Don’t freak out… This is just another PA post based on observations. lol
Let me introduce myself to the people that have no idea who I am or what I do. I am a PA (personal Assistant) for Kyle Perkins, author, blogger, formatting designer with Anytime Author Promotions, video reviewer with The Indie Book Channel, co-owner of the Indie Book Network and co-host of the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention. This doesn’t include my day job or my mommy job. These are only the indie community jobs that I have. I do it all and I love what I do. What I don’t love is sitting back and watching the indie community scurry around like mice that consumed one too many chunks of poison. I am going to try to help you without pissing you off. If I do, I struck a nerve and I am talking to you. Take notes 😉
Every day there is an author looking for a PA and a reader or blogger that wants to be a PA. I have seen the posts and I have had the offers, this is the only reason that I know first-hand what some of the authors are looking for. Readers, you want to be a PA? Of course, you do. There is something kinda cool about adding ‘PA’ to the end of your Facebook profile name, but it comes with responsibility from both sides. Author to PA and vice versa.
FIRST – Authors –
For all that’s good and holy, PLEASE stop bitching about needing a PA. Those of us on the outside of your pity parties, are rolling our eyes and thanking our lucky stars that we are not working for you. My advice? Be the person someone wants to work for.
Keep in mind – If you want a PA, find someone willing to learn and teach them everything that you are doing all by yourself. If you want it done right, TRAIN someone to do it your way. Guess what? Many of them work for free! Yeah, I said it, FREE. You all have to stop with the, “Maybe I need a PA” or “I am so busy but I can’t afford a PA” or “but Sally said I should pay a PA” bullshit. I am here to tell you that you have options but you are letting other people’s opinions get in the way of your success. Do you let those same people decide the end of your book? No, you fucking don’t! Why are you letting them tell you what you need to do to help yourself? Jealous Judy needs to stop bitching and find her own PA; maybe one that she likes so she isn’t so damn bitter about yours! *takes a deep breath*
DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME… I said, “many of them” not “all of them” work for free. If you want someone that knows what they are doing and will execute things their way, hire a paid PA. I can tell you, they are 100% confident that their way is the best. If that works for you and you are not a control freak, these PA’s are perfect for you to start interviewing. *Click here for more*
Did you see that, authors? I said “INTERVIEWING” as if any other job doesn’t require one. If you are going to hire a PA, treat it like a job. Fuck… It’s the hardest job in the indie community. Like it or not, I do it, daily, it is the hardest job. I’ll make it easy for you – Here is your 5-step program to finding a PA…
- Interview at least 3 PA candidates before making a selection. Whether it is fans, readers, PA’s or recommended applicants, see 3!
- Know what you want and what you expect. If you have no idea what you want, how can you hire someone to help… with no idea? If you are new to the business, find someone with a little experience; that’s good advice.
- Clearly define these expectations. No-one likes work surprises. Do you? No. So, don’t expect your PA to enjoy it.
- If you feel like you need a contract, write one and explain it to your candidate. Many authors do it to protect themselves.
- When you make a decision, REPEAT STEPS 2-4 before hiring anyone; validate that they know what they are getting in to before agreeing to the positions.
Now that you have a PA hired (we will assume), let’s talk about respect. It doesn’t matter how much someone loves your books or likes you as a person, I can guarantee that the minute you start treating them like a slave or that they don’t matter to your success, you’re going to be looking for a new PA. People work for people. They start the position for the love of the job or the books; they keep doing it because it is rewarding and they like YOU. If you take that away from them, someone else will make them an offer that they can’t refuse. May not even be monetary, maybe it is a better work life.
Think about that while you bark orders at a person that is fighting like hell to make you successful while you sit back and live in the delusional world that PA’s aren’t hot commodity, especially right now! I am not saying “don’t be a boss,” because some PA’s are lazy as hell and deserve to be put in their place – but I am saying, loud and clear, “they are being offered jobs from other authors whether you know it or not.”
In short – Be a fucking human being, not a slave driver. If you expect them to be around, it is only a matter of time before they are no longer around.
Potential PA’s and PA’s –
There are many different types of PA’s. I have discussed in prior blogs, *Click here*, the differences in paid and un-paid PA work. Guess what? They both have the same damn title! PA is a PA. There is no difference between Virginia Johnson PA and Virginia Johnson Paid PA… for fuck sake, that looks fucking hideous. For the record, I am able to say this from experience and observation. As a PA, I work my ass off 24/7/364 *I had Christmas off*; not because I am told to, but because I love what I do and I want my author to be successful. It doesn’t matter who I work for, I would only do it for the person – not the job. Remember ^^ up there, I said I was an author as well? I am a PA first. Why? Because someone is counting on me to do a job that I agreed to do. When, and if, there is down time, I pump books out like a chocolate factory in February, but my role as a PA is always fulfilled.
With all of that said, do you think an author wants to hire a Full Time PA that –
- Can do the job 100%, for a flat fee rate and has the ability to copy and paste to 200 groups per week?
- Can do the job and will give 110% in hopes that the author they work for gains fans or a successful release? *paid or unpaid*
An “ah ha” moment may have just occurred. BE OPTION ‘B’. If you are not a ‘B’ – won’t be long before your author finds a PA that is.
Option ‘A’ individuals are great for releases and mass marketing. Some of them are fantastic at what they do, but it is not usually because they have the authors best interest in mind.
For the “wanna be a PA,” PA’s, are you sure? I mean, it is easy to be a blogger, pimp a few posts, beta read a new release and review a book, but let’s humor the bare minimum of the PA role while your author is writing, shall we? *check this out, too*
- Pimping – self-explanatory. This is a must. A non-negotiable. Timing and frequency may vary.
- Takeovers – finding events and filling in while your author can not.
- Fan group and street team organization – Keeping a group lively isn’t a walk in the park. It takes time and a FUCK TON of respect earned to keep it alive.
- Beta groups – Holy hell, this can be an organized nightmare until you get the hang of things.
- Release Events – Planning and hosting.
- Graphics – Teasers and quote selection. These don’t just fall from the sky.
There really isn’t much more that I haven’t said to PA’s in the past blogs. My frustration and other PA’s concerns come from the constant bickering and whining that come from authors that need PA’s but are brainwashed in to thinking that they will never be able to afford one or because other authors frown upon “free” PA’s. *Don’t get me started on this one, again*
You can hire a PA and you can be a PA, you just need to know where to look and be dedicated. That’s all, really.