Ten Ways a Professional Author’s Assistant Goes Beyond The Words
Many of you might be wondering what a Professional Author’s Assistant (PAA) does. In short, a PAA is someone who helps authors complete their books. From the manuscript to the publishing to the marketing, a PAA guides an author through all the processes of a book many authors don’t think about but are just as important to overall success of their book. In fact, Colleen wrote a blog earlier that goes a little more in depth as to what a PAA can do. But you still might not know why a PAA is important.
Here are ten reasons why an author needs a PAA.
1. Can a Professional Author’s Assistant Help You?
The answer is YES!
Over 80% of the population desires to write and publish a book, but many don’t know where to go or what to do once the manuscript is written so it sits in a folder on the computer or in a desk drawer and the paper turns more and more yellow as the months and years progress. Well, no more. If you decide to self-publish your book, a certified author’s assistant can help you publish from start to finish in two to three months. If you prefer to go the traditional route, they can still assist, but the time period is longer to publication (closer to 18 months). At this point are you asking yourself who is a professional author’s assistant and how can they help me? They are professionals who have successfully completed an intensive training course and passed a rigorous final exam and earned the title of certified Professional Author’s Assistant (PAA). PAAs have specialized skills and knowledge to work with authors.
2. What Does Virtual Really Mean?
If you haven’t worked virtually with someone before, talk with someone who has, or if you need some names, we’ll be happy to provide some so you know collaborating with an author assistant really does work! Ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with the process. Discuss what is expected, what tasks you need completed, and what payment arrangements are anticipated, etc., and when everything is decided, have a written contract in place to protect you and the PAA. This is considered best business practices.
3. Professional Author’s Assistants Keep You — and Your Books — Organized
A Professional Author’s Assistant saves the author time and money by organizing and scheduling tasks so the author can write. There is much more to completing the manuscript, publishing, and marketing a book than writing it. There are too many duties for one person. The author’s job is to write; we provide worry-free writing to clients and take care of the other multiple details. For a more complete idea of how a PAA can help you, visit our website.
FYI: The PAA can help you through the entire process or for the parts that you need most help; it’s entirely up to you.
4. Have The Best Resources On Your Side
A PAA has professional resources and connections. The PAA is someone who understands the industry and technology and knows where to go and who to use for whatever you require. No more need to assemble your own team to help publish your book. A PAA has a trusted team consisting of professional printers, graphic designers, web developers, book designers, marketing experts, professional proofreaders, and more!
5. The Support You Need
A PAA collaborates and supports the author during the process so time isn’t lost between writing, publishing, and marketing the book. From the very beginning, the PAA works with you on your timeline and budget (remember to be reasonable and a PAA will let you know a reasonable timeline). During the process you aren’t alone; the PAA is a source of assurance guiding you so you meet your end goal of publication and sales!
6. Invest In Your Book
Not only is hiring a PAA a cost-saving advantage, it is making an investment in your book. A PAA knows what is needed to professionally finish a manuscript, publish and market it. If you try to figure everything out on your own, you actually spend more money than if you hired a PAA. Reiterating, your job is to concentrate on what you do best – write!
If you spend the time and energy to both learn and complete all the administrative tasks a PAA knows you will lose that time to making money in your field. If you are a psychologist charging $200/hr and you take the time to do these tasks, that is time that you cannot bill. Not only does a PAA already know these jobs, they can help you finish these tasks quicker, meaning you can publish you book sooner, leading to more sales.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
7. Professional Author’s Assistants Help You Keep The Facts Straight
Did you know when you quote someone in your book you must ask for permission to use that quote? Or, if you use a statistic in a book you must find the latest source document and cite it and make sure that it is the most up-to-date information for the survey or statistic?
There is more to finishing the manuscript than writing it. PAAs help organize the author’s source documents, research the target reader, fact check information in the book, obtain permission to use the work of others, including quotes and interviews. They help coordinate professional peer and target reader reviews as well as research potential publishers and submit book proposals, complete a comparative analysis for the book proposal, and prepare the manuscript to submit to the publisher.
8. It’s Time For Publishing
Did you know it’s important to have someone review the printer’s proof other than your original editor? It is also highly recommended that the author does not proof the final/printer’s preview copy of the book. A fresh pair of eyes will catch more than those who have seen it before.
When it comes to publishing your book and/or eBook, the PAA coordinates the self-publishing process and coordinates testimonial requests. Your Professional Author’s Assistant assists in managing the information for the book cover, the book interior, and obtaining the ISBN, the bar code, and Library of Congress cataloging information for the book. Your PAA helps you prepare the eBook, if you decide to publish one, consults with you on a printer and publisher, or helps you set up your own publishing company. Let’s face it; you want to publish your book and the sooner you write it, publish it, and market it, the sooner you’ll start selling it. You need someone who is organized and can walk you through the process from beginning to end. A PAA is detail oriented and knows the importance of deadlines.
9. Becoming a Bestseller
After you’ve published your book, either with a traditional publisher or self-published, did you know it is still your responsibility to market the book? Traditional publishers do not market your book for you. That’s up to you and your PAA has the knowledge to walk you through the process and find the experts needed to successfully sell your book.
Your PAA helps coordinate the book marketing activities including the marketing plan and publication date, obtain industry reviews, assist you to prepare a media list, your media kit, and article submissions, coordinate the development of your website, including a social media campaign, and blogging, help you create a virtual and/or live book tour, launch an Amazon best seller campaign, maximize the book’s Amazon web page, coordinate an author video, suggest book award competitions, and the list continues. A great marketing plan is a lot of work but it is fun because it’s when sales happen. Look at it as an exciting time for any published author!
10. Industry Guideline for Services
PAAs have industry guidelines to offer estimates* for the amount of time each service should take (obtaining ISBNs, fact checking, gathering testimonials, coordinating the self-publishing process, managing live and virtual book tours, etc.). Keeping the author informed when the estimated time is close is imperative and goes back to great communication between the author and the PAA.
(*Due to variables, estimates cannot be guaranteed but offer a parameter. Comprehensive editing and proofreading/consulting is not included in these guidelines.)
Everyone has stories to tell whether it’s fiction, nonfiction – a memoir, academic, technical, etc. When you’re ready to tell your story, a PAA has the knowledge to help you organize, save you time and money!
Until next time,