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20 December 2012 I see shoals ahead, though, since e-books and e-book shopping can never replace one of my great loves— browsing among the mysterious shelves of a dusty second-hand bookstore in search of buried treasure.

Laura Resnick's current release is Polterheist, the fifth Esther Diamond novel. When not writing, she can be found unpacking boxes in her very vertical new house.

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Support Teams

Continued from page 17       You need to be able to trust the expertise of the professional you’ve hired and be open to creative possibilities.

For example, consider whether it makes sense to go with a designer’s advice to have a branded look to your covers so you target an audience with one perspective that conveys a series and then carry that brand/look over to your web page, Facebook profile, etc.

In his blog Write it Forward, Bob Mayer says that if you know where you want to be in three to five years, then everything you do needs to be aligned with that. Sometimes the one thing you are not willing to do is exactly what you need to do.

Authors can make better use of their time and energy by hiring a Virtual Assistant for tasks such as managing websites, uploading books to sites, POD formatting, etc. But don’t be too hands-off. E-publishing moves at a phenomenal rate and you need to stay on top of it. Flexibility and adaptability are essential.

Assistants, virtual and otherwise, can be found via networking. Some people hire college interns, neighbors, and family members. It is helpful if they have expertise in what you’re doing. You need to make sure your VA can handle tasks independently. Not much of a time or energy saver if you have to continually train and supervise.

Updating social media is different for a novelist than a chocolatier. Both need to be adding relevant, engaging content, but novelists are marketing the people who live in our heads and thus our updates need to be in our voice, conveying our personality. Not that authors need to be putting their personal life on the Internet, but rather their unique perspective on life. Audiences connect with that.

With today’s 24-hour access, there are horrific expectations of response time. It is essential to be attentive and respectful of workloads and life demands of others. Email about upcoming projects and priorities to ensure this fits in with the schedules of your support team. Just because we live in the land of instant, doesn’t mean we should expect that. Formatting, editing, and cover creation are a lot harder than they might seem.

Give people time to do their best work.

Keep your support team in the loop. Let them know how things are going. They become personally invested in projects and are disappointed when they don’t hear how things work out. Check out rumors with the source.

The first step is finding professionals who are the right fit. After that, keep the lines of communication open and reevaluate progress and goals along the way.

Pat Roy is back in the publishing game after a hiatus to raise kids. Lucky Stars and The Wedding Knot are out now. Among the Lunatics is coming soon.

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