One of the greatest things you can do to improve your work is to share it with others before it is “done.” In fact, you could even allow someone else to contribute to it, or you could contribute to theirs. Even when the writing is done, and the dreaded edits have been completed, you could enlist the help of someone else, an expert perhaps, to help you with graphic design, marketing, any number of things. The process is called collaboration. Here are a few reasons you NEED it.

You are not as good at some things as you think you are. You are a writer. It’s a fair bet, then, that you are also creative. However, you may not also be a graphic designer, cover artist, formatter, etc. Even if you can make something passable, why settle for just okay? You’ve spent loads of time on your work, so it (and you) deserve the best collateral materials to go with it. The easiest way to get the best? Invest in your work, and pay someone else to create them for you.

SAM_3156When it’s all about you, it’s obvious. There is a certain pride in doing everything yourself. And sometimes, when you have little or no money to invest, you can do many things on your own. But you can’t do it forever. Because having someone else’s take on your work gives it broader appeal. It even helps you understand the perceptions of others. With the release of my latest novel, Confession, not only did I hire a cover designer, but Massive Happiness, a local marketing firm as well. The results? A great event, fantastic eye-catching banner and business cards better than anything I could have created on my own. I get compliments on them everywhere I go.

Your partners have a vested interest in your success. A joint effort gathers more support. The more people who have a direct interest in seeing you succeed, the more likely you are to do so. This means you could work with a cover artist, marketing firm, formatter, book trailer creator, and more, and all of them will have a shared interest in your work doing well.

This does not just relate to writing, but almost any endeavor. Ever have one of those times where someone else tells your kid the same thing you have been saying for years, and suddenly your child takes their advice, like it is new? Collaborative parenting. How about business? Someone else promotes your product, and you get a client you have been trying to get for years. I’m not sure how it works, but I simply know that it does. Collaborative work is exponentially better than if you try to do all the work yourself.

So don’t be afraid to reach out. Share your work before it is done, and share in the work of others. You might be surprised the skills those around you possess, and how much more you can do together rather than separately.