Co-Authorship on Inkshares

Created about 3 years ago by Jamison Stone with 15 comments
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Picture Amanda Orneck · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 2 likes
Just adding my voice to the excited buzz about this feature.  For those of us fielding graphic novel projects co-authorship would be amazingly helpful.
Picture Alexander Barnes · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 2 likes
This would be so helpful. After a recent pod cast by Write Brain where they discussed my book, they seemed unclear about my co-authors involvement simply because the manuscript was uploaded in my name only. We thought we had made Chris’s contribution clear in our description but simply being able to make some sort of indication that he’s a co-author would go a long way.
Img 0137 p bw C. Brennecke · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 1 like
Fabulous! Thank you!
Img 0137 p bw C. Brennecke · Author · added about 3 years ago
Question for @Jeremy Thomas  et al. : Should I hold off on starting an idea-stage project (which I wouldn’t have time to focus on until next year) until after this functionality has been added? Or would we be able to add this to existing pages once the coding work has been done?
Imlnct1j Jamison Stone · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 4 likes
And this, folks, is why Inkshares is great. Thank you @Jeremy Thomas!

Everyone, please please continue to chime in, your ongoing feedback will help the Inkshares team know what features are important to the community, so please keep the posts coming! 
098de134cf14fc66a9c66b4f51abf753 Ferd Crôtte · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 3 likes
How timely this discussion is for me! My issue has more to do with a "2..0" collaboration plan enhancement, i.e. royalty splitting.

I am the sole writer of my Inkshares project. I am currently in discussion with an artist, to bring visual appeal to the project. So far, I have identified TWO ways Inkshares could help me with this.

1. The artist wants to retain ownership of the images while the project is in funding. He wants to limit the use of the images to the Inkshares website while the project is in funding. In other words, at this point, we want to use his images simply to enhance and to promote the project. Yet if I upload an image to the project, it could easily be "borrowed" by anyone. Inkshares could at the very least have a policy of image ownership during funding and during production.

2. We are thinking ahead to successful funding and subsequent publication. At that point, the artist wants to negotiate a royalty split. I would like to know that Inkshares has a mechanism for establishing that at the very beginning, and as a publishing house, would distribute the royalties to the appropriate parties, issue 1099’s, etc.

I will say this. I have found @Jeremy Thomas to be very open to ideas and suggestions. The company is young, small, and nimble. It is in evolution. You can bet that good ideas, like what I see in this forum thread, will be considered and implemented if they fit into their remarkable vision.
Img 0137 p bw C. Brennecke · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 4 likes
I’m really glad you brought this up, @Jamison Stone ! 

Not only am I hoping to be involved in two anthologies that are currently on the site, but both of my own "next-up" projects are collaborative works. I’ve been hesitant to add them to the site because I’m not sure how I would handle the royalties. It would be FANTASTIC if Inkshares could program a way to co-author projects without creating additional accounts or leaving it up to one author to distribute the money. 
Picture Joseph Asphahani · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 4 likes
Jamison, thanks for bringing this up! While at this time my sole focus is on my own individual contribution to my book (#amwriting), having the ability to co-author something on inkshares and have it mesh with the interface in the way you describe seems like a no-brainer. It should be built in - because why not?!

Brian raises a good point though - I believe the inkshares folks are always busy tweaking the site’s normal functions. BUT that’s no reason to discount the value of your proposal. I hope they’re hitting the whiteboard as we speak to hash out some kind of plan on the site’s backend to get the co-author functionality up and running. There are probably a million considerations I’m not aware of, royalties/payments being one of them, as Richard says.

(Just yesterday I was thinking about where I could take AiM after it’s published, in what direction the ’franchise’ is headed, etc. I suddenly realized the realm of graphic novels / serial comics would be a perfect fit... But I’d need to pair up with an artist. Year(s) from now, if Inkshares ever wanted to get graphic novels in their wheelhouse, being able to ’co-author’ a story in that format would be much easier if the artist/collaborator had their own account, as you say. Followers of AiM could/would be instantly notified of the comics’ existence, etc. etc. Nothing but benefits for authors/site-runners/readers, the list goes on.)

