Saturday, October 3, 2015

Guest author Milou Koenings

Why Writers Should Consider Joint Ventures

Writers tend to be solitary creatures - but breaking out of that comfort zone into a joint venture may be well worth it. 
Like many of us, I huddle by my computer, in my garret or cafes, and live much of the time in a world peopled with imaginary characters.  As much as I may discuss my work with writing groups, beta readers, editors or my BFF, when it comes down to it, it's just me and my keyboard.  And I like it that way.
That's why when I first read about JVs - it took me a while to get that stands for "joint ventures" - I wrote them off as definitely not for me.  But then I saw what happened to those of my colleagues who were that much more adventurous.  What happened was simply amazing.  Amazing enough to push this hermit out of my comfy cocoon and out in the big world of JVs.
A joint venture can take any shape you like. This is where being an indie author is a big advantage.  When you own all the rights to your work, you have no obligations to a publisher, no reason to do things "by the rules" just because that's the way big publishers have always done them.
A JV could be:
  • Collaborating on a book with another author, or several others, who write in a similar genre
  • Creating a box set with ten or twenty authors, to capitalize on each other's followers
  • Cross-promoting other authors' works, thus expanding your reach to readers who don't know you yet
  • Pooling your modest marketing budgets together into a sum significant enough for some serious advertising
Other ways of moving out of the traditional box include collaborative arrangements with people who can open new markets for you, for example, translators, illustrators and narrators. 
Not every indie author can afford to put down several thousand dollars for a translator. But some freelance translators are willing to work in partnership, translating your book for a 50:50 split of the royalties.  If you're a writer who'd like to take a gamble in, say, Germany's booming romance marketplace, this may be the door.  The arrangement has the added advantage that your translator will have as much incentive to market your book and will probably have more contacts than you do in the foreign language market.
The same goes for illustrators and even narrators for audio books.
By its very nature, a joint venture is going to let you reach more people than you could on your own.  The synergy can be powerful indeed, enough, at times, to catapult mid-list authors to NYT best-selling author status with a single boxed set.
Two years ago, I joined Sweet Romance Reads, a new collaborative blog by writers of clean, sweet romance.  (We aim for G/PG rating.)  Since then, we've grown our readerships, collective and individual, and participated in joint marketing efforts, cross-promoting each other's work.  This week, we launched our third JV publication: Sweet Christmas Kisses 2, a boxed set of 19 holiday-themed romances by New York Times, USA Today and National Best-Selling authors.
Working on these projects has been extremely educational, with everyone bringing to the table her own expertise and following. But perhaps the most valuable benefit of our joint ventures cannot be measured in monetary terms or social media stats.  It is the incredible creative energy that is unleashed when artists dare to step out of their safety-net isolation and start creating together.  Not only can you find yourself doing things you never thought you would, but it can be just so much fun!
So why not give it a try?  There's so much to gain, and you might make some fabulous new friends - real ones, as well as the imaginary kind - in the process.

Book Title
Sweet Christmas Kisses 2

Welcome in the holiday season with 19 heartwarming and wholesome novellas from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.
Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 takes you from the Smoky Mountains to Florida's sun-drenched beaches, from the Italian Alps to Paris, France, the Midwest to a quirky little town in Arizona. The Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 bundle features all-new, stand-alone stories that are sure to make you laugh, sometimes bring tears to your eyes, but always put you in the Christmas spirit. Foreword by New York Times bestselling author, RaeAnne Thayne.
Book Excerpt

He saves her life, she could make or break his; will the gift of love come in time for Christmas?
Trey left the sky and glanced at her, shocked to discover she was almost leaning over him. Her eyes were wide in surprise, shock, anxiety – he couldn’t tell. All he knew was that he was caught in her stare and couldn’t look away. He was lost in those gold-flecked, chocolate eyes, that dark hair sparkling with snow. He felt an irresistible urge to pull her head down to his to kiss her, when it hit him what he had done. Here he was, lying next to the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and he’d had to blurt out to her that he was a convicted felon. Smooth. Not to mention that knowing she was completely isolated with an ex-con was sure to make her feel just great. He rolled away from her and jumped up, angry to discover he was weak in the knees.
From Sweet Blizzard by Milou Koenings, one of 19 novellas in Sweet Christmas Kisses 2:

Buy Links

About the Author

Milou Koenings writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place.

She's lived all over the world, working as an IP lawyer and freelance travel and technology writer, but loves to stay home with her family more than anything.
She is proud to be a Sweet Romance Reads author.

Author Social Media 

Amazon Author Page


  1. It's an interesting concept, Milou, but one which, like you originally, I tend to think is not for me. But never say never! Just out of interest - does one person take it on themselves to 'organise' the publication of the box set, how long are the stories in each set, and how do you work out the royalty payments?

  2. Welcome to HWH! JVs are an interesting concept and one that I think would require a lot of thought, especially to make sure you're partnered with the right person. Might be worth looking into. Love your excerpt!

  3. A collaborative project like this sounds like a fun 'adventure, especially since it comes out of the friendships you've created through your blog.

    Christmas reads are some of my favorites...this set sounds cozy!

  4. Sets and series sell. I think this is a grand idea.

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