Is your work managing the business side of your publishing taking away from your time writing your next book? Are you feeling overwhelmed? It might be time to hire an Author Assistant. In this episode of the KWL Podcast, US Manager Christine Munroe interviews Kate Tilton, founder of Kate Tilton Author Services, LLC. Christine and Kate talk about:
- What do author assistants do, exactly? Kate says, “I give authors more time to write and spend with their family, by doing tasks that they may be able to do themselves, but they don’t have time for.”
- Kate started as an author assistant in December 2010 – it was her first job, while she was still a high school student.
- A typical day for Kate might include these tasks: organize email inboxes, send review copies, run to the post office to mail out prizes, scheduling their blog posts and social media, beta reading, matching audio books to the written text. It’s a diverse job; every day is different.
- Why should an author hire an author assistant? Every one could use help in some capacity. If you feel overwhelmed and work is piling up. Willing to delegate. Have the finances to afford the help.
- What projects can be outsourced? Anything, really, that is taking up time that you wish you could be using to write. You can also consider hiring a personal assistant instead, who will help with non-publishing daily chores (picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping) to make your life more manageable.
- The job is really flexible – you make your own schedule and choose your author clients.
- It’s great to work with multiple clients, because authors are not in competition with one another. Kate can bring them together for joint efforts like prize giveaways, and each is helping the other find new readers.
- How much should authors expect to pay for an assistant? Rates vary greatly, depending on the assistant’s experience. For example, you can get a college-level intern and pay very little, but you’ll need to take the time to teach them how to do what you need. With an experienced assistant, you’ll pay around $40/hour, but it may be more efficient because they’ll draw on their expertise to get the job done quickly. It’s a decision to make based on your budget, time, and needs.
- For someone hoping to become an author assistant, check out Kate’s resources on her website.
- For an author looking for an assistant, start with word of mouth – ask your author friends who they work with. There are many resources online, for example Author’s Atlas.
- Kate recently contributed two sections to The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide, edited by Joel Friedlander and Betty Sargent, which is available for pre-order on Kobo.
- Her biggest advice for tackling social media and marketing: figure out who the #1 die-hard fan of your book is going to be, and market to that kind of person. This thought process will help you really appeal to your ideal market.
- Kate also teaches by doing; she works on her own social media and branding to exemplify what she thinks authors should do. Her brand: Books. Cats. Tea. Nerdy stuff. Food.
- One great resource for learning more about marketing is CopyBlogger.
- You need to build a group of people who “know, like, and trust you,” because those are the people who are going to help you grow (and buy your books).
- #K8Chat is Kate’s weekly Twitter chat, with the goal of connecting authors and readers. Every Thursday 9-10PM EST.
Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. She has been serving authors behind the scenes since 2010. Founder of Kate Tilton’s Author Services, LLC, Kate works as an author assistant, social media manager, and speaker with the mission of connecting authors and readers. Kate is the creator and host of #K8chat (Thursdays at 9pm Eastern on Twitter) and has appeared on popular media such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Book Designer, Kobo Writing Life and Rafflecopter. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate likely can be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or connecting authors and readers in any way she can. You can find Kate on katetilton.com.
If you enjoy this podcast and would like to automatically download episodes as they go live – even before the show notes are posted to the Kobo Writing Life blog – subscribe to the RSS feed via your favourite pod-capturing platform (such as iTunes) using the RSS feed link: RSS feed for Kobo Writing Life Podcast.
Authors, if you have any questions feel free to leave them here for me or connect with me on my website or social media! 🙂
I and my daughter Mignon Morgan have written over 70 books and none are best sellers yet. What makes one and why?
That is the million dollar question! If someone had the answer to that they would be set for life. There are a few things when it comes to best sellers to consider:
1. How do you define best seller? Being on the NYT list? A certain number of sales?
2. If you are aiming for a traditional best-seller list you must have an ISBN and there is no real way to determine how someone ends up on the list. I’d suggest checking out this great article from Jeff Goins about his attempt to hit the NYT best-seller list: http://goinswriter.com/nyt-best-seller/.
I hope that helps a little!
Thanks for sharing that link, Kate. I’ve always wondered about those bestseller lists, too. And I had listened to your podcast on KWL and loved it!
My pleasure Marie! I’m glad the link I shared helped you out and that you enjoyed my podcast interview. <3