TL;DR - Jamison’s idea is awesome, and really only adds value to the inkshares model while taking nothing away.
Imlnct1j Jamison Stone · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 1 like
@Richard Saunders You bring up some great points.

The royalty split, in my mind, seems like a 2.0 version addition. At first, I assume that a "primary" author could get paid via their connected bank account and distribute funds as agreed upon per contracts. I currently have to manage this for all other collaborative projects, and didn’t even think of Inkshares helping--however, it would CERTAINLY make my live easier, which is always nice! 

For me, though, the primary concern is viability and cross-talk through the Inkshares platform, and I assume, in the the first round of additions, there could be a way "link" multiple authors under a single project and have this co-authorship be holistically felt through the Inkshares system (search, project page, profile, etc.) That’s just my thinking, however. 
Twitter profile pic Richard Saunders · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 3 likes
Once you start going through the potential ramifications, it could get messy. So I’m wondering exactly how it would work. 

Is this something we would have to request for each instance? Or would there be an automated facility where we could click "link accounts" and if the other account accepted the request, it would go through. Of course this should only happen at the project level for each specific project.

Then there’s the issue of royalty splits.  For my Journey project, I take the majority of the profits and my collaborator gets 10%.

In the anthology project Mykl Walsh and I are taking 10% each with the remaining 80% to be split equally between all of the winning entrants whose writing is included. 

As it is now, my single account receives all of the royalties and I distribute the royalties I owe to others in Quarterly installments. This works because of the openness of Inkshares. Anyone can see how many books are being sold and I will give copies of the Inkshares Royalties statements to my collaborators.

If anyone wants to question (audit) those statements, I imagine that Inkshares would cooperate in verifying the information I provided.

So each joint project might need specific royalty split requirements.

Also under the current situation, we can mention on the project page who our collaborators are and each collaborator can help pitch the project to their base of supporters and explain the join venture.

With potentially 15 accounts participating the anthology, that also could get messy.

Bottom line is I am open to the idea, but am also OK with the current situation.

Due to the issues I mention above, (and others I may not have thought of), it seems that it might mean a lot of extra work for Inkshares to implement. But if they are receptive to building in the capability, I’m enthusiastically on board.

If Inkshares is willing to handle all of the royalty splits and paying each collaborator separately, that’s the biggest benefit for me as it relieves me of that responsibility, tracking, 1099ing etc.
Imlnct1j Jamison Stone · Author · added about 3 years ago
Yes, hence my starting this post to gauge interest. Please encourage others to share their thoughts so that we, as a community, can know if this is, or is not, an important feature. 
Ucxjlx5o Brian Guthrie · Author · added about 3 years ago
Part of her response was that there hasn’t been nearly enough demand for the capability to be added yet. 
Imlnct1j Jamison Stone · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 2 likes
Yeah, I just wanted to get the pulse from others to see how much of a need/desire there was for this feature in the community. 

I feel it will impact my upcoming project in a big way and think others will be in a similar boat, but wanted to find out first hand--but who knows, I might be wrong and be in the vast minority! So please, everyone, chime in with your thoughts and share your opinion.
Ucxjlx5o Brian Guthrie · Author · added about 3 years ago
I JUST emailed @Avalon Marissa Radys about this.  the system just isn’t designed to allow it and seeing as they have a lot on their plates improvements wise I don’t see it becoming a priority for a bit.
Imlnct1j Jamison Stone · Author · edited about 3 years ago · 11 likes
Hello Inkshares Authors and Readers! 

I have a question for Inkshares and the Inkshares community about co-authorship and how it’s represented/integrated into the Inkshares site. 

