Collaboration empowers success
The fourth episode of The Working Writer Podcast includes an episode with the team behind Little Quotes by Little Folks, of which I’m a part. It’s an episode that gathers the culmination of years of learning to collaborate and shares how a digital team came together to create a real book.
When I hold our book in my hands, I feel the gravity of how none of us are alone, not even as creatives stowed away in our private silos. Collaboration is a clear and viable path to success. Corporations know this, and they forge ahead with agile software and collaborative platforms that empower teams to work together. Why not the solo creative and working writer?
Write as a Team
Making a book from the ground up through publication and distribution can seem like a daunting task by yourself. Doing it alone isn’t necessary, and –– this might surprise those new to self-publishing –– it isn’t recommended, either.
In the traditional model, the writer writes—the editor edits. The designer lays it out. The publisher publishes. The marketer advertises. Self-publishing does cluster many of these roles under the same hat, eliminating the gate-keepers and opening access. To the seasoned, experienced multi-expert, this is excellent news. More control equals more power!
To the artist who wants the result but is overwhelmed by that many tasks––or doesn’t shine at all of them–– it can be paralyzing. How can you do it all?
The answer is, don’t do it all yourself. Collaborate to write and make books as a team.
Collaboration defined: to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.
Hit Record was our creative playground
I rediscovered a spirit of play and experimentation on Hit Record. Hit Record provides artists a platform to throw ideas and art on the wall and see what sticks. Writing, visual art, photography, acting, music, and even idea-generation and brainstorming challenges are posted and anyone can participate in anything. The contributions are called “records.”
You join the site, pick a challenge, and post your contribution. Then, other artists choose multiple records and mash them together. This “remix” results in a new record with sources. On and on, this process snowballs towards the creation of significant projects, including Emmy-award winning TV shows, web series, commercials, music albums, books, and short films.
When the end product makes money, Hit Record pays and credits every contributor. This kind of opportunity enthralled me, and I felt excited to have a chance to contribute to projects of such size and prestige. I’d never had such access on my own and it was exciting to see where it led. It was so inspiring and creatively invigorating.
Little Quotes by Little Folks is an independent spin-off project; we’re all Hit Record alums. It’s a collection of the profound, funny, and downright absurd things kids say, illustrated, and published as a hardcover book. The four of us wanted to make a book, and we had the collective skills + collaboration experience to do it. The interview shares how that process worked.
We recorded this episode right before the book launched in November 2020. We’ve now seen our book is a success! We shared what we learned from the experience and each other as we made a book as a team.
Write As a Team: The Companion Guide that pairs with this episode
Included in the ebook is Ten Tips for Writing Teams
I mention in the book that one of my Hit Record contributions was included in the Emmy-award winning You Tube Original Create Together. It’s so fun that they sent certificates to everyone! I geek out every time I look at mine!
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