What does an author assistant do?


When it comes to actual tasks and services provided by assistants, it’s an open-ended list, dictated by whatever an author needs done. The list below was assembled from a variety of sources, including author assistants’ websites, workshop handouts, conference notes and personal experience. Please note some of these services crossover with other support providers such as editors, marketers, graphic designers, website developers, bookkeepers and publicists.

The list is organized according to tasks that require entry level skills, intermediate skills and advanced skills. Note that the execution and mastery of each task will vary, according to skills and experience.

 Entry level

 Data entry
General office assistance
Maintaining schedule
Submitting books to contests
File Maintenance / Organization
Ordering author swag


 ARC Distribution
Blog Management
Blog Tour Coordination
Book Club Discussions
Book Signings / Public Appearances (Assist with)
Contest & Giveaway Planning / Management
Coordinate Reviewers / Beta Readers
Correspondence / Mailings
Data Management
Database Management
Managing Street Teams
Newsletter Management / Content
Office Administration
Posting to Social Media/Blog
Research / Fact-checking
Schedule / Travel Coordination
Virtual Party Planning / Hosting


Author Branding
Author Education / Consulting
Blog Tour Planning / Management
Book Signings / Public Appearances (Organize and manage)
Cover Copy
Cover Design
Developmental Editing
E-book / Print Formatting
E-book Distribution /Uploading
Event Planning
Graphic design
Manuscript Formatting
Marketing / Promotional Campaigns
Media Kits / Media Releases
Personal Liaison / Point Of Contact
Project Management
Promotional Plan Development
Publicity Liaison
Query Letters
Screening Email / Correspondence
Social Media Content Development / Management
Website Content Creation / Design
Website Development & Maintenance

 I think it bears mentioning what an author assistant is not or does not do:

  • Assistants are not volunteers
  • Assistants do not sit around and read all day
  • Assistants are not a substitute for other professionals (i.e. editor, financial planner, accountant, contract specialist)
  • Assistants are not stand-ins for authors
  • Assistants are not (generally) publicists
  • Assistants are not privy to a secret formula or magic potion for selling more books, finding more readers or generating more income
  • Assistants should not make decisions or commitments on behalf of authors

Do you have questions about working with an author assistant? Contact My Author Concierge for information, tips and advice.

thinpaperback_795x1003This content is excerpted from DO LESS. WRITE MORE.: The Author’s Guide to Finding, Hiring and Keeping an Excellent Author Assistant.Copies are available from most online vendors:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1INjCRv
BN: http://bit.ly/1LnQlsl
iBooks: http://apple.co/1NjbtmE
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1VVvT79


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