The Benefits of Box Sets & Collaboration
There is an idea I have been toying with for a while, one I’ve seen many successful indie authors at the top of their game try and pull off successfully. I am of course talking about joining forces with other authors to create ‘Box Sets’, something unthinkable in traditional publishing.
As with many independent author innovations, a box set is very simple in set up and execution. You approach authors who you feel are of a similar calibre and thematic style to you. You pool your digital files together to create one massive file of awesome that shoots rainbows and grants wishes. You pool your money box coins, or shake your money tree, and hire a graphic designer to do a 3D book-shelf-esque image to impress your readers eyeballs with THE VALUE. You then promote to your individual networks, sharing the networks that you have carefully cultivated with your fellow collaborators in exchange for their carefully cultivated relationships.
There are professional benefits, monetary benefits and visibility benefits. But what gets passed over a lot in blog posts on this topic, is the personal benefits to the authors involved. How does this kind of creation help them on an emotional level, a creative level, a friendship level?
For this post I had the good fortune to connect with seven wonderful women who are running their own box set collaboration titled, OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women. Here they share the reasons why, for them, putting the effort into this type of project is worthwhile on a personal level. Take it away ladies!
Levelling Up: From People You Admire To Colleagues
From Jessica Bell, Author of White Lady in the box set collaboration:
The main reason I approached these fabulous ladies to collaborate in a box set is because I admire their work, and adore them as individuals, and I couldn’t imagine collaborating with a finer group of writers. Each author in this box set are at the very top of their game; each book representative of quality fiction that explores a diverse range of unlikely heroines. I must say, I’m a little bit of a fan girl, and I can’t believe I have the pleasure of taking part in this project. It really is a dream come true.
The Excitement of Experimentation
From Orna Ross, Author of Blue Mercy in the box set collaboration:
Jessica Bell is one of my favourite authors and one of my favourite people. And the idea behind the collective she wanted to gather — independent-minded, unconventional authors offering page-turning fiction about independent-minded, unconventional women – was irresistible. I hope the success of this project will encourage other writers who believe in their own work to collaborate and experiment together. The calibre of this collective meant I never doubted we’d put together a great book; what I didn’t anticipate is that we’d have such great fun doing it. Indie authors rock!
Spearheading Your Own Artistic Direction
From Roz Morris, Author of My Memories Of A Future Life in the box set collaboration:
For me, these writers are the real superstars of self-publishing. They’re storytellers dedicated to their craft, who have proved their worth with awards, fellowships and, of course, commercial success. Each author here is in charge of her own artistic destiny, embracing the indie path as a statement of integrity, yet writing fiction that speaks to everybody. I’m utterly proud to be included.
Testing The Breadth of Your Audience
From Kathleen Jones, Author of The Centauress in the box set collaboration:
I’m loving the idea of being with a group of women writers whose work I like and respect. Also intrigued by the contrasts and resonances that are set up when you put seven very different books and authors together. You know your work is going to be read by readers who wouldn’t normally have bought it. There’s an edge to that – are they going to like it? Hate it? It’s very exciting.
To Showcase And Prove The Diversity Of A Genre
From Jane Davis, Author of An Unchoreographed Life in the box set collaboration:
Quite aside from the collaborating with a truly inspirational – and international – team of women writers, I’m really excited about the opportunity to showcase the diversity of writing that falls under the general fiction labels, ‘contemporary fiction’ or ‘literary fiction’ for example. I am rather fond of Joanne Harris’ comment that she doesn’t like to insult her readers by assuming they only like to read one type of fiction. We will not be insulting any readers. Within this set of seven books, we offer the full spectrum from light (although never frothy) to darker, more haunting reads that delve into deeper psychological territory.
Indulging In Artistic Risk-Taking
From Joni Rodgers, Author of Crazy for Trying in the box set collaboration:
Indie publishing is the new high ground for literary fiction. Maybe this is a US thing, but publishers here have gotten more and more gutless and lit fiction is getting very much of an ilk. Authors are pressured by agents and editors into tropes and style that sell — and that’s not a healthy state for the artists individually or the art form at large. Readers will find the true artistic risk takers and creative outliers in the indie world, where we captain our own fate – as artists must.
Celebrating Contrasting Writing Styles
From Carol Cooper, Author of One Night at the Jacaranda in the box set collaboration:
This is a small group of acclaimed indie authors whose work I hold in the highest regard. I love their varied ways of telling a story, and what each of them has to say about the lives of women. What unites the writers is their desire to craft their fiction to be the best it can be. This set of books will be thought-provoking and hugely entertaining. I’m thrilled to be part of it.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women, is available for 90 days only from Feb 20, 2015. Only $9.99 for all seven novels from seven brilliant writers. For more information go to www.womenwritewomen.com