Contrary to what some might think, being an author isn’t always as romantic as it sounds. In the age of self-publishing, self-marketing, offering outstanding social media service to your readers, and a potential reader base numbering in the millions, a virtual assistant for authors is more of a necessity than a luxury.
Success requires more than just great writing skills. As a novelist, a contributor to popular journals, feature writer, or dedicated blogger. There is more to earning a living with your literary talent, than just being able to write.
Every Writer’s Greatest Enemy: Time
The one complaint we hear repeatedly, from both full time and part time authors, is the ongoing challenge of finding actual time to write. Now, if you’re not a writer, that might sound absurd, but consider all the things a writer has to do in addition to simply (or not so simply!) writing that book or career-defining article:
- Research: just like an iceberg, where seven-eighths of the ice is under the water, any good author will tell you just how much research has to be done before a writing outline can be put together. Facts need to be verified, historical or geographical context needs to be checked, sources investigated, ideas and angles need to be explored, and a ton more. And as interesting as this can all be, every hour spent in research is an hour lost to actual writing time. For this task alone, a virtual assistant for authors can be incredibly valuable.
Authors Need To Be Online
- Building a following: authors depend on readers to support them. And whether you’re the next Stephen King, or a blogger working at creating a popular and profitable niche for yourself, you need to build and cultivate a loyal audience. This is more than just marketing – it’s about promoting yourself as a recognizable and likable brand.
- Online activity: as an author, you need to stay fresh and relevant to your audience. To do that, you might be using methods like sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter to your subscribers, maintaining a good social media presence, and maybe blogging as a good SEO practice to bring more potential readers to your author website. Although these seem like peripheral activities, they’re absolutely necessary – because if you don’t do them, you risk becoming invisible to potential readers. And again, they consume time. Just keeping up on social media can be exhausting, as well as a distraction from what you really prefer to be spending your time and energy on.
- Managing your online publishing business: as an author, you’re in the business of selling a product, and that product is your author brand. That means you’re also in the business of statistics and book performance reports, sales updates and genre rankings, reader reviews and promotions. After all, book marketing and publicity is incredibly important. But isn’t that something you’d rather delegate to a skilled and knowledgeable virtual assistant for authors?
- Media outreach: One of the most effective ways to grow your following is to put yourself in front of people who might otherwise never hear about your writing. So: being featured in local and national publications, landing that coveted TV or radio interview, or getting a guest spot on a well-subscribed podcast makes a lot of sense. The challenge? Time, yet again.
Making It Work For You
We haven’t even touched on other necessary tasks, like networking with well-known publications and influencers or project collaborators. Not to mention the time needed to liaise with your cover designer, your proofreader and editor, and anyone else involved in the production of your masterpiece.
Logically, then, there are two ways you can try to make it work. You can either compromise your writing time (which means producing less work and making less money) – or you can get someone to help you. And a skilled virtual assistant for authors could be the answer to your time crunch.
Building Your Author Brand
As your writing career begins to take off, the demands on your time and attention only increase. If you’re doing really well, these requirements could include things like:
- Traveling to book launches, promotional appearances, and perhaps even award events.
- Meetings with agents, lawyers, and media organizations.
- Taking time to reply to reader mails, hosting webinars, and responding to queries or pitches.
- Providing mentorship, endorsements for collaborating authors, and creating guest articles or anthology contributions.
- Delivering that TED talk you always dreamed about. Maybe.
Frankly, at this point, if you have any time left to actually write, it’ll be a miracle.
A Day in The Life of a (Smart) Author
Imagine, for a moment, that your average day looked like this:
- 6am – 9am: You’re up early, well-rested and motivated. Enjoying your coffee in the tranquility of your sacred space. You pour the inspiration and magic of your inner world into the next couple thousand words of your novel.
- 9am – 11am: A leisurely breakfast and a check-in with your virtual assistant. Your mails have already been sorted! Anything urgent or specifically marked for your attention has already been screened. Making it quick and easy to deal with!
Your VA has checked your two new book cover options,according to your instructions. Your VA will collate the feedback once they get tested against an audience sample, and will let you know which one is a winner.
Research – At A Glance
The research pack you requested about river routes in and out of the Ecuadorian Amazon? Done! And the eating habits of indigenous people there? Your VA has compiled it all for you. You can read it at a glance, while you’re busy writing.
How is this possible? Simple. Your VA will know more than a few secret productivity hacks to get things done quickly and efficiently.
- 11am – 2pm: Another great writing session! This time a little slower and more thoughtful. You also managed a bit of a light edit on yesterday’s pages.
- 2pm – 3pm: Lunch and some time for reflection. Maybe a nap; you’re not a machine.
- 3pm – 5pm: Attend to the day’s admin. Your virtual assistant for authors has checked your sales dashboards, noted trends for you, and made recommendations. They have also published your social media posts for the day and responded to reader messages. Your VA reached out on your behalf to three media outlets. And of course, organized your travel diary (including bookings) for next week’s trip out of state to attend a convention. All is well.
- 5pm onward: Your time is your own. And it’s that way because you’ve effectively outsourced most of the things that previously incurred unavoidable overtime. The things that caused you crippling stress, and led to the never-ending ‘to do’ list. All the things that left you tired and uninspired.
Fact, not Fiction
If you think this scenario sounds like a work of romantic fiction, think again. It’s entirely possible – and it’s more affordable than you’d imagine.
Book a discovery call with us today and find out how a virtual assistant for authors can free up your time, boost your creativity, and help take you to the next level in your writing career.