Indie Authors: Crowdsourcing/Team Publishing

Indie authors have a lot on their plates. In addition to writing great books, indie authors have to take care of all the other tasks involved in publishing books. That includes editing, proofreading, marketing, distributing, promoting, and more. It’s a lot of any one person to handle. And so team publishing has become a bigger deal.

Team publishing, or crowdsourcing, depending on who you ask, is when an author or group of authors work with a small team to get a book out. Each member specializes in a certain skill, whether it be editing, marketing, etc.

It may seem scary to go out and find a team. But Dana Sitar wrote a post explaining how she reached out to her audience to keep her editing and designing costs down. It also helped her forge a connection with her readers. Daniel Baylis also wrote a post about why he chose to team publish.

Kate Tilton on Bibliocrunch outlined how to set up a team (called a street team), which includes a template on your author website, and how to promote the team.

Some teams are composed of just writers. In this case, they may be known as a Writers Collective. According to The Book Designer, Writers Collectives are great to find new readers and to avoid being obnoxious on social media by constantly shouting, “Buy my book! Buy my book!” However, it’s important to keep a calendar.

Other teams of writers don’t just promote each other’s books, they write books together. It’s called collaborative writing, and according to ALLi, this can sometimes get tense, especially when editing and working on having a consistent tone. But it can still be a great experience.

Crowdsourcing may also refer to new publishing companies, which rely on communities of readers and reviewers to find the next big book to publish. One example is Bookkus Publishing, which released its first book in September 2013 after it received high reviews on its website.

Lastly, crowdsourcing may also be used to help edit and proofread work. The New Yorker reported last year on how 3,000 Russians volunteered to proofread Leo Tolstory’s novels, diaries, letters, travelogues, and more. Now all of that work is available online, free and easy to download.

Though there are many terms and various meanings, crowdsourcing and team publishing all boil down to asking for people to help. And in many cases, people are happy to do so. What are some of your experiences with working with teams as an indie author? Share in the comments!


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