Aloha from Karen
I’ve been working with one of my editors who wants changes to books I wrote. He sends very gracious messages. I know he wants the best for the book and doesn’t want me upset, but wants to bring out the best work I can do. I’m all for having a better, more saleable product that will reach more readers so I cooperate and rewrite. And I love how the changes have been coming out.
I’m also working on a book with a co-author. We need to be a team and I love my co-author. That’s how t should be as we work with someone. We pass on information tone another and research/leads that help the other person have some great information.
Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 remind us we are to be team players and work together for the edification of one another and God’s glory.
When editors hear the words, “God gave me every word so nothing needs to be changed” that’s a Fort McHenry sized banner that the writer is not a team player and doesn’t believe God also gave us editors to polish and sharpen a message. Let’s talk about being a team player
Jesus didn’t preach alone. He used interaction with others to get his message across. A little boy’s generosity opened the door for a miracle. Peter’s foot-in-mouth moments let Jesus teach the disciples more about faith. A woman’s interaction about bread crumbs and another woman sneaking up to touch Jesus showed people real faith and Jesus used those moments to make his message more real.
So, how as authors can we be team players?
Work with a critique group and listen to their suggestions. That helps a writer hear what readers will think and polish words. A group of people who want to bring out the best will lovingly point out weaknesses and constructively suggest changes to improve the work.
That means eliminate ego and pride. Be humble enough to listen and ccept input from others as part of the team God sends.
Network with writers, editors, and readers to listen to needs, discover more about marketing, and build a team that will support your work.
Humbly accept feedback and critiques. Be willing to make changes. My editor is working on 2 books of a series and wanted me to re-arrange them, swapping out crafts between books. He’s not the same editor as when I received the contract so he has a new vision. It’s a few years later and that impacts what and how things sell. I respect his vision, explained how they came to be arranged, and gave him the input of how I could swap things. We took a few days and now have new TOCs and I redesigned a few crafts he thought seemed too complex. I found new ways to do them. I like the changes now that those are done. There’s still work to do.
Consider teaming up in marketing. Find authors who write in the same genre and create a blog alliance. Don’t think that will hurt your sales because the other authors are competition. Value the uniqueness of the various books and realize this will bring in more readers-followers of each writer. It also makes blogging less work as you share the load to keep content fresh. And you build friendships career that can be lonely.
Team up to brainstorm. This can be with your editors, marketing people, agent, other writers, or readers. Focus on one need-such as a marketing need. Think of the best ways to reach the reader or the best pitches for media. It’s amazing what happens when people join together in thinking creatively.
That means to also give input to other writers and sometimes editors. Communication should be two-way.
Team up in the marketing effort. I’ve seen great results when an author teams up with her church or a book release, a group of authors team up for a book signing event at a store, authors team up to form a speaking team, or friends blog and interview author friends.
Team up with prayer. Be part of a group of authors who pray for one another. Build a team of people who pray for your ministry. Ask them to pray to help you be a great team player.
We are wired to work with others and our Christian love working together provides an example of the trinity and unity with God. Look around and interact with a team player today.