The Indispensable Absolutely Necessary VAA

by Kim Pearson on October 15, 2014

If you are an author and don’t have a Virtual Author’s Assistant (VAA), then I’m so sorry for you. I also urge you to get one, because a good VAA will make your author journey much smoother, productive, and successful. And you will learn a lot about the book biz, too.

For the last few years my VAA has been Janica Smith ( and her trusty team of VAA professionals who have not only supported me in my author role, but in my ghostwriter role as well. Simply put, I do not know how I would do my job without Janica.

For this Haiku Book of Days project Janica and her partner Michelle Scappace ( ) have worked hard – and smart – to get these books out into the world. The list of what they have worked on and accomplished is a long one. Here are just some of the many things they’ve done, helped me do, or will be doing as we progress:

Apply for and receive the relevant ISBNs, LCCNs, copyright registration; create the Verso (or copyright) page for the books; interact with the editor and designer to make sure things stay on track so we meet our target dates; research pricing info including competitive books; prepare reports on the costs of printing, distribution, and associated profits for the author; prepare manuscript and submit to CreateSpace, Lightning Source; set up accounts with Amazon and others; add the books to my website, my Amazon page, my Facebook page, GoodReads, etc; order proof copies; establish wholesale ordering procedure; research marketing and promotional ideas, from which Facebook groups to target, to which professional organizations might be interested, to how to develop an advertising strategy; offer opinions during discussions on design or marketing questions; strategize on how to deal with any problems that might arise; get the appropriate people involved in each aspect of production and marketing; and basically shepherd all aspects of the project. The VAA is the one who knows the status of all the details involved which contribute to the production and launch of a book.

Wow. And this is all before the book is published. After publication, VAAs help the author market and promote their book. But that will be for a later blog post.

Trust me, if you’re an author, you need one of these people.

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