Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. A relatively new voice in publishing, Kate has been serving authors behind the scenes since 2010. Founder of Kate Tilton’s Author Services, LLC, Kate works as an author assistant, social media manager, and speaker with the mission of connecting authors and readers. Kate is the creator and host of #K8chat (Thursdays at 9pm Eastern on Twitter) and has appeared on popular media such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Book Designer, Kobo Writing Life and Rafflecopter. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or connecting authors and readers in any way she can.
This wonderful lady found time (somehow) to sit and interview with me.
1.What exactly is an Author Assistant? What are your main responsibilities?
An author assistant is an individual who provides service for an author or authors exclusively. Unlike personal or virtual assistants, author assistants specialize in working with authors.
Basically my job is to provide the author with more time to write and spend with their family by doing tasks that need to be done, but not necessarily by the author. For example it is vital for authors to maintain an up to date website but an assistant can do this, giving the author more time to do what only he/she can do, write!
2.Is there a certain type of writer that may require one, or is it someone any writer could benefit from having?
An author assistant can benefit any writer who has reached the point of feeling overwhelmed. If you have work piling up and can’t get it all done without sacrificing important things like sleep, writing time, or family time then it’s probably time to consider hiring an assistant. If you are willing to delegate your work and have enough funds to invest in hiring an assistant, an author assistant can get you back on track with your writing career.
3.How did you get into this field?
I was browsing my Twitter feed while driving home for Christmas break when I saw a tweet from one of my favourite authors which said she was thinking of hiring an assistant. I responded asking if the assistant could be virtual and the rest is history.
4.Would you say you have to have a big love of books and literature in general in order to be an Author Assistant?
I would. An author assistant is someone who works with authors exclusively so it makes sense that we’d all be book and author lovers. If you happened to not be into books (gasp!) you could become a virtual assistant or office assistant. What separates author assistants from those fields is our love of books, authors, and publishing.
5.To an author looking to hire an Author’s Assistant, what advice would you give them? How can they be sure they get a legitimate service, and where should they be looking?
When looking for an author assistant there are a few factors to consider:
- Price. 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. A student may work for as little as $5 an hour (with college credit) while an experienced author assistant may charge $25-$60. Compared to a marketing consultant who may charge $150-$300 an hour, an author assistant can offer cost-effective help at any budget level.
- Personality. Working with an author assistant IS a partnership. Your assistant will be there to help with any and everything so make sure you enjoy their company and can communicate well with one another.
- Professionalism. Make sure the assistant is professional, check their website and social media. Are there lots of errors or poor formatting? Look for the assistants who pay attention to details and have clean, professional websites.
- Skills. Most assistants can guide you in the services you may need but no one knows your book and needs better than you, the author. Take a few minutes to research the skills of each assistant and look for those that match your needs.
- Experience. As if you were hiring an employee for your company look for recommendations, current and past work experience, and book acknowledgments. It’s also a good idea to check the author assistant’s references, just to be on the safe side.Once you have decided to hire an author assistant you need to find the right assistant for you. Ask your author friends for recommendations. Have they worked with an assistant before? Check out resources like The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide, AuthorsAtlas.com, and my own site here: http://katetilton.com/author-assistants/. Follow the above advice to vet your assistant choices, taking care to make sure your potential assistant offers the services you need and feels like the right person to have on your team.
6. What is your favourite book?
VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab! It’s my all time favourite book, followed closely by A Darker Shade of Magic by the same author.
I gush about A Darker Shade of Magic here: http://katetilton.com/july-2015-k8approved-books-reviews/ VICIOUS here: http://katetilton.com/vicious-ve-schwab-review/
7. Would you ever become an author yourself?
I do have two sections in the latest The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide set to release in January 2016, which technically makes me an author. I don’t have great aspirations to create an author career for myself but I don’t rule out the possibility of other work. After all my goal is to help as many authors as I can so a book or two on marketing or social media might not be a bad idea!
8. You’re a talented and professional Author’s Assistant, but can you tell us three other facts about yourself?
- I’m a huge cat lover which will come as no surprise to those who follow me on social media.
- I grew up in a small village called Stark located in New Hampshire. With a population of under 500 people and limited internet access, reading was my escape into new, bigger worlds.
- I take pride in excellence in all things so for many it isn’t a surprise that I graduated college with a 4.0 GPA but what may surprise you is I studied a combination of art, business, and criminal justice, not English!
- If you were going on a space mission and would not age nor return to Earth for 30 years, which three celebrities (from any field) would you take with you and why?
Hmm, picking three is hard! I guess if I had to I’d pick:
- Brian Clark of Rainmaker Digital. Brian is one of the smartest online entrepreneurs I know. It’d be so cool to be able to learn from him one-on-one after learning so much already from his New Rainmaker and Unemployable podcasts.
- AD Starrling author of the Seventeen series. AD is one of my favourite people to be around, our trip to New York was too short!
- Vic Mignogna American voice actor with roles like Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club and Ed from Full Medal Alchemist. Vic is one of my favourite voice actors and he happens to give the best hugs ever.
10.And now, I ask everybody this question, and I think we can all agree it really is the most important question of them all: Jaffa Cakes – love them or hate them?
I…have never had a Jaffa cake 😦
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It was a real pleasure to interview Kate and get an insight into the life and role of an Author’s Assistant. Thanks Kate!