I'm the brainstorming phase of a new manuscript. Normally I do that on my own, but this time I I want to ask a few friends to help me with ideas. I'm sure you all know how the brainstorming process works.

Once I have the skeleton of something I think is good, I'll start writing it. Writing will be my solo work.

Now the question. My friends that helped me with the brainstorming should be credited in what way?

I guess, crediting them as co-authors are too much since they only helped me with the ideas. The actual writing work was all mine. On the other hand, giving him no credit at all seems not right.

How should I credit people involved solo in brainstorming, and what about rights?

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't say there's a particular name or title to give such a person, they just get credit for what they do.

I bounce my ideas off my wife and she helps me develop them, so I would say something like; thanks to my wife for listening to my ideas and helping make my story the one you’re about to read.

As for rights, they’re just helping you out. I don’t believe that rights come into it. Test readers may get a credit but they don’t get royalties. I guess it depends on just how much they helped develop your story. IP rights are owned by the acknowledged creator (in the case of literature the writer.)

For my own purposes:

—If a friend and I designed a world and planned and created characters, then he came up with the plot and I wrote it I’d call that co-authored (after all, writing is more than the just the words) and share IP with him.

—If I discussed my ideas with a friend and he made a few good suggestions I’d thank him specifically for what help he gave me (and maybe give him a free copy of the book!)

  • 2
    Agreed. This thanking is typically done in a preface at the front of the book (after the TOC and before the introduction). Authors also tend to thank their editors and family members here. Commented May 31, 2013 at 15:19
  • Yup; the Acknowledgements section
    – CLockeWork
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 15:24
  • Can also be done at the end of the book. Sometimes the stuff at the beginning of the book can really drag down the reader.
    – terpy
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 21:06

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