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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reedsy--Connecting Indie Writers and Freelance Publishing Professionals


Hiring freelance editing and design services can be a huge stress for many self-publishing authors. 

Many indie authors I know (including myself) are really struggling to find quality freelance editors and designers that are within their budget. Usually we hear about someone from someone else, and we might eventually track this person down and try to communicate our basic needs while hoping we aren't going to be completely taken advantage of by an "editor" who is not really that great of an "editor" in the first place.

Never mind the fact that when hiring contract work of any kind, you really should be getting multiple quotes from a variety of professionals--are you kidding? Do you know how hard it was for me to just find and contact ONE freelance editor?

My thoughts on the matter were this, "Wouldn't it be great if it was easier to find and hire good editorial help? Something like Angie's List...yes, that's it I think. Is there something out there, a connecting place where independent writers could research, connect with, and possibly hire an editor that was great instead of floundering around in the dark relying on personal recommendations from other writers?"

Sometimes when I ask, the Universe answers right away. Seriously, within hours of me thinking about this problem I received an email from Thomas du Plessis. Thomas is in charge of publishing, marketing, and communications at Reedsy.

Right away Reedsy had my attention. First off, because I had just been wondering if there was a service like this on the market, and second, the business model looked like it was actually designed to help indie authors, not take advantage of them.

So what is Reedsy?

In a nutshell, Reedsy is a curated marketplace where authors can go to shop for industry professionals. Right now their listings are for editors and cover designers.

Editing services include:
  • Content Editing
  • Copy Editing
  • Editorial Assessment
  • Proofreading

Design services include:
  • Interior Design
  • Cover Design
  • Illustration
  • Typographers
What is a curated marketplace? Ricardo Fayet, co-founder of Reedsy along with Emmanuel Nataf, explains in an interview on the Triskele Books Blog that, as of September 2014, they had received approximately 3000 applications from freelance editors, proofreaders, and designers--as of January 2015 they had accepted only 200 to be included on their site.

"The broad vision behind Reedsy is to invent a publishing model that combines the quality of traditional publishing while keeping the freedom and business model of self-publishing." 

Basically, not just any "publishing professional" can be included. Freelancers apply to be listed on the site and those applications are reviewed. Each professional includes examples of work they've done in the past. Many, if not most, of the current freelancers listed have extensive experience in traditional publishing.

What does this mean for the already spread thin indie author? Basically Reedsy can serve as a one-stop shop for editing and design in a simple to navigate platform. Even I was able to figure it out without getting stressed! :-)

How does it work? First you set up a basic profile for yourself.

Next, you can browse the marketplace by filtering for what you are looking for (editorial or design) and you can tighten that filter further by selecting the specific type of editing/design you need as well as genre (freelancers that have more experience in working with romance, sci-fi, YA--you get the idea.)

Then, select up to five professionals you're interested in possibly working with and request a quote from them.

The entire process is handled within the site's platform and it was seriously one of the easiest I have yet to encounter in all my self-publishing endeavors.

I tried the site myself and requested quotes from three editors for copy editing services. Within twenty-four hours I had two professional quotes with free examples of their work based on the small writing sample I had uploaded. As of writing this post, I have yet to hear from the third editor, but because I had set the quote deadline for next week, he still has time. 

How much does it cost? Reedsy charges the freelancers 10% of the freelancer/author agreed upon rate. There are no other costs for using the service at this time.

So what were the quotes I've received thus far? The first quote came in at $1600.00 for a 100,000 word manuscript. The second quote suggested that I didn't need full copy editing (which is more expensive) but rather proofreading--their cost for this came in at 500.00. I'm still waiting for the third. Both quotes also provided me with a time frame for being able to start and complete the project based on their current workloads/schedules.

Honestly, if you're looking to self-publish and don't already have an experienced team of editing and design professionals that you love working with, Reedsy might be a good place to start looking for them. 


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