OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
There are many barriers to writing and publishing a book, and finding enough time to write is just one of them!
In this post, I outlined ways you could find more time in your week for writing, but for many people, finding the time is just too difficult.
Small business owners in particular use every spare moment to run and grow their business. They may have stacks of material but just need someone to put it together. Other authors may have a rough manuscript but no time to edit and refine it. Some people may need a virtual assistant to set up, or run their blog and online marketing.
If you have budget to spare but no time, here are some options for you:
- Use the Virtual Author's Assistant Network: This group was set up by Jan B King who trains the participants in particular skills relevant to authors.
- Contact the Virtual Assistant Network run by Kathie M Thomas who is an author herself (interview here)
- Find a Virtual Assistant on Twitter (and you will know they can use social media!). Find someone by searching “virtual assistant” on Search.Twitter.com or use WeFollow.com for Virtual Assistant.
- Find a Virtual Assistant on sites like Odesk.com and Elance.com . Post your job and have people bid on it to find someone you like.
- Use a ghostwriter who can put together a book from your training materials/articles and other work. Check out this podcast with ghostwriter Grant McDuling.
What you need to do to find the right person
- Be specific about your requirements. If you don't know what you want, then you won't find the right person! List out exactly what you need doing e.g. Format my manuscript into a document for publication, Post to my blog twice a week, Respond to my emails based on these general templates, Spend 2 hours per week posting comments on blogs/articles to bring traffic to my site.
- Interview people and check their experience. Your VA will be in a site remote from you but you can still speak to them and get references. Many online sites will already have these testimonials etc in place.
- Give them a test run. Hire someone for 2 weeks and have them do the tasks you need them to. Assess how you got on, their performance and decide whether you want to continue. It is best for everyone if you find someone who can deliver and who you click with.