Wish you had a few extra hours in the day? Hire an author assistant! by guest @K8Tilton

I asked my assistant Kate Tilton to write about why authors should hire an author assistant. People think having an assistant is an outrageous expense and I asked Kate to explain what all an author assistant does and how that helps authors.


Have you ever wished you had a few extra hours in the day to send out review copies to book bloggers, mail those prizes from your last giveaway that happened months ago, or update your website? Then maybe it is time you considered hiring an author assistant.

Author assistants perform various tasks for you, the author, so you have more time to write. For many authors there just is not enough time in the day to meet that daily word count and manage all the other aspects of being an author (social media, for example). Hiring an author assistant can help you save time so you can focus more on writing and interacting with your readers.

An author assistant assists authors in many different ways. One of the hardest parts of my job is explaining to people exactly what I do because each and every author I have ever worked with is different and has different needs.

In 2010 I started my first job as an author assistant. My first job consisted of a lot of e-mail organizing so the author could focus her time on writing. My second author assistant job consisted more of reaching out to book bloggers, beta-reading, and even attending events with the author. Now I am working for multiple authors and I do a range of things from admin tasks (sending information about the authors/books to those who request it, updating websites, organizing spreadsheets, mailing out prizes) to marketing tasks (reaching out to reviewers, creating press releases, creating book jacket copy, running street teams).

Author assistants are not miracle workers BUT we are naturally organized people who can save you time by completing tasks on your to-do list for you. The biggest benefits of having an author assistant are:

  • More time to write.
  • More time to be with family and handle personal responsibilities.
  • Your assistant will be there to support you and encourage you. We are on your team!
  • Motivation and goal-setting.

An author assistant can be that needed force to help overcome deadlines, bad days, and overwhelming times.

One of the biggest obstacles authors face when considering hiring an assistant is money. However what most authors do not realize you can find an affordable author assistant. Like most service-based occupations the more experience an assistant has the more you are likely to pay, but you can find talented assistants at any experience level. On average expect to pay around $200 a month (only $50 per week) for an author assistant. Plus hiring an assistant to help you is considered a business expense (which will help you out come tax season). If $200 seems a little above your budget consider looking for a college student who may be able to do an internship for credit and reduce their rate. If $200 seems a little low consider looking into assistants with marketing experience or a marketing consultant. These marketers will cost more but will be able to offer more experience and help in your business strategy.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me on my website katetilton.com.

About Kate Tilton:

Kate TiltonKate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, you are likely to find Kate curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world take-over, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict, you will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10pm Eastern.

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“My goal for the longest time has been to help authors. Make their life better because they make my life better. You are my rockstars.”


  1. Onisha on September 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I have been doing this for free! I don’t know how authors do all the do without an assistant.

    • Kate Tilton on September 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      It’s very hard to be an author and do everything that is expected of you on your own. I am very glad to help out :).

  2. Susan Fox on September 16, 2013 at 11:20 am

    This is a thoughtful, succinct article that gets right to the point. I really think it is also extremely helpful and will make a difference to many writers. Most people could surely use the assistant however think cost would be a major factor. You do such a great job of overcoming objections in your writing style.
    Susan Fox

    • Kate Tilton on September 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you for the lovely comment Susan! I agree, budget is a huge factor for authors, but there are ways every author can find the help they need without breaking the bank. Hopefully this article will help authors find the right assistant for their needs.

  3. Kim Jorgensen Gane on September 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    My coach has been extolling the virtues of using a VA for as long as I’ve known her. Wish I was ready for that, but I know I will be someday. And, Kate, if books saved your life, could it be that among them lived the works of Judy Blume? If so, check out the #JudyBlumeProject, and please consider a post. When we get enough content, we aim to collect it all in anthology form. We’d love to have you on board.

    • Kate Tilton on September 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Hi Kim,

      An assistant is a great person to have on your team. I wish you the best of luck in finding one when the time is right!
      Books did save my life, they have always been there to keep me going when things were tough. I have however never read any of Judy Blume’s work although I have heard great things about it. Good luck with the Judy Blume Project!

  4. JJ Toner on September 29, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Kate: Seems like a great idea. I could certainly use an assistant (part-time). But I’ve no idea where or how to find one. Any suggestions?


    • Kate Tilton on September 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Hi JJ,

      Well for one, I am an author assistant and I am currently open to clients so if you would like to connect with me to see if we would be a good fit feel free to send me an e-mail. I also know a few other assistants I may be able to recommend you to personally.

      You can also ask other authors to see if anyone has worked with an assistant and can recommend one to you. You could also search the web for author assistants or virtual assistants (just be aware many virtual assistants do not specialize in author/publishing work).

      I hope that helps!

  5. […] is an author assistant to Rachel Thompson at badredhead media who asked her to write a post, “Wish you had a few extra hours in the day? Hire an author assistant! by guest @K8Tilton” on what she does in her […]

  6. Pamela Scott on October 6, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I am a fairly new independent author and I am on my own with this process I have a twelve book series coming out soon with book one and two already on market but even after 2 yrs. I haven’t even seen a dime. Is this common? If not can some one help me please. I hate to beg but my family wont let me continue if I don’t start seeing some profit.

    • Rachel Thompson on October 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Well, writing the books is awesome. Without specifics, here’s my advice: if you don’t understand book marketing or social media, there are plenty of free articles here, great books on Amazon, and people like Kate (who wrote the article) who can help you. I do training on social media and it could be that the reason you’re not selling is your social media, marketing, and/or branding — or lack thereof.

      There’s a great book on Amazon about building your author platform (website, blog, social, getting reviews, etc) by Barb Drozdowich. Look it up to give you an idea of where to start. Advertising is helpful also.

      You can click here on my services page if you’d like to hire me. If budget constraints an issue, definitely read up! Books and blogs about marketing abound.

      thanks for connecting, Pamela.

  7. Laura @ Bookish Treasures on November 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Lovely post Kate. Author assistants are certainly all about helping and supporting the authors they work for. It is something I would love to do one day 🙂

    • Kate Tilton on February 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Thank you Laura! I love being able to work with authors and companies to help authors and readers connect and get more great books out there! I wish you luck with your author assistant goals! 🙂

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