Self-published Authors: New Market Niche for Virtual Assistants

By: Gail Richards

Copyright (c) 2008 Gail Richards

More and more people are publishing their own books as independent publishers rather than waiting and hoping to find a traditional publisher who will appreciate their work. While this was seen as a desperate attempt to get a book published about twenty years ago, times have changed. Many people rightly see publishing a book as an entrepreneurial venture and they are willing to take on the risks to keep more of the profits as the eventual reward.

The virtual assistant is now a key component in the success of these entrepreneurial book publishing efforts as new authors are using virtual services of all kinds instead of hiring employees. Even established publishing companies themselves use virtual services.

Authors' needs for virtual services fall into two categories: to coordinate parts of the publishing process itself and to coordinate and assist in the marketing of the book once it is published. A brand new niche in the virtual assistant business has been created to deal with these new needs - the virtual author's assistant.

To assist with the self-publishing coordination, the author's assistant would be tasked with getting the ISBN and LCCN - important numbers in the book publishing process. Other tasks would include coordinating the activities of the important professionals - the editor, proofreader, indexer, book designer and cover designer. The author's assistant will also coordinate the printing and distribution process.

There are also many tasks that an author's assistant can take on that are compatible with the skills or experience the virtual assistant may already have in marketing such as maintaining and optimizing web sites, creating media kits, handling newsletters, managing mailing lists, making travel arrangements, handling schedules and many more.

In addition, the author's assistant can handle the coordination and listing with Amazon.com, including creating an Amazon best seller campaign. Another must for authors these days is a virtual book launch and book tour which takes maximum advantage of the virtual assistant's technical know-how.

While it takes special training and experience to master these important tasks, it is well worth the effort. Thousands of new authors enter the market with their books each year. The best place for an author's assistant to find authors is through writer's groups, professional networking groups, through publishers and by partnering with publicists, book cover designers and others who regularly work with authors.. Once you tell people that you are someone who assists authors and aspiring authors and you will discover how many coaches, attorneys, speakers and others have thought of writing a book, but may have been scared by the complexity of the process.

As an author's assistant, you will find the work itself rewarding, but most rewarding is the idea that you have been an important part of getting the word out about new ideas in book form for an author whose message needs to be heard.

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