From the Tech Desk
London Startup Company Helps Indie Authors Navigate the Publishing World
Are you tired of trying to get your book agented, only to end up with a pile full of rejection emails to show for it? For so many would-be authors, the answer to this question is an easy “Yes.” With agents so risk-averse and so focused on chasing trends, getting original and creative works to the marketplace is incredibly difficult. Add the short-sighted vision of most major publishers—who only seem willing to take on proven authors, celebrities, or social media influencers—and it can be nearly impossible for a first-time unknown author to gain traction.
In theory, all these factors would naturally drive an author toward self-publishing. But with such a saturated market of self-published books—a market where most manuscripts are unedited and poorly written—it’s natural that the best writers would steer clear. No self-respecting author wants to spend a year perfecting his or her manuscript, only to dump it unceremoniously into a swamp where it couldn’t possibly hope to garner the attention it deserves.
Enter Reedsy, a London-based startup company with a simple mission: help authors create wonderful, beautiful books. Founded in 2014, Reedsy is an online marketplace where authors can search for publishing experts who can help take their work to the next level.
In essence, Reedsy allows independent authors to put together the kinds of professional teams they would get from a publishing company. Publishing professionals from every corner of the industry are active on Reedsy. Editors, ghostwriters, graphic designers, marketing and publicity experts, website developers, etc. from improving the book to designing the cover to selling it to the masses, Reedsy helps authors find a guy or gal for everything.
It’s not an all-in-one solution. Unlike most self-publishing services, Reedsy isn’t built around rigid “publishing packages” that authors have to choose from. Instead, it’s a searchable marketplace where authors can find exactly what they need. There’s nuance to the services, too. If you need an editor, you can search for professionals who specialize in developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, and editorial assessments. If you are still interested in gunning for a publisher or agent, you can even use Reedsy to find someone who will review your query letter and help you hone it into a perfect pitch.
Other categories allow for just as much flexibility. If you are going the self-publishing route, you will need a cover. Reedsy’s network of publishing talent includes book cover designers, illustrators, and book layout design, depending on the kind of look you are after and the level of help you need. If you already have a photo or illustration that you want to use for your cover and simply need help with typography, there are experts on Reedsy who can fill that gap as well.
If you are worried about wading through an endless pool of subpar publishing “experts” to get to a diamond in the rough, fear not. In a recent interview with Forbes, Reedsy founder Emmanuel Nataf credited the initial success of the company to “the curation and the quality of our community.” In other words, Reedsy doesn’t let just anyone sign up to offer their services on the marketplace. Instead, the Reedsy staff carefully vets and curates the marketplace, making sure that each professional featured in the network is as skilled and qualified as they claim to be.
Furthermore, as with other work-for-hire communities on the internet, Reedsy allows and encourages users to leave reviews of the professionals they work with. Each publishing professional in the community has a detailed profile page, which includes reviews from past clients, work history information, portfolio samples, and more. Publishing professionals also disclose which genres they feel most comfortable working in, so that authors can always find the people who are best suited to their projects. Finally, authors can request price quotes via each profile page, making budgeting easy and transparent.
Reedsy isn’t just a place to connect with publishing professionals either—at least not anymore. Last year, the service expanded, adding a new branch called Reedsy Learning. This side of the company offers free publishing courses to all users, no obligation necessary. Each course is delivered directly to your inbox each morning and lasts for 10 days. The lessons are bite-sized—just five minutes apiece—but deliver a range of helpful pointers in a wide variety of categories. Currently, there are nearly 30 courses available through Reedsy Learning, with subjects ranging from how to write strong dialogue to how to navigate the process of selling your book on Amazon.com.
Are you interested in trying out Reedsy for your next book project? Though the company is based in London, Reedsy’s community of publishing professionals stretches across 30 countries and 600 cities. In other words, everything with Reedsy happens remotely, so no matter where you live, you can benefit from the network. Click here to get started.
Craig Manning is currently studying English and Music at Western Michigan University. In addition to writing for IndependentPublisher.com, he maintains a pair of entertainment blogs, interns at the Traverse City Business News, and writes for Rockfreaks.net and his college newspaper. He welcomes comments or questions concerning his articles via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.