Services Provided by Virtual Author’s Assistants

by Jan King

There are more than 40 services that nonfiction authors ask for most – in the three parts to the process, writing, publishing and marketing. The Virtual Author’s Assistant Training Program will prepare you thoroughly to take care of these author requests from your first day!

In the writing process, the professional virtual author’s assistant can:

  • Inventory and organize author’s intellectual property to make it easier for the author to get started and not have to start from scratch
  • Research the potential audience for the book which will be essential for a successful book proposal
  • Fact check information in the book for accuracy and to get determine if permission for using the information is needed
  • Obtain permissions to use quotes and interviews, etc. which helps the author determine what she needs permission for, research ownership, send out legal letters, and follow up
  • Oversee the peer and audience review process so that once the author identifies reviewers, can send out manuscript with review question letter and follow up
  • Research potential publishers to send the book proposal to by doing research on the Web and in the bookstore
  • Do a competitive analysis which is a required part of the book proposal and to fully understand the parts of the book proposal to guide the author
  • Prepare the manuscript to send as part of the book proposal to make sure the author submits the correct format for that particular publisher

In the publishing process, the professional virtual author’s assistant can:

  • Coordinate the self-publishing process by guiding the author through the right steps in the right order at the right time or helping the author identify a high-quality publishing services firm
  • Organize the process to get a foreword, endorsements and testimonials for the back cover, web site and other sales materials
  • Organize the process to create the book cover, including making sure an ISBN and the bar code are obtained, pricing and the categories are correctly selected, the author has an appropriate photo and bio and that back cover copy is written and finally that a marketable title and good quality cover are selected and designed.
  • Organize the process to take the book interior pages from manuscript to designed and typeset professional quality format, including obtaining the library of congress information and other information needed for the copyright page, making sure the author has completed all the front and back matter for the book (such as acknowledgments, index, etc.)
  • Assist with the process of ebook development and the development of other informational products
  • Handle the proof copy from the printer to make sure the book is as close to error-free as possible.
  • Handle the details allowing an author to find distribution to the retail market, including web sites and book stores, including setting the right wholesale price and making sure the quality of the finished book is professional quality
  • Get the book’s copyright registered to give the author maximum protection for his or her intellectual property

In the book marketing process, the professional virtual author’s assistant can:

  • Coordinate promotional activities, particularly around the book launch starting at least 2 months before publication date and extending for at least 4 months after
  • Organize the development of the author’s web site, including all the details of social media, blogging and other ways of creating and keeping in touch with the author’s fan base.
  • Pull together all the appropriate information for an author’s media kit which should be available online to attract journalists who need the author’s expertise and submit articles to article databases
  • Get the book listed with Amazon.com and maximize the sales potential of the Amazon page
  • Launch an Amazon.com best seller campaign with a target email on a particular day and with partners to maximize the sales potential
  • Create a virtual book launch and book tour, the most cost effective way to get the book launched and on the map
  • Organize a live book event, from the book launch party to trade shows, to seminars and speaking engagements which are great book sales opportunities with a little planning
  • Enter the book in book awards competitions in the right categories for the author’s book