There are three aspects to a successful author career: 1) writing good books; 2) publishing well; and 3) finding your audience. Most authors focus on the writing part, and those who have been doing this for a while tend to have it down. But all three are essential in a career. My consulting services are focused on publishing well, making the right decisions for your book and who you are, as well as finding your audience. If your needs are in the writing part of your career, I do have a partner who is teaching craft classes for POV Author Services. Jody Wallace is also an editor who provides a variety of packages for working with you one-on-one with your book.
My focus is on one-on-one consulting to help you make the right choices and decisions for the career you want. For the business and technical side, I also offer live, small classes via Zoom to help writers learn to do those things that any independent writer should understand and be able to do for themselves. I know that most independent authors certainly start out without much money, which is why I advocate for learning the skills you can and provide the classes at a reasonable rate. In that way, you learn once and then save money for every subsequent book you write.
On the other hand, I understand that some authors simply do not want to ever do these things and have the resources to pay for them forever. For those authors I will refer you to those who can continuously help. I also understand some authors may have some physical disability that makes it particularly difficult to work on a computer. You can check out my vetted partners at the bottom of this page. For things that are not covered here, drop me a line or schedule consult and we can talk about what or who is best for your circumstances.
Consulting - $60 per hour
This one-hour option is best used to answer a specific need rather than to discuss a long-term plan. In addition to the actual consultation hour, this can include up to 30 minutes of advance review of anything you believe is important for me to me to understand.
- Links to your website, social media, or other places where you want feedback.
- Links to buy pages on specific vendors you want me to review.
- Test out your book funnel and subsequent email copy associated with it.
- Review your backlist and talk about other product opportunities.
- Screenshots of marketing campaigns, including written copy and graphic samples.
- Screenshots of advertising results that you want me to analyze.
If requested in advance, a video recording of our Zoom session will be made available to you for download following the consultation.
Typical One-Hour Consultation Requests
- I don't even know where to start with the questions, can we just talk and see what happens?
- I finished my book, what are my next steps?
- I feel lost. I don’t know what to do next.
- I need feedback on my website, social media, or book buy page(s).
- I want help in setting up an email marketing funnel.
- I'm contemplating paying for someone to do social media, marketing, advertising but I'm not sure it's right for me or who to contract.
- I tried to load my ebooks and print books to a specific vendor but ran into problems.
- I have lots of books but few sales; I need ideas on what to do to improve.
- I have lots of questions and just want a knowledgeable person to help me sort through them.
If you are looking for long-term planning or career planning, it is best to schedule three hours of consultation to happen over a one to three month time frame. This will require both research on my part ,and homework on your part, in order to determine what is best for you, your talents, and your ability to accomplish what you want to do. At the end of the three sessions I will provide you with my recommendations, a calendared time frame for you to follow, and recommendations for learning skills and/or referrals to your own paid partners who have the skills you wish to contract.
Looking for Something Not Here?
Looking for Something Not Here?
In general, I’d rather teach someone to do things for themselves than to charge lots of one-off services. But I do understand that not all authors are comfortable with technology or basic graphics. I am open to taking on other tasks that go beyond a one time need. Below is a sampling of some of the things I’ve done for other clients:
- Doing SEO research for your ads–this includes competition analysis, keywords, writing or evaluating your ad copy.
- Analyzing your buy pages at various vendors or on your website and making suggestions as to how to improve the covers, blurbs, calls-to-action, and adding other things to increase discoverability.
- Doing one-on-one training to help you use a specific piece of software more effectively.
I’m open to other requests besides the above. Once I have an understanding of your need and timeline I will price it out and give you a quote. Complete the form below to provide me specific information on your needs and timeline.
Other Concierge Services Sometimes Requested
There are ongoing tasks that all authors need weekly or monthly that are best handled by the author if possible, or a Virtual Assistant who can do this for you.
- Running all of your social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.).
- Creating and doing your newsletters every month.
- Handling direct sales fulfillment in either ebook or print.
- Running launch campaigns for you.
A virtual assistant (VA) or personal assistant would do these tasks for you weekly and likely charge a monthly fee. There are a number of talented VAs I can recommend if you have an ongoing need for these services.
Alternatively, I’m happy to teach you to do it yourself. I have several courses that I teach to small group classes (3 to 7 participants) live via Zoom. All of the topics are covered in those courses and each person in the class gets time with me to set up those plans, along with step-by-step worksheets and campaign ideas. Alternatively, we could handle those topics one-on-one through the hourly consulting service I provide at the top of this page.
