How many doctors does it take to screw in a light bulb? How many authors does it take to write a book?
When I contemplate the process an author goes through while writing a book, my mind starts wandering. In this daydream of mine, they’re tucked away in an isolated cabin, frantically slamming on the keys of a vintage typewriter, surrounded by empty coffee cups. Meals are skipped, cigarettes are chain smoked and finger
nails are chewed upon. They work tirelessly through the night, often pacing with a glass of scotch in their hand. Did I mention they’re wearing a robe, too? Ok, ok… You get it. And I think I hit some classic stereotypes there too. My point (yes, I have one) is that the accuracy of the aforementioned stereotypes doesn’t matter, just the theme: Authors traditionally write alone. But who’s to say that’s the only way?
It’s hard enough for my friends to agree on a restaurant for dinner, let alone agree on the direction of a book. Everyone has something to contribute. So when I read an article about No Rest for the Dead, a novel written by twenty-six writers, I immediately wanted to high five them on their successful group effort. Collaborative writing is nothing new to BookRix. In February 2011, we brought SocialBook to life. If you’re not familiar with it, you’re missing out. SocialBook allows writers to work cohesively on an e-book, regardless of their location on a map. Still skeptical? Give it a chance -it’s simpler than it sounds.
Let’s say you’re trying to write a recipe book on authentic Brazilian cuisine (try not to drool on your keyboard). Make it easy on yourself and create a SocialBook on the topic – its fool proof. Now comes the fun part – open the door by inviting your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. It’s like a party, but without the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Those in your network that share your passion for food can contribute by providing ideas, commenting on your work and rating your progress! Think about it- when you work alone, your book takes a break when you take a break. When you work with SocialBook, it’s active even when you’re not. Our application has a rad #hashtag feature that allows direct feeding from Facebook and Twitter, so your friends don’t even have to log on! Simply create a hashtag unique to your book (example: #Kimskickassbrazillindishes). Now all your friends have to do is reference that #hashtag in their comments, suggestions, etc., and voila! You’re in business.
In a world that waits for no one, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening. At BookRix, we’re confident this is the next step towards innovative collaborative writing. Gone were the days of lonely writing and solitary confinement. Literary collaboration is where it’s at. It’s like book club, only better because you’re all working towards the same goal. A finished product! Don’t be the last author standing in your robe, holding a bottle of bourbon. Let others join in on the terrycloth festivities. I can hear the virtual clinking of glasses already. Don’t forget to toast!