7 Tasks An Author Can Outsource To A Virtual Assistant
Being an author isn’t just about writing, especially for an author choosing the self-publishing route. They will need to manage all social media aspects of their book, looking after their website, formatting, fact-checking, managing competitions, diary and email management, getting reviews and on top of this, they will need to build their own visibility too (and let’s not forget about the writing).
There will always be tasks we don’t enjoy doing or don’t have time to do. So, I have listed some tasks an author can outsource to a Virtual Assistant who specialises in providing support to authors.
- Social Media
There are so many social media platforms out there Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the list goes on. Where do you start? And how can you possibly keep up with all of them?
A Virtual Assistant can set up your account(s) and post on your behalf as well as replying to comments and messages on a regular basis.
You can also ask your Virtual Assistant to provide you with a weekly/monthly analytics report which can give you an insight into many aspects of your social media account, including which post(s) performed well and how many times your post was liked/retweeted/shared.
Social media is important but there are so many authors who don’t use it.
- Managing your website
If you are an author, it is a good idea to have a website. It’s your own space on the internet and somewhere for your fans to go and find out about you, including signing up to your mailing list. Once you have a list, you have created a following, people who are interested in what you have to say.
It’s also really important to keep your website up to date. If you blog regularly or have an upcoming book release, your website is the first place they will go.
Right, so you have been building your list, what are you going to do with this information? There is nothing that turns a reader off more than being bombarded with emails. If you are going to send a newsletter, you need to have something you think your followers will want to read about. Here are a few things you could include in a newsletter: –
• Have you recently written a blog?
• Publication date for your next book
• Cover reveals
• Book promotion discount
• Short story giveaway
Newsletters are a brilliant way to communicate with your audience and it also generates traffic to your website.
- Diary and email management
Once you start promoting your book, you may find that your diary will get busier. Attending festivals, guest speeches, book tours, book fairs, you will need a travel itinerary. Many Virtual Assistants were previously PAs or EAs so organising this for you will come naturally.
Your VA can also schedule meetings/telephone calls with a potential source or, with your direction, they can even conduct the interview on your behalf and report back to you with their findings.
As well as a busy diary, you will find your email inbox starts getting busier too. A lot of communication is done via email so should be looked at regularly but finding the time to do this isn’t always easy. You could miss out on potential events and invitations.
- Managing your income and expenditure
Some people find managing their money difficult. A Virtual Assistant can create a simple spreadsheet for you to keep track of your income and expenditure. How much did you spend on your last Facebook campaign? How much have you earned in royalties for your last book compared to the one before that? Instead of sifting through piles of paperwork trying to find this information, wouldn’t it be easier to have it all in one place?
- Formatting a manuscript for an eBook
This can be a minefield. Manuscripts for eBooks need bookmarks, page breaks, a table of contents, social media links and more. If you have no knowledge of doing this yourself, get someone else to do it. I’ve heard of a few cases where authors (who have tried to format their book themselves) have received low star ratings because the manuscript didn’t display well on the reader’s device.
When you are writing your book, there will be occasions where facts need to be checked. This can be a time-consuming process especially when all you want to do is write. Let your Virtual Assistant know exactly what you are after and send them on a fact-finding mission for you while you concentrate on your writing.
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