Independently Published Authors Additionally need to know how to:
- Format their book for publication in print and ebook
- Load their book to appropriate vendors
- Accurately complete author profiles, book metadata, and create effective buy pages on a variety of vendor sites.
Many of the classes I teach cover all of the above. If you are new to self-publishing, I recommend the Foundations course which will get your book from completed manuscript to formatted and loaded to vendors of your choice.
NOTE: In the past, I have provided a number of the above services for clients. However, in 2022 I’ve decided to no longer offer these services. A combination of family caretaking responsibilities, my own health, and my need for more writing time has caused me to cut back these services except for a few select clients who have been with me a long time and publish regularly with a consistent publishing schedule that can be calendared months in advance providing long lead times.
It is rare that an author handles everything in her business on her own. In fact, I would say it is unwise to do things you have neither the time nor the talent to do well. There are three things I consistently hire out and have from the beginning of my independent career: 1) accounting/taxes; 2) cover design and other complicated graphics; and 3) editing.
Am I capable of doing all these things? Yes, I’ve done them all competently for myself in the past. But I need more than a competent job to compete well and position myself for maximum profit. I’ve learned that just because I can do a job doesn’t mean I should do it. Below are people/businesses I have worked with myself or vetted as a partner. I will be adding additional businesses to this site as I vette and identify people I feel comfortable recommending.
Website Design, Re-design, and Maintenance
If you need a new website, or a redesign on your current one, I can confidently refer you to Rick Cano of DESIGNWORKS NW. He and his team are WordPress specialists. They come with excellent design credentials, yet their prices are quite reasonable. I interviewed over 15 designers before I chose them to redesign my own author site that I’d kept, redesigned, and maintained over 15 years. Their business model is to help small businesses. Customer service is excellent. Here are some highlights of DESIGNWORKS NW services:
- Web Design and Development, including FREE hosting for 12 months – Monthly payment options available
- Web Maintenance and Security, including content updates – Monthly payment options available
- On Page SEO – SEO Audit and Health report for free if you sign up for monthly On Page SEO service. (The audit can be purchased separately as well)
Even though I have over 26 books published, I still use a professional developmental editor for my fiction. I also use a line editor/proofreader for both fiction and nonfiction. By the time I’ve drafted and self-edited my books I can no longer see the problems. Most of the editors I know are booked several months out, and many of them only edit in specific genres. For me to make a recommendation, I need to understand your project better. Below are three people I’ve worked with personally and recommend without reservation.
Red Circle Ink is accepting manuscripts in the following genres and sub-genres of commercial fiction:
- Romance — historical; paranormal, science fiction and fantasy; contemporary (category and single title); mainstream with strong romantic elements; all heat levels (sweet to erotic) welcome
- Science fiction — hard SF; space opera; dystopian; any of the “punks” (steampunk, cyberpunk, etc.); slipstream; science fantasy; new wave considered after discussion with the author
- Fantasy — urban and dark fantasy; alternate history; epic and mythic fantasy; light fantasy considered after discussion with the author
- Thriller — psychological, supernatural, techno, and adventure thrillers; RCI is not taking on legal or crime thrillers at this time
Mean Kitty Editing takes a variety of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. However, the majority of her clients have been in science fiction, fantasy, and romance genres.
Jody is also willing to edit other types of writing, including: website copy, bios, synopses, query letters, and so on. She offers content edits, developmental edits, line edits, copyedits, and proofreading using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes and CMS 16 and her brain. If you are a new author or someone who has been submitting to publishers and not getting any bites, it may be that you need someone to work with you on your book. Jody does that. She also is the person teaching the WRITING CRAFT classes here at POV Author Services. Specifically: Creating Compelling Conflict, Writing Deep 3rd POV, Composing Scintillating Dialog, and Self-editing and Revision.
Lisa Rojany has been in business for over 25 years. She is a former publishing executive with over 25 years’ experience in the industry as both an in-house editor and as a freelance editor and writer. She has also spearheaded four publishing startups with $2 million to $17 million dollars in growth. In her editing business she has worked with hundreds of writers to get submissions ready, traditionally published, or self-published. She’s also a children’s book author herself with over 100 books published. She is the lead author on Amazon’s bestselling Writing Children’s Books For Dummies (Wiley, 2005, 2013, 2022), and she co-wrote the New York Times bestselling adult nonfiction hardcover, Fund Your Future with Julie Stav. I’ve used Lisa’s consulting services and was very impressed with her knowledge of the children’s publishing world. I also know she helped edit one of my favorite recent children’s books, The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman by Robin Gregory. In edition to children’s books, Lisa edits adult fiction and nonfiction. She is also available to assist with your query letter and, for those who already have a completed book ,to do a general book evaluation. Learn more on her services page.
