I’ve mentioned my VA on this blog a few times. What a godsend she has been! The wonderful Diane!
But finding her was not easy. When I was on tour in San Francisco several years ago, I met with the wonderful historical author C. W. Gornter. As authors do, we talked about how impossibly busy we were. He said, “You need a VA, a Virtual Assistant. Google it.”
I searched on-line, but without success. Then I got a newsletter from an author, signed by her assistant: ah ha! I wrote back: Who are you? What do you do? How can I find you? The author confessed that she was her own assistant, in disguise (quite a few authors do this, surprise, surprise). But she did know of a VA: the wonderful Diane Saarien.
Voilà, I had my Virtual Assistant. The letters V.A. felt just as good on my tongue as the words “my agent,” “my editor,” “my publisher.” Diane immediately launched me into a lengthy and wonderful blog tour for the paperback publication of Mistress of the Sun.
Since then she has done many other great things: answering my reader email when my load is too heavy, sending out books to bloggers, sending out signed bookplates to fans, pitching me to festivals. She’s a WordPress pro, so she’s going to be able to help me with my website. There’s nothing Diane can’t do!
She’s fast, she’s good, she’s nice, and she’s reasonable. I started raving about her to authors. Their publicists in turn were so impressed they started recommending her to their authors.
Now Diane has so much work she has formed the Saima Agency with her husband Peter. I’m so pleased.
Bravo, Diane and Peter!
If you had an assistant, what would you have him or her do?
There was a robot vitrual assistant in a short story we all peer-reviewed for a member of an Ottawa writers’ workshop I belonged to. Everyone raved about that VA and said they wanted one! But with Diane Saarinen it seems you’ve found a better one in flesh and bones.
– Carl Stieren
That’s funny, Carl, but yes, I far prefer my very-real Diane!
Diane is great! She really kept me sane when my book came out. Not only did she get me on about 30 (!) blogs but she listened to my angst about various things and cheered me on. Her price was very modest. But when I wrote my agent that I had a Virtual Assistant, she thought I had hired a sort of robot!! Diane’s no robot, but a clever, compassionate woman to help your book!
Isn’t she great! I love the sound of the new team she’s putting together. A “robot”? Far from it! A lot of people don’t know what a VA is, because it’s a rather new type of vocation. I like that Diane can help me year-round with promotion, if needed. Because she’s my “assistant,” she’s not perceived as threatening by an in-house publicist.
I am so jealous, Sandra!!
It’s easier than you think! Go for it Anne.