As you may know, going forward I’ll be establishing my own Kindle publishing business. It promises to be a real challenge, and I’m hugely excited about it. It will mean that I’ll need to hire more help. Speaking with other authors, I’ve realized that many struggle alone. They don’t write as many books as they could be writing.
They don’t know about all the help that’s available to them.
Perhaps you already delegate some tasks. Several of my students have teamed with family members. If you don’t have a spouse or partner who has time to help you, you need an assistant.
You need an assistant, if you’re a Kindle publisher
Hiring a personal assistant some years ago was the best decision I ever made. Of course, giving up even a sliver of control wasn’t easy. However, I learned to turn over some roles, and also to hire people when I needed them for projects. Elance.com and the other out-sourcing websites are a godsend, as is fiverr.com.
Before we look at chores which you could delegate, be aware that although you’re a self-publisher, you’re also an author.
You’re an author/ publisher: focus on writing
Your job is writing. That always comes first. I like to get up very early, and get most of my writing done before lunch. When my children were young, I stayed up late, and wrote into the early hours. These days, I like to relax in the evenings, unless I’m on deadline and in a rush to complete a project.
It doesn’t matter what time of day or night is your “writing time”. What matters is that everyone knows that those hours are 100% WRITING HOURS. You’ll need to convince yourself, before you can convince others of this. 🙂
Get professional help: hire an accountant and lawyer
You’ve decided that you’re a self-publishing author, and you aim to treat your writing like a business. The first help you need is professional: get advice from an accountant in the first instance, and also from a lawyer.
Depending on which country you live in, you can claim most things which are related to your business on your tax returns, even if you make a loss in your business for the first year or two. Later, once your business is humming along, you’ll want to look at tax in more detail, and also at what kind of business structure is best for your situation: see a lawyer.
The money you invest in getting financial and legal advice is more than well spent — it’s essential.
Get other help as you need it, especially marketing help
When I mention “marketing” to writers, no matter what kind of writing they do, they tend to wince.
Set up a business plan. Part of your business plan will be a marketing plan. You may never want to borrow money, but creating a business plan is a wonderful exercise. You’ll start to take your business seriously. Talk to your accountant about creating a business and marketing plan. He can advise you about reinvesting in your business: marketing is investing; you need to know what amount of your income will be invested in marketing.
What could an assistant do for your business?
As your business grows, and you publish more books, your assistant can do all those boring chores which take you away from writing.
Those chores can include:
- Collecting a list of websites for promotion, and getting in touch with those websites when you release a new book;
- Booking and paying editors;
- Hiring graphic designers for your covers and for marketing images;
- Updating your website, and sending out your newsletter;
- Updating the back matter in your books as needed;
- Making sure that you’re publishing broadly, by adding your ebooks to all the ebook retailers, and readying your books for Createspace;
- Managing social media promotions…
You know you need to hire help if…
Your writing is suffering.
As we’ve said, your primary role is creative. If you’re not writing as much as you know you could, and are feeling stressed, it’s time to hire an assistant.
If you’re not making enough money yet to be able to afford an assistant, scale back your projects — finish and publish one, and then the next. When I’m working with my writing students, many scatter their energies. They’re doing this and that, but nothing gets finished. Focus on completing projects, and publishing them.
Although I’m always working on several projects at any one time, because I maintain a busy ghostwriting practice, I’ve had years to get into the habit of compartmentalizing. I’ve also established workflows which work for me — and I tinker and adjust them as necessary.
For new writers — that is, if you’ve been writing professionally for five years or less — finishing what you start is vital. So if you’ve got three projects on which you’re working, choose one. Complete it and publish it. Then go on to the next.
We’re living in amazingly creative times. You can write, and publish. Choosing to develop a Kindle publishing business needn’t be stressful. All the help you need is readily available.
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