Working with Authors: How Much Do You Want It?

by janbking on July 1, 2009

I have just begun to use LinkedIn to create groups to help my connections in a number of different arenas meet each other. To stimulate conversation, I’ve posed questions to each group.

Last week I asked one of my favorite groups – the author’s assistants – if they worked with authors full time. I got a variety of responses between, “Yes, my virtual practice is exclusively with authors,”, to “No, I work with a few authors but many others who need virtual assisting.” Today, I received this wonderful response: ” At the beginning of this week, my answer to this question would have been “No”, however; my marketing and networking efforts have paid off! I just entered into an agreement with an author today for a rather large project and have about 4 more in the wings after two friends spread the word to others at their networking events. You’re right, there are SO MANY potential or budding authors out there and all are very appreciative to find someone with some general publishing knowledge if nothing else but to be a reference source for them to bounce questions off of. That said, I’m sure I’ll run into questions along the way too with this project, so THANK YOU for this forum and the other resources you’ve provided!”

No matter how many times I encourage those who want to work with authors that they are out there, there is nothing like hearing it directly!

I am frequently asked by those considering the Virtual Author’s Assistant Training Program if being listed in our directory means they will automatically be sent clients. The answer is a resounding, “No!” There are no automatic clients from any directory as far as I know. A directory with 60 or 100 or 1,000 listings is not a marketing vehicle – it only provides outside validation your expertise.

You must build your own practice with all the tools you have. The more important consideration: How much do you want it? Are you willing to get outside your comfort zone and call people, go to networking events, tell them what you do and ask for the business?

Authors want help, but they don’t know you can provide it unless you write articles, give talks, attend events and most importantly, let your clients know that you know your stuff!

Just like anything, a lot of hard work and preparation, a little luck and a positive attitude will generally get you where you need to go. Congratulations to Julie who wrote me the wonderful email. She wanted it and she went and got it. I hope she will take that lesson to the authors she works with who are looking for publishers!

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