Writing with a friend as co-authors

November 1st, 2012 → 6:11 pm @

A friend and I are considering co-writing a novel. What should we do and/or know before we proceed?



I devote a chapter in my book Business Tips and Taxes for Writers on the idea of forming a business partnership (I don’t recommend it!). I’m a CPA, so I look at the business aspect of a co-author relationship. Here’s what I wrote:

I recommend that both authors remain as separate businesses and not form a business partnership to co-author a book. Each author should have a contract with the publisher that defines responsibilities and compensation. The co-authors work together like employees or co-workers, but they do not have a business partnership structure.

Always have a written agreement with your co-author that outlines royalty sharing, time lines, ownership rights, and other financial arrangements. One author said it best, “Don’t rely on friendship to carry you through lawsuits.” (Source: Michael Lee on https://www.speakernetnews.com/post/coauthor.html).


Here are some blog posts on the relationship when co-authoring.

Tips on co-authoring a book:

Fiction Writing: Collaborating and Co-Authoring


I hope that helps!

Carol Topp, CPA

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