Disclaimer: I’m not sponsored by Reedsy (I wish), and receive no compensation from them, in any form, for writing this review. They probably won’t even know it exists. It’s just my opinion, based on my experience. However, If you want to give Reedsy a try, check the bottom of this post for a discount on your first purchase through them.
There’s two ways you can self-publish a book:
1. Throw it online and hope people buy it.
2. Do your research, prepare, plan, market, promote, set yourself up for success… and hope people buy it.
I chose to do the second one. What this means, among other things, is I needed to hire a professional editor and cover artist. Why? Because relying on auto-correct and doing my own cover in Photoshop is NOT setting myself up for success. I can’t remember where I heard about Reedsy.com, but when I looked it up I was skeptical. Since there’s no cost to sign up, I decided to give it a try.
The overall process is fairly straightforward: You browse the profiles in the category you are looking for (ie. Editing, design, publicity, marketing), choose up to 5 people you’re interested in, submit a brief (detailing what you need done and your terms, like deadlines), compare the quotes you receive back from them, and pick your person to collaborate with. It’s all done from your profile and very easy to navigate. The brief you send is automatically sent to everyone you pick, so you’re just sending one.
You start by going to the marketplace. Click the category tab you’re looking for (ie. Editing) and then choose a service from the drop down.
Next you can refine it by choosing fiction or non, what genre, and what language. You’ll get a list of professionals matching what you’re looking for. Clicking on their name shows you their profile with bio, work experience, portfolio, and star rating. Clicking “select” adds them to the list of people you’ll send your brief too. Clicking the little star next to that, lets you create a favorites list and add them to it, to easily find them later.
When you fill out your brief you’ll be able to include things like; when you want them to reply by and when you want the project completed by. For an editing brief you’ll be able to put your total word count and genre. There are fields for: Job Description, Book Details (like a synopsis), Target Market, and Main Characters. You can also attach a sample of your book to give them a feel for your writing (and I assume an idea if you’re a good fit for them). There is a word limit on this but I forget what it is.
Shortly after you send your brief you will start getting replies. They’ll tell you more details about how they work, their fees, and a sample of the kind of feedback you’ll get from them. From that point you can ask questions to help you decide. Everyone I talked to was very friendly and understanding. It was very hard to choose. Once you do decide you can accept their offer and start collaborating. I found this whole process to be relatively painless. The most painful part was deciding on one person.
I chose Leah Brown as my editor. She was helpful and professional while also being friendly and approachable. She was able to point out not only typos and structural things I missed but made suggestions on character, plot, and more. You can check out Leah’s Reedsy Profile Here.
As a cover designer, I liked the variety of styles Jake Clark had on his profile. I sent him a sample of my writing which described a key item in my story. I also sent him covers I liked the look of by other writers so he could see the style I was wanting. His very first draft was spot on. He was able to do several rounds of minor changes quickly and the final result is more than I could have imagined. Check out Jake’s Reedsy Profile Here.
As far as pricing goes there’s quite a wide range. I saw people offer from a couple hundred up through over a thousand. I believe the adage of “You get what you pay for” is true but only to some extent. I also believe it’s very possible to over pay for something. You need to ask lots of questions while deciding, and use your best judgement. If there’s any concern over not getting what you paid for, be sure to keep all communication on the Reedsy site. They promise to mediate if you’re not happy “for any sensible reason”, and may offer a partial or full refund. For more details on this policy and other info on Reedsy, check out their FAQ.
I was so pleased with my experience, I will definitely be returning for future projects.
Have you used Reedsy.com? What was your experience with it like? Are there any questions you still have about it that I didn’t answer? Please leave me a comment below.
As promised here’s a way to get a $25 discount off your first time using them. Please be aware I will also get $25 off my next purchase. All you have to do is use this link: https://reedsy.com/r/michelle-winkler Sign up as an author, and complete a contract with one of their professionals. If you choose not to, no stress. I’ll forgive you 😉