On the back cover of The Content Entrepreneur, 32 names appear. They are the co-authors who came together with author Joe Pulizzi to pen the book published earlier this month by the newly launched custom imprint Tilt Publishing.

To some, having almost three dozen people collaborate on a content asset might sound like the ultimate group project in school – notorious for a few people doing the work and everybody getting the credit.

However, for this and similar endeavors, group collaboration among people who are interested in the project and its mission can work well when you share a similar vision and goal. Plus, you also get the marketing power of 33, not just a single author.

“The No. 1 thing to do any kind of group collaborative content-related project is to make sure the people on it care about the outcome, not what they’re going to get from the outcome,” says Rebecca Achen, who authored two chapters of The Content Entrepreneur, is the entrepreneur behind The Engaged Professor, and works as a visiting assistant professor at the University of the Pacific.

“If you don’t care about the product itself more than you care about what you will get from it as an individual, it will not work. And if everybody on the team is not seeing the same vision at the start, it will not work,” Rebecca says. “It’s just going to be a disaster if everybody’s not on the same page.”

Money isn’t the object of The Content Entrepreneur – the book’s profits, as all the authors learned in the beginning, will go to the nonprofit The Orange Effect Foundation.

As Joe Pulizzi has explained, the book came about as an endeavor by the people who purchased the Never-Ending Ticket for the Creator Economy Expo (CEX).

“It’s not just an event but a community, and that’s so important these days,” says Brian Stout, a co-author of The Content Entrepreneur, director of growth at Ayokay, and creator of Cracking ALZ.

A community, he says, allows the audience to raise their hands and say, “Yes, I want to do that.”

Brian volunteered to write a chapter because he wanted to contribute to what CEX has created. “It was an easy decision for me,” he says. “It wasn’t just Brian’s chapter. It was Brian’s original ideas, and then others came in afterward and made it better. That’s what you want from a community.”

Editors also went through the book so it flowed and sounded like it came from 33 voices singing together, not 33 single songs. (Brian and Becky give kudos to Marc Maxhimer and Angela Long for coordinating all the moving pieces.)

Brian believes strongly in the power of group collaboration in a community. He volunteers as a co-host of the podcast Ultimate Fancast: The Battle Bunnies with Phil Matson and Luke Graham. He was introduced to The Battle Bunnies brand, which includes a fantasy game, digital collectibles, and trading cards, by John Briggs, whom he met at CEX.

The power of community also extends to the marketing of the project. With a typical book or podcast, you have a creator or two promoting it. But in the broader collaboration, you have many more creators as well as the others in the community. “The success of The Content Entrepreneur will depend on our reach and interest in the book. You’ve got Joe as the main draw, but then you’ve got 33 other community members,” Brian explains.

Becky, too, believes the collaboration worked well because each person was committed. She says, “I always felt like the community that we built is a bunch of people who authentically care about what each other is doing.” 

Get your copy of The Content Entrepreneur here.

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.