And now, another sample of the Juggling Author book:
A few words about self-sufficiency: maybe, if you’re an independent author, you’re tempted to make all your own covers and do all of your own editing. Maybe you want to handle all of your own social media, answer all of your own fan emails, do all of your promotion and advertising.
Of all the items in the last paragraph, only one of them is something you should do 100% of the time: answering fan emails. This is important. More on that in the Juggling Author Social Media Guide, which you can get for free at www.thejugglingauthor.com
About the other things on the list: in general, many are items you can and should outsource as necessary. Remember the golden rule for juggling authors: time is money. Unless you are a talented graphic designer who knows what constitutes a great book cover and is skilled with Photoshop, you should not make your own book covers. Yes, it’s absolutely useful to learn some photo editing skills so you can quickly make images to share on social media or to swap out a graphic on your website, but leave the heavy lifting to the professionals. A bad book cover will tank your book, so if you don’t know what you’re doing, hire someone who does.
The same goes for editing. This one may seem painful because line editing and proofreading can be so expensive, but it’s worth it, both in terms of the time savings and also regarding the prevention of bad reviews due to typos and bad grammar. If you have quality beta readers, you can get away with skipping a developmental editor. This is another reason to collect quality beta readers: developmental editing is stupidly expensive.
As for the other things, like hiring virtual assistants to help with mundane tasks, sometimes, their services can free up immense amounts of time. If you’re determined to blog twice a week, but you don’t have time for it, hire a VA to do it for you. Save yourself that time to focus on writing your next book, and leave the (mostly worthless, with respect to return on investment) blogging to someone else.
You might think it will take so long to find and train someone to do all of your admin tasks that it’s not worth it. Short term, yes, you may lose some time. But if you develop a good relationship with your VA, it will equal time savings long-term.
Always weigh the benefit (potential reach and engagement) versus the cost (time and/or money), and be wise about what you take on and what you outsource.