How can a Virtual Author’s Assistant help to keep things on track?

by Janica Smith on September 27, 2012

Hello everyone.  My name is Janica Smith and I am working on the project as the Virtual Author’s Assistant.  While the title gives some idea of what I do I wanted to talk a little bit about the coordinating role I play in working with an author who is self-publishing.

There are many administrative parts of the publishing process that I will be directly involved in but I think one of the most valuable roles I play is that of project manager.  When I first begin to work with an author I start by identifying and listing all the tasks that need to be done to take the project from manuscript to both physical books and digital eBooks available for sale.  I use my experience to help develop a work plan complete with a timeline and budget.  I identify the various team members that will be needed and help the author to choose professionals to fill out the team.  Sometimes, I actually do the interviewing and gathering of proposals for the various team members.  In many cases, I can recommend professionals that have worked on other projects that I have been involved in.

After the team members are identified, I help to keep the project on track and assure that tasks are completed in the right order to avoid delays and unnecessary expenses.  There are many “moving parts” to the project and while many of them can be worked on at the same time, others need to wait until other specific tasks are completed.  Keeping track of the timeline avoids things slipping through the cracks that can cause progress to stop while we go back and take care of that detail.  I also monitor the budget and help to maintain financial records including keeping a file of receipts.

I will be blogging over the few weeks about more of the publishing activities that I do for the author as one of the team members.



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