Working With An Author Assistant Part Two: Getting Started
This is part two of a three part series on authors working with author assistants by Sara Rosett, mystery author.
1. Start small
Give your assistant one or two tasks and see how it goes. Don’t overload them with a long list. Some assistants have discounts for purchasing time in bulk; however, I wouldn’t buy hours in bulk upfront. I want to work with the assistant a little while to make sure it’s a good relationship before I purchase large chunks of time—it can be a great deal later on, though.
2. Define tasks
Take the time to explain what you want done. If there’s something specific you want, be sure to mention it. Conversely, if there’s something that doesn’t matter to you, let your assistant know that too. For example, when my assistant sets up the Google sign-up form for my Reading Team, I don’t want her to worry about adding images to the header. A simple form is all I want.
3. Expect it to be slow and take extra time
In the beginning it will take extra time to explain what you want and then check the work, but it will pay off later.
4. Use a shared calendar app like Google Calendar to set dates.
5. Use Dropbox or another type of app to share files
Dropbox and Google Docs are great for large shared files. I like using Trello to organize my to-do lists. I can tag my assistant for certain tasks and also share images and documents.
6. For passwords you can either send your assistant a list of passwords and logins, use an app like Last Pass, or create logins and set permissions for your assistant—although not every site has this ability. You can create separate logins for your assistant on WordPress, your Facebook profile page, Amazon ads, and some mail clients like MailChimp.
USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters. She is the author of the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the Murder on Location series. Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.
Continuity Editor & Virtual Assistant
Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, fur mom, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.