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Co-authoring stories is all the rage. The question is: Does it work? Time to investigate how some authors are doing it and how well they’re received.
*Bear in mind this list is not sci-fi and fantasy exclusive.*
What about when two well-known writers get together?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is one such book. Separately they’ve created unforgettable stories and raked in plenty of money. So why pair up? To try something new? To work with another author and learn their process? Whatever the reason these two made it work with Good Omens.
What about a relative?
A lot of husbands and wives team up to write stories together and it seems like the perfect match. But could you create something with your sibling? Most people can’t imagine going to work every day with a sibling and getting anything done. Creating a piece of fiction has to be a challenge, however, some are making it work. Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri proves that siblings can write amazing stories together and not just one.
What about books to movies?
These are so good that they’ve made them into movies or they will be. That’s saying something. It takes a lot to get a story turned into a book. To make it into a movie or show after that is AMAZING! Here are just a few.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
- Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
- Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
There’s always the classic newer author with another more well-known author
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub is an example of this approach. Although there may not seem to be a lot of benefit for the established author, in cases like these the newer author usually does the lion’s share of the work. The established author gets part of the royalties on the work. The newer author has to share their profits, but getting the name of someone like Stephen King gives them a platform from which to sell it.
What about your favorite with many others?
James Patterson did this when he co-authored with Maxine Paetro, Mark T. Sullivan, Marshall Karp, and Howard Roughan to name a few. Many of his partnerships have done well enough that he continues to co-author with a number of authors some known and some relatively unknown.
What about two debut authors?
This is a tough one. Two debut authors you don’t know are a lot harder to trust than a brand name author you know. However, it’s becoming more and more popular. Would you give two new authors a chance over just one? These two are making their way. If Dhonielle Clayton’s name looks familiar it’s because she wrote The Belles all by herself. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton is a joint effort doing well despite the general name recognition.
If you’ve read something co-authored what did you think? Did it live up to your expectations? Who are your favorite pairings?
Feel free to comment below, we’d love to get your recommendations.