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  • Writer's pictureJenna O'Malley

Reflective Ripples: How Does a Writer Pick their Collaborative Team?

Welcome to Reflective Ripples, where we glance into debatable topics about the creative world. Today, we look at what things an aspiring writer might consider when building the creative team with whom they’ll collaborate.

There’s quite a continuum on this topic. Some of my fellow indie and self-published writers truly are one-person teams. They write, edit, market, and more. On the other hand, other indie and most traditional authors seem to have several people handling various aspects of their writing lives. I tend to prefer living somewhere in between as an indie and self-published author.

I opted, for the time being, to go with two people as my main supporters: my cover artist and my editor. Sontrowa Arts (@sontrowaarts) designs my character sketches, book covers, and some other marketing art. Katherine Black of Best Book Editors ( acts, above all, as Saint Editor in my team, but she also helps with marketing in other ways. The brunt of my marketing on the daily comes from my mind, along with the novels I create. I quite enjoy the amount of creative productivity and control my spot on the continuum allows.

However, much of my decisions teeter in balance with one question: how professional do I want to come across? I don’t want to consider myself what the average person thinks of when they hear “indie author” or “self-published writer.” I am both, but I plan to play at as professional a level as possible. Should I have gone traditional publishing, therefore? Maybe.

Then I wouldn’t have the wonderful team that I do. I don’t think I’d trade them for the world. As an aspiring writer, people need to make a choice of how they plan to play the publication game. It is a business, and like J. R. Ward and Katherine Black ask, at what level are you willing to compete?

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