If you’ve ever even thought about hiring an Author PA, let me tell you…you MUST.
I’ve been writing and publishing books for over a decade, and for at least the last five years, I’ve known about Author PAs. But I’ll be honest with you. I really thought I could do it all on my own. I thought, “Why pay someone to do things I can just set aside time to do myself and save some money?” Boy, was I dead wrong.
First, as much as we writers like to say we’ll make time for all the things we know are essential to our author careers, we all know that time is a valuable asset, and there’s frankly never enough of it. Most of us can barely find the time to get our writing done, let alone checking off all those boxes on our launch list, posting on all our social media platforms, writing and hosting and building and nurturing our newsletter list, researching all things marketing, and so much more.
But a couple of years ago, I decided to bite the bullet and give this Author PA thing a try. At the time, I was working a full-time corporate career and writing in the evenings and on weekends. So, the idea of having someone help me manage my time and my tasks started appealing to me. I posted and did a couple of quick interviews, then I hired the one who sounded the nicest. Big mistake. I didn’t know enough about PAs and how they work to ask the right questions or find out if she really was qualified to even be a PA. Long story short, within a couple weeks, she was arguing with reviewers and readers, and clapping back at people on my email list (can’t even remember what it was over). Needless to say, I let her go.
After that experience, I was jaded, and I returned to my old way of thinking – that PAs are great and all, but I could do just fine without them, especially if I just carved out a few extra minutes each day to get things done.
And that never happened.
Life got in the way, and although I’d released 5 books and I’d already won my first book award, I had no newsletter (I know. I know.), I had zero social media engagement, and I had no idea all the wonderful book marketing platforms that were out there. But I was traditionally published for my first 5 books, so I figured they’d take care of all that for me. I was dead wrong.
Then, I released my first self-published novel, Presumed Dead (available on Amazon), and although it also won a book award, I sold babkas. Although I was by now an editor and coach, and I could write one hell of a book, I didn’t know the first thing about launching books or creating and hosting a newsletter, etc. It was depressing, disheartening, and discouraging, to say the least.
So with my seventh book, A Thousand Tiny Cuts (available now on Amazon), I decided to give this Author PA thing a try one more time. I reached out again on social media (this was several years and thousands of followers later), and this time, I received a crap ton of responses. But I did my research this time around, and I read up on what an Author PA should know and what a good one should be able to do for me. I received a PM from Shannon at Haney Hayes Promotions (The PR Company With Heart), and I set up an interview with them the next day.
That day, I interviewed four PAs, and they all seemed very knowledgeable and friendly and affordable. But when I spoke with Shannon and Jess at HHP, they knocked my socks off. They clearly knew what they were talking about and they told me about all these platforms I’d never even heard of that I should have been on YEARS ago. We connected well, so I hired them on the spot.
Here’s what Shannon and Jess have done for me in two short weeks: they’ve set up my newsletter, created a landing page, manage my BookFunnel account and all the other platforms I’m on, they’ve taken over my Facebook Author Page and begun engaging with my readers. They’ve grown my newsletter subscriber list from zero to over three hundred in that short period of time! They’re responsive, they’re professional, and they are highly organized. They even onboarded me by sending me a link to my own personal Google Drive folder where we can share documents, covers, and anything we need to share back and forth easily. I mean, you guys, these ladies are impressive to say the least.
So, what can you do to find and make sure you are working with a knowledgeable and professional Author PA who can actually help make a difference in your writing career?
Here are a few steps you can take.
- Look in Author PA Facebook groups and post saying you are seeking a PA
- Select 3-5 candidates from those who apply
- Conduct short, informal interviews with your top candidates
- Ask them if they can and will manage your social media accounts
- Ask them if they can and will create/manage/build your MailerLite account
- Ask them what marketing platforms (like BookFunnel) they are able to use
- Get a list of 2-3 current or former client referrals and contact them!
- Find out how they manage your documents (do they use a Drive?)
- Choose the PA whom you connect with instantly – go with your gut!
Then, once you have chosen your new Author PA, they should “onboard” you, which means, they should send you a request for information about your books, social media logins, book covers, and they should send you at least one document that tells you what to expect working with them.
A great Author PA will also find you opportunities to promote your book, like Author Takeovers, Live Events with other authors, and they should help you plan your release and cover reveals, too.
Finally, one thing I also like about working with HHP is that they’ll send me friendly reminders (when I ask them to) to be sure to get some writing done each day. This is exactly the kind of motivation and persuasion I need to light a fire under my rear end to write.
All in all, a really good Author PA will be an invaluable asset to you, and they will help you increase your presence in the book community and sell more books. And what on earth could be better than that?
If you’d like to work with my gals Shannon and Jess at Haney Hayes Promotions, visit their website, where you can read all about them, and you can search through their list of a la carte services and then reach out to them. Tell them you read about their services on the Write Your Best Book Blog! That’ll get you VIP service!