~ By Milou Koenings
Like most writers, it tends to be just me and the keyboard. And I like it that way.
But when it comes to book marketing, I decided a few years ago that it was time to break out of my comfort zone and start collaborating with other authors. I had seen what could happen for my author friends who were brave enough to try it, and I wanted in on some of that collaborative magic.
For me, the first step was joining a group blog. I was incredibly fortunate that the week I’d decided to start looking for this kind of opportunity, I saw an announcement that Sweet Romance Reads was forming. We are a group of clean, sweet romance authors who blog together. We each have our day, once a month.
And we support each other’s marketing efforts.
You know what it’s like when you have a new release and you send out a few tweets about it. You hope your followers will notice and maybe retweet. But what if you were guaranteed that 30 other authors would retweet your posts to all their followers, too? Imagine how much larger your reach would be.
If you knew your whole tribe would promote your blog posts, feature you on their own blogs, re-pin and Instagram you and support your Thunderclaps, wouldn’t you feel more confident about your marketing efforts?
Group blogging and marketing support networks aren’t the only joint ventures open to writers. Other joint venture projects could include:
- Collaborating on a book with another author, or several others, who write in a similar genre
- Pooling your modest marketing budgets together into a sum significant enough for some serious advertising
- Entering into collaborative arrangements with people who can open new markets, for example, translators, illustrators and narrators. You might not be able to afford thousands of dollars for a translator. But some freelance translators are willing to work in partnership, translating your book for a split of the royalties. If you’re an indie writer who’d like to take a gamble in, say, Germany’s booming romance marketplace, this may be a path to consider. These kinds of arrangements also mean that your translator will have an incentive to market the book, too, and will probably have more contacts than you do in the foreign language market. The same goes for illustrators and even narrators of audio books.
The synergy of joint ventures can be powerful, enough, at times, to catapult mid-list authors to NYT best-selling author status with a single boxed set.
On September 27, we at Sweet Romance Reads will be releasing our fourth collaborative publication: a boxed set of 17 holiday-themed, all new, wholesome romances by New York Times, USA Today and National Best-Selling authors, that take you around the globe from small-town USA, to London, England, and even to Africa. (The African one is mine!)
As you probably guessed from our title, in past years, we’ve put out two other anthologies, both of which were USA Today bestsellers. We also have a cookbook, Recipes for Love, which is a collection of menus and recipes for romantic dinners for two. It’s a privilege to work with a wonderful group of women on projects like this.
When working with a group, everyone gets to bring her or his own special skills and experiences to the table. It’s incredibly educational. And when a group of writers and artists pulls together, it’s amazing the creativity that can be unleashed. Suddenly, you can find yourself doing things you never thought you could — and probably couldn’t if you were doing them alone.
But you’re not alone.
And the possibilities are suddenly endless!
Milou Koenings is a USA Today bestselling author who writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place.
She is the author of the Green Pines Romance series and her new novella, The Kampala Peppermint Twist, is part of the 17-author box set, Sweet Christmas Kisses 3.