Once you start adding to your book catalog, the combination of writing and book marketing can be overwhelming. Some writers succumb to Superhero Syndrome, in which they insist on doing everything themselves. After all, they figure, if they go it alone they'll save money which could be better spent on book covers, editing, and other direct publishing costs. What they don't realize is that the more time they spend on book marketing and administrative details, the less time they have for actually working on their next book.
If you've fallen into this trap, your best solution may be to hire a virtual assistant, or VA. A VA can be based anywhere in the world, and does all the work digitally. You'll probably never meet your digital assistant, but you may become to rely on her like one of your best friends. You don't have to be a NYT bestselling author to hire a virtual assistant, but hiring one might put you on the road to that level of popularity.
Who to Hire
Virtual assistants come with different skill sets, and it's better to hire more than one than to try finding a perfect copy of yourself for all your admin needs. Break your work day down into tasks, then use a critical eye to determine what tasks you can pass on to someone else. Simple tasks like writing a month's worth of tweets or filling a Pinterest board for book marketing are ideal for passing onto someone else. Your time is better spent actually working on your next book. Check the various virtual employment venues online to find the variety of VA skills that are available.
What to Designate
Out of all the tasks you do each week, which ones are best to pass along to your VA? Make a list of things you need, but don't know how to do right now. Make another list of things your business needs that you really dislike doing. Finally, be honest with yourself and list things you may like doing, but that would be better for your business to be passed on to someone else. You may love playing around designing business cards or writing Facebook posts, but in the long run you can make better use of your time. Put these lists together and you'll find the jobs you need to give to a VA.
Get the Most Out of Your VA
In order to make this a worthwhile collaboration, you need to spend time setting up the job and being clear on what you want done. Organize your notes and take the time to train your VA in doing things the way you like them. Give clear directions, create a system, and begin slowly before ramping up. Finally, pay people what they're worth. You may find people willing to do your advertised job on one of the inexpensive bidding sites, but when it comes to virtual assistants, you usually get what you pay for. Pay the going rate if you truly want a professional job done.
Keep The Faith and May the Force be with You!