March 4th, 2016

What Does an Author Concierge Do?

Cathy Genna

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First, how do you become an Author Concierge? 

This is how I came to it:

Thrilled, honored, and all but speechless at the podium beside Sylvia Day, I accepted the once-in-a-lifetime 2013 Romance Writers of America Bookseller of the Year Award as Sylvia placed it into my trembling hands.  To achieve this prestigious honor, to even be nominated, was more than the culmination of a progressive and rewarding career with the nation’s largest brick-and-mortar book retailer – a career that included contributing directly to several authors in both Romance and Mystery categories attaining status on the coveted New York Times and USA Today Best Seller Lists Adriana Trigiani, Sabrina Jeffries, David Rosenfelt, Carolyn Brown, and Barbara Longley.

The cherished RWA award represented more than the height of my career, and more than the recognition that I had desired and worked so hard to achieve.  Perhaps more importantly than my prior accomplishments, this honor signified the road upon which I was soon to embark: the road that led me out of retail and onto the path that highlights my strengths; a full-service author concierge.

What does an author concierge do?

As much, or as little as you need.

The role and responsibility of a concierge is to represent and proactively support authors with the aim of bringing their work to broader and ultimately more profitable audiences, including publishers, consumers, and booksellers.  The authors’ conundrum, on the other hand, is how to select a concierge best qualified as well as genuinely motivated to improve branding, and who has demonstrated quantifiable success in this area. This can be a daunting task!

In a word, your concierge is your champion; your advocate. A Tech and Social Media savvy partner who can steer through the daunting and time intensive jobs that you don’t have time/expertise/motivation to handle.

  • A great concierge not only truly loves books and loves what she does, she has a well-established history of positive and productive relationships with those integral to an author’s career, including agents, editors, and Big 5 publishers.
  • A great concierge excels at “thinking outside the box” to conceive, organize, advertise, to run innovative and highly interactive promotional events, often on a shoestring budget.
  • A great concierge structures her services with extremely competitive pricing.
  • Finally, a great concierge cherishes and does her very best for each and every client, whether they aspire to first-time publication, are newly published, or are best-selling authors.

In your search for a quality concierge, beware of someone who promises you the world.  The promises that I make are the ones that I stand by, and the ones to which my long list of well-respected references will attest.  These include and are not limited to Terri Brisbin, Carolyn Brown, EJ Copperman, Laura Drake, Ann H. Gabhart, Nancy Herkness, Madeline Hunter, and Sabrina Jeffries.

If you are interested in further exploring my services and references in greater detail, kindly contact me directly via email cathy(at)cathygenna(dot)com or via my website www.cathygenna.com.  I would love to have a meaningful conversation with you!12409228594_9b96f47629

So what do you think, WITS readers? If you were to hire a concierge, what would you hand off? Do you have any questions for Cathy?

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About Cathy

Cathy Genna

Cathy Genna helps authors make the most of their time, by providing core services that will allow them valuable free time to do what they do best – WRITE!  In turn, the author gets an enthusiastic, creative and passionate team player with twelve years’ of knowledge and experience working as a Community Business Development Manager for a leading retailer of books.

Cathy lives in New Jersey, is an avid reader, a hockey fan, a chocolate lover and a long time rabbit advocate and animal rescuer.

Easter is drawing near. Please “Make Your Bunny Chocolate.”

 

photo credit: Langham Hotel: Concierge desk via photopin (license)
photo credit: 1987 Disneyland cast member – woman behind counter via photopin (license)

10 comments to What Does an Author Concierge Do?

  • Hi Cathy – thanks for blogging with us! I have a question – lots of authors would love to have someone else do their Social Media for them. Do you think that’s a good idea?

  • Orly Konig Lopez

    Cathy, can you please give examples of some specific services you’ve done for your clients?

  • Good morning Laura,
    Thank you for hosting me today! Very good question Laura. Readers connect with authors on social media to learn more about you personally and to make your face their friend. It’s your voice the reader wants to hear.
    Example: A Reader Giveaway
    The Concierge will put together your gift basket, takes photos, list contents, keep a log, pick a winner (with a software program), ship n’ more.
    You as the author will post the giveaway
    and post the winner. This last detail is most IMPORTANT, you have the winner email you their mailing address. This is where you will gain the readers confidence and trust. The relationship with this reader now go up a notch.

  • Hi Orly,
    Thanks for engaging me this morning.
    Here are services I am currently providing:
    1. Monthly monitoring of author website for the purpose of current information and idea change of design.
    2. Social media giveaways
    3. Newsletter rework layouts for fresh ideas & placement
    4. Promotions marketing tie in with book theme
    5. Beta readings
    6. One of my strengths that I am known for is creativity, out of the box thinking. Consultations for various needs.

    Orly, my mission is to make your writing life easier. To take on that task you do not want to do or a service you have in mind that will free up more time for you to write!

  • Thanks for blogging with us today, Cathy. I have several questions:

    How is an author concierge different than just hiring a PR person or an author assistant?

    Are the rates flat by project or hourly?

    What is the ballpark rate authors should save up for? For example, how much is usually charged for the list you made?

    1. Monthly monitoring of author website for the purpose of current information and idea change of design.
    2. Social media giveaways
    3. Newsletter rework layouts for fresh ideas & placement
    4. Promotions marketing tie in with book theme
    5. Beta readings
    6. One of my strengths that I am known for is creativity, out of the box thinking. Consultations for various needs.

    • Hi Jenny,

      It’s of my opinion that a concierge is the caretaker of the author; specific services chosen by the author that will aid in a form of relief. That allows for the freedom to write more.
      Author Assistants do a variety of work, and may specialize in one or more aspects of the author’s workload.
      Some are virtual and spend the bulk of their time on their computers and telephones.
      Public Relations Persons maintain the public image of the author and promotes their brand.
      Pricing varies per individual or company but generally averages $20 to $85 an hour for services.
      When purchasing hours or a package of hours always make sure there is no immediate expiration date or at the least a six month time frame for use. You may not need the hours all at once.