First off I have been really loving the updates to the Inkshares online platform, including these forums! Thanks so much @Thad @Jeremy Thomas Inkshares is looking/feeling really great and the new additions have deeply enhanced the online experience! In that vein of improvement, I offer the following observation and question:

So far, (and please correct me if I am wrong) I seems that only one Inkshares account can be the "author" of a book project, but as we know many books have two or more authors. While RUNE OF THE APPRENTICE only has one author (me!) I have co-written another book which am very excited to begin funding on Inkshares in the next month or so. (I will spare you the details because promoting that book is not the purpose of this post.)

The briefest of backgrounds:

This book is a memoir of another’s life and we therefore want him to be the "primary" face of the book project here on Inkshares, with me listed as co-author. To serve this end, we will be hosting the book under his name and Inkshares account, but also very much would like my account to be officially associated with the project here within the integrated Inkshares site. Currently, I have 553 followers on Inkshares and feel that it would best serve everyone involved to have all of my books (co-authored and otherwise) to be officially associated with my meta account.

It seems that due to the current framework of the Inkshares site, this is not directly possible and we will have to have this new book hosted under my co-author’s account solely, with the only connection that I am a co-author shown in the "About" section, again, without any official connection felt through the interconnected Inkshares site. Is this correct, or am I mistaken? 

Current workarounds:

It seems that there are several ways other authors have dealt with this co-author disconnection:

While others have their book listed under a solo author’s account like @Paul Inman and Patrick Ryerson (can’t link him because I can’t find his account), @Alexander Barnes and Christopher Preiman (Again, cant link because I can’t find account.) @Richard Saunders and Mykle Walsh. I’m sure there are others here I am missing--I know of at least two, but can’t remember their names. 

And others who have a brand associated with their book like @HERB , @Papercuts J.P. and @Little Fiction | Big Truths 

The plot thickens:

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of Inkshares is the interconnection of the community felt and performed through the meta Inkshares website. It saddens me that this new project will miss out, in part, on one of the most innovative aspects of publishing with Inkshares--the online interconnection and social community of our growing user base. While co-authored books are certainly a minority here, I feel that as Inkshares attracts new authors, there will be more and more experiencing a similar disconnection between their co-authored works. 

Also, I can attest to the many relationships I have made with other authors because of Inkshares, and I would be VERY surprised if we did not start to see some very exciting collaborative projects (short story anthologies and full on book authorship) created by Inkshares authors begin to pop up in the near future. I already know of one by @Richard Saunders and feel that this is an arena where an official, fully integrated co-author function on the Inkshares site would really help push the needle in funding and continuing to strengthening our community. @Richard Heinz  @John Robin @JF Dubeau @Jim McDoniel @Brian Guthrie @G. Derek Adams @Richard Saunders @Andrew J. Ainsworth @Joseph Asphahani @Paul Inman @Dave Barrett  @Zachary Tyler Linville @Craig Munro  @Joseph Terzieva @Tal Klein @Matthew Isaac Sobin @A.C. Weston @Amanda Orneck @Tom Merritt @Janna Grace  @Vincent Lim are a few who come to mind who might be interested in collaboration :)

My suggestion and question:

To solve this problem, I’d love to see a way where multiple accounts can be listed as an author so that there is continuity across the online system. Whether it be for co-authored books, short story anthologies, or even co-authored articles or journals, I feel it would greatly assist our community.

What are other’s thoughts on this? Please chime in, I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks, both on the "official Inkshares team" and users (authors/readers!)

TL;DR
Should Inkshares have an integrated co-author function for book projects? 

I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts. Thanks!

author of RUNE OF THE APPRENTICE and Inkshares fanboy

P.S.
Huge thanks to everyone else on the Inkshares team for making this place so special! Truly happy to be an author here, and that is because of all of your hard work and dedication! Thanks @Adam Gomolin @Angela Melamud @Matt Kaye @Avalon Marissa Radys @Elena Stofle @Larry Levitsky