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Re: [BKARTS] Collaboration


I have collaborated several times on book projects with good results and no
disasters. No one has ever pulled out of a project, and they have all been
completed. I started collaborating in grad school in 1985, so that's a
fairly good record.

The most important factor is choose collaborators carefully. This, to me,
is like "measure twice (or three times) cut once." If you choose wisely,
you will avoid headaches. I am very pragmatic about my choices; I won't
work with people I have a bad gut feeling about, no matter how much I like
their work. It isn't an office job where you are hired to work with other
people whether you like them or not, you get to choose, so choose carefully.

Set down the rules at the beginning, including who will contribute what,
and how credit, ownership and profit will be divided. For the three big
projects I've done recently, I worked with an artist and a writer in two
cases and two other artists in the third. We divided credit and profits
equally, because it worked like a three-legged stool. When we don't agree,
the person with the most expertise makes the final decision and everyone
else defers to the expertise.

The worst situation I've had recently was when the writer and I agreed on
book cloth colours and the artist thought they were ugly. After many
attempts to find something agreeable, I said,"I am the designer, trust me.
It will work."  It was gorgeous and the edition sold out within months.

It's a blast and the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts.

All the best,

Tara Bryan
walking bird press
63 Deermarsh Road
Flatrock, Newfoundland A1K 1C8

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