Reedsy: a new resource for writers


As most indie writers know, self-publishing is a misnomer. Along with the moral support of friends and family, most of us need the help of beta readers, editors, proofreaders, cover designers and a whole host of others to produce a quality book. But as a new writer it can be incredibly hard to know where to start when looking for professional support.

This is the gap Reedsy is looking to fill. It is an online marketplace where authors can find the best freelance editors and designers. This is from their Press Release:

Publishing startup Reedsy has launched the first tightly curated online marketplace of publishing professionals, enabling authors to find and collaborate with top book editors and designers. Since the site launched in 2014, over one thousand authors have already signed up. The site has transformed current indie publishing models, creating a system whereby freelancers are approached by authors based on work and experience as opposed to price.

Authors sign up for free, and can then search for whichever freelance service they desire. The search can be refined through type of service offered and genre specialisation. Once you have selected a freelancer, the site lists an overview of the person and services they offer, any relevant qualifications, professional accreditations, work experience and portfolio.

If you decide to go ahead and use their service Reedsy take a 10% fee on each transaction, but that is all.

To me this looks like something that could be of interest to many authors, as well as freelancers looking to increase their customer base. At the moment the site has 200 freelancers listed, predominantly under editorial and design, but I expect to see the list grow as word starts to spread. At the moment there are over 1000 authors registered, although I don’t know how many transactions have taken place.

You can see from the site that a service market place is only the start of what Reedsy would like to offer. There is a lot of functionality which has yet to be brought online, but if the team deliver what they say they want to, I think it will be an important resource for both writers and freelancers in the future.

As an author, I would like to see an indication of pricing, or price banding, to prevent a lot of wasted time as authors contact suppliers only to find they are out of their price range. It would be good for those that have used the freelancer’s services to be able to leave comments or a rating, as at the moment there isn’t a great mechanism to distinguish between one freelancer and another. However, with the demands from readers for an ever more professional product, I can see real value in this type of service.

To find out more about Reedsy, you can visit their website here:

Disclaimer: I have only used Reedsy to investigate their site; I’ve not purchased any of the services on offer. Reedsy approached me to talk about their site and future plans but the choice to produce a blog was mine and Reedsy had no editorial input. I did not receive payment or incentives to write this blog.


26 thoughts on “Reedsy: a new resource for writers

  1. I found their site difficult to navigate and half of it’s not finished. That’s pretty unprofessional considering they want ten per cent of any fees. It’s quite a greedy commission too, and what it means is that certainly for me, I’d immediately have to load my prices by minimum 11%. Authors may wish to bear that in mind.

    Eg, a £400 edit would become a £445 edit for me to retain the same fee. I try and keep prices as low as I can so I can’t afford to take that sort of hit.

    Like you, I think pricing should be up front but try as I might I couldn’t find a reference to their commission. Do you have a link?

    And, how on earth do you choose between hundreds of people basically all offering the same service? Again, publishing rates would be a lot easier, but is there anything to stop someone advertising their rates? I think not. So I reckon someone will start to do that, and then everyone will. Expect to see the usual minimum of £3/$5 an hour editing and £2/$3 an hour proofreading, up to £10/$15 plus an hour for editing, proofreading on top.

    It’s a very competitive cut-throat market. Dog eat dog has always described it so well.

    • I was hoping you would comment on this because my piece is clearly based on an author’s perspective.
      I didn’t find the site hard to navigate but I do agree with you on the non-functioning parts of the site. My guess is, they wanted to show what else was planned but you don’t get to see that until you click on the menu item.
      The commission figure came from a press release they sent through. I didn’t search for it on the site so if it’s not mentioned (at least for service providers), it should be.
      The selection point is, for me, key. This is the same issue any author has, whether searching on site or trawling the internet. It’s easier from a design point of view because you can look at their previous work, but all you have to go on with editors are their existing clients and the books they’ve worked on, which isn’t always the best indicator.
      As I said, I love the concept and if they can get it to work it could become a great service for authors and freelancers alike.

      • I registered as both. And of course you can see stuff all until you register. Which I didn’t like.

        Maybe I was looking for something that wasn’t there. Eg, T&Cs? Especially the commission.

        The press release would be interesting.

        It doesn’t appeal to me because I hate trawling through lists. A bit like I hate eBay.

        Design is an interesting one. I worked on one project and we decided to ask five designers to come up with a concept, but, we paid for each idea. I agree, editing is very different. I give a free sample, as do many, because at least it gives an idea. Of course, it doesn’t and can’t say how you would deal with a full MS where you might start suggesting changes in structure, character development, plot holes etc. But, I think it is better than nothing.

        Some editors put up a track changes example on their websites, but seriously. Anyone could just make something up with loads of errors and do that to show how good they were.

        I’m not sure they’ve refined the idea very well. Sounds a bit like a get-rich-quick idea to me with minimum effort. Did you read their blog? I found their post written in a haste with words falling over themselves and out of breath, but, there was an interesting one about editing. I followed a link (I blame you for my lack of work output this morning!) and there was a quiz question from a former non-fiction editor about what was wrong with a sentence. No one had got it, and yet as the blog author said, it was a glaring (factual) error. Probably goes to show why editors are unappreciated 😀

        I suppose the bottom line is, if you were looking, which five editors would you choose and why?

      • I don’t believe it’s a get rich quick scheme. If they wanted to generate revenue, they would charge freelancers to advertise their services which they don’t. The only way they’ll generate an income is if they manage to select good quality freelancers and generate enough author traffic to lead to commissions.
        Your last question is key. If they can add value in that area, they’ll be onto a winner.

      • Sounds like you have insider knowledge. You certainly know more than I could glean from wandering around the site. What, for example, is the selection process?

        And another question. What happens if you don’t like the five freelancers you have chosen? Can you keep repeating the process endlessly?

      • Again, the selection part came from the press release. The quote was “We’ve been extremely selective on the freelancers we have allowed onto the
        marketplace, so that authors can be sure they are all of high quality.” What that process is, I’ve no idea. I’ll send you a copy of the press release.
        As for the second question, again, I’ve no idea, but it’s worth bringing up.

      • Hi roughseasinthemed,

        I’m a founder at Reedsy and just wanted to respond to your concerns.
        – So far, we have received over 5,000 applications from freelancers. You will see that we have only selected 260 professionals (so about 5%). Most of them have worked on bestselling books, often with big 5 publishers. That’s a beautiful network available to indie authors.
        – Our terms of service:
        – “What happens if you don’t like the five freelancers you have chosen?” We have never had the case. What we have seen so far is that our professionals will let you know if they are the right match or not. If they are, they will provide a quote. If they aren’t, they will decline the request which allows you to contact more freelancers.
        – “I hate trawling through lists”. In the coming versions of Reedsy, the marketplace will look a lot nicer with more information provided at a glance.

  2. I was alerted to the site’s existence through Goodreads and signed up as it was free to do so. I haven’t yet used their service, but I agree that it would be handy if there was some sort of filter or indicator of price range if only to save everyone (author & service provider) time. I would hate to develop a great repertoire with someone only to find out that we were completely out of sync on available budget.

  3. Hi, Dylan! Thanks for sharing this resource. Speaking from the editor perspective, the Editors’ Association of Canada (which I belong to) has an online directory where members can advertise their services. The editors have to pay a fee to list their services as well as the members fee for the association, so you know they are taking their profession seriously. And no one gets charged a cut of anything. I am sure other editor organizations have similar offerings. I just thought I should share