHING.
Of course, the author is riding your shirt tails. Don’t be angry. Count it as profit. Gain wisdom. Understand the value. Move on. Your name on the book as a contributor has value or the author would not have asked you to contribute.
From the writer perspective, the contributor may have more value than the author.
The contributor is offering up value the author doesn’t have without the contribution, or they would never agree to put your name on the cover. They would definitely NOT agree to pay you anything for your efforts. And there would be no reason to share the retribution of their book.
You’re a busy author, your contribution to someone else’s book imparts incredible value. The author invested time and effort into their book, and realized without your input, they didn’t have enough value, so they requested you to participate by contributing and letting them put your name on the cover.
Forward By EXPERT AUTHOR
Have you ever seen a cover with “Forward by Famous Name” and wondered why that mattered?
It’s a marketing ploy, and it works. People will buy the book because “famous name” believes in the author enough to write the ‘forward’ in their book.
On the converse side of this story – if the author is good at what they do, writes a value filled book, worthy of the “forward” then the “famous name” gains credibility from the wisdom and content in the book. And by adding the book to their list of accomplishments, they increase their presence in a known and recognized field.
Top Billing – Recognized Author
One of my favorite truths is a thing that happens when an author writes a book based on Interviews with Proven Experts in a chosen field. Regardless of the author’s experience, level of interest, proven expertise, once the author interviews 10 experts in a field, writes a book including those ten expert interviews, and includes themselves in the back of the book as a recognized expert WRITING about experts, the author is recognized as an expert – and given TOP billing as the author of the book.
Credible? Of course, writing the book gives merit where due, and interviewing experts who are willing to share their knowledge with you offers a kind of valued proof that cannot be gained from any other resource or action.
Relevance and attention to detail carry merit in this situation. If you’re this author, you have an opportunity to prove your knowledge, expertise, and areas of interest, simply by positioning yourself in the same book as proven experts.