Saturday, March 17, 2012

Self-Publishing with a Co-author

Julie again. If you want to publish on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Lulu, or any other platform, there is no perfect way to include your co-author. Some of them have problems with giving both authors credit. All of them can only send the money to one person (or bank account).

We decided that I'd handle the publishing for Book 1. I think we had some sort of idea that Maggie publish Book 2 so the money would even out. Belatedly, we realized that probably isn't the best plan, because on most sites you don't get paid until you get $10 (or sometimes more) in royalties.

On Barnes and Noble's "Pubit" site, you have to input a "primary contributor." That may be why the title of our Barnes and Noble page says it's by Julie Bihn, Julie Bihn, and Maggie Phillippi. You can at least choose multiple authors, which we did.

On Amazon, you can also choose multiple authors, though at least on the Kindle Direct Publishing page, it still insists I'm the author. I didn't notice any major glitches.

Maggie: Hey that’s OK Amazon (and other epub places). Leave me behind, stranded on my own like a widow line all by itself on the next page. I’ll just sit over here and make pictures to show my frustration.

I’m not recognized on the Kindlegraph either. But Julie can sign autographs. Which she would get a kick out of it you requested one!

Yes. Yes I would.

In fairness, Kindlegraph at least claimed they were working on the co-author thing....though that was months ago if I recall correctly. For the next book, Maggie can sign up to give Kindlegraphs.

And for Book 2, what I plan to do is make Maggie the “primary contributor” on Barnes and Noble and list her name first on the author screen on Amazon. Since I listed myself first for Book 1, it will even out that way.

Smashwords…I love the little guy, I love the idea of Operation eBook Drop…but it has no solution for co-authors. One of the workarounds offered is to put your authors under the title of the book. That's right; it's The Healer and the Pirate (The Kinyn Chronicles: Book 1) by Julie Bihn and Maggie Phillippi -- A book by Julie Bihn. A bit ridiculous! (Their program made a pretty nice conversion of our text, though.)

Maggie: Though beware, I’m fairy certain I found our book pirated. Probably had something to do with Smashwords, since Smashwords allows you to download a PDF right to your computer.

To publish on several other sites, like Sony and Apple, you need to have an ISBN. You can get one free on Smashwords, and they will publish your book to these sites for you. Which is great…except there doesn't appear to be a way to have the ISBN registered to multiple authors. Argh!

For print copies, I don't recall having any problems with displaying co-authors on Lulu or Amazon's CreateSpace.

One place that was GREAT for co-authors was the US Copyright website. I had no problem registering myself and Maggie as the authors. Who would've thought?

Maggie: Confuses me, that’s for sure. There are so many people out there that write with co-authors. It’s crazy provisions haven’t been made so that both authors get treated equally. Judith Miller must be ready to wring necks! (She writes with Tracie Peterson.) No, I’m just kidding. It’s more important that the book is out there, and hopefully being enjoyed by readers, and not whose name comes first.

My solution is to make sure we write multiple books so that each of our names can alternate being FIRST, at least on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. So let's get to writing, Maggie!


  1. Well, I was lucky enough to get MAGGIE's (FIRST) autograph and I'm pretty sure she DOES exist. lol

    Stinks that you guys can't be listed as co-authors everywhere. Makes no sense at all.

    But I'm ALL FOR the multiple book idea, as you both know. And next time, I hope to have BOTH autographs, somehow. xoxoxo

    1. I do exist! I do! I do! I do!

      Books with both of our signatures would be really cool. We'll figure it out. ;)

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I had seriously considered flying down to Florida with a suitcase full of books that we could both sign! LOL


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