This job really takes a professional, in particular someone who understands your genre and what’s popular today. Make sure to choose someone who keeps up with changes in Photoshop and delivers on time and within budget regularly. I have two designers I’ve worked with for a decade. One has left the business and the other is full and not taking new clients. Here is another I can recommend.
An author herself, Roslyn McFarland started designing her own covers when she couldn’t affordably find what she wanted. Other authors began asking her to design for them, and a cover design business was born. Note that reasonably priced part, as her prices are very reasonable. She does ebook covers, print full wrap covers, audiobook covers, and marketing materials and promo. What I love most about Roslyn is that she listens to what you want and tries to make it happen. Here are some covers she’s done for authors I know.
I use both Vellum and Atticus to do my book formatting. Vellum is only available to the MAC ios. Atticus is available to both PCs and MACs. They have many similar features, but I’ve found there are a few features that are not in both. In addition there are several FREE options for formatting. One is with Draft2Digital, who provides a templating system that ingests a Microsoft Word document. Another is with Reedsy, which also has a templating system with similar features. There are also authors who simply upload their Word document to their vendor of choice (e.g., Amazon, Kobo, B&N) and allows their automated system to render the document in the appropriate format. Each of these free options have their pros and cons. It depends on how picky you are about the beauty of the format vs the utility of it.
However many authors do want a unique or beautiful interior format for both ebook and print, but do not want to learn software or deal with the difficulties of getting it right. In that case, it is worthwhile to hire someone else to do this for you. Hiring a person who is proficient at these above software options is great for the usual narrative book. However, if you have a nonfiction book with footnotes or numerous images, tables, you need someone who knows more complex software. The same goes for books that incorporate unusual fonts with illustrations and/or fonts not running in straight lines. Some of the software used for this is Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, In Studio, and Affinity Publisher. Tackling those complex or specialized formats requires a truly talented person in that complex environment. Prices typically range from about $75 for the average narrative book needs to $200+ for more complex formatting. I will add to my recommendations below as I learn of other services.
Birds of a Feather Press is run by the inimitable Jay Artale, an author herself and digital nomad. Jay started Birds of a Feather Press in 2016 as an indie author resource site for travel writers and other nonfiction authors. She later added her formatting services when she realized how complex this can be for some authors. Though she began it to help authors, she quickly realize that she really enjoys formatting books. She is one of the few formatters I know who is equally good with nonfiction and fiction. She also is able to do formatting for very unusual books, like her own wonderfully illustrated poetry book, A Turbulent Mind: A Poetry Collection of a Mother’s Journey with Alzheimer’s. A book I have read and HIGHLY recommend to anyone touched by Alzheimers in their own life, family, or friends. So, whether you need a basic narrative fiction or nonfiction formatted interior or something more complex and unique, Jay Artale is a reliable, kind, and thoroughly professional person to employ.
Advertising Campaign Build and Management
I used to teach classes on this, but no longer. Advertising for sales has become too expensive for most authors and I don’t see the ROI unless one is able to spend $500-$1,000 or more per month. I’ve chosen instead to spend my money on building my email lists and relying on fans and social media engagement to create buzz and help push sales.
There are a number of good PR/Marketing companies who will do ARC sends, book launches, and garner both reader and media reviews for people and some advertising. The cost or these services tend to run in the $5,000-$10,000+ range for the combination of PR and marketing. If you are someone with those types of resources, please drop me a line with your needs and I can make a recommendation based on that.
For everyone else who has a limited budget, e.g., $500 or less, I currently have only one company I can recommend.
Books Go Social is really focused on marketing. It is owned by Laurence O’Bryan, an author with a computer science past (similar to me) who began his business to help other authors. He is as honest as they come. He’s hired some smart social media advertisers to help with Amazon, FB, and other types of ads. He’s also built several multifaceted promotion packages so that the author isn’t relying only on advertising spend for marketing. Most important, he guarantees a refund if your promotional package results in no or only a few sales. I know it is true because I’ve had a client I referred and BooksGoSocial was not able to get an advertising campaign to reach her audience or sell more than a couple books. There was no problem getting a refund.
For anyone trying this company, I would suggest starting with one of their smaller package deals and see how it goes. If it works well for you, then move up to other more comprehensive options to get wider exposure and the possibility of more sales.