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 (www.janicasmith.com) 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 (www.michellesva.com ) 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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