Often, when a prominent author has help with the writing, it’s by a ghost writer. There’s actually a long tradition of some very famous authors using other writers (sometimes with attribution, other times not) to help create and publish more acim Tom Clancy is another well known example.
However, James Patterson has taken this one step further, and gives his partner writers credit on the cover. His name comes first of course and is what sells the book to people, and keeping the writing style to his proven formula definitely helps sales. So it’s safe to assume James is still involved with the proofing and editing process.
But this allows his output to increase significantly, even to several books a year, and keeps quality high.
An example in non-fiction is Dan Kennedy, a very successful marketing author and consultant. Recently he’s been teaming up with experts in certain fields to help him create and publish books on topics he may not have as much experience in as his co-author.
This gives Dan less work, allows him to leverage the expertise of his partner, and of course his co-author benefits from the very significant credibility that comes from being in a project with Dan Kenney, and also benefits from the significant marketing resources and expertise Dan has.
And with non-fiction, since it offers many more opportunities to profit after the sale of a book through courses, training, consulting and services, a JV book can help create new clients for both authors.
Some Different Types of Joint Ventures
Of course there’s almost any number of variations and terms that can be included in joint venture contracts. Let’s talk through some of the most common options:
- You could have both your names on the cover of the book like the James Patterson example…
- Or perhaps one of the partners could be entirely behind the scenes and just help with the writing and perhaps promotion work…
- Or, just the introduction could be written by one of the partners, with the rest of the content created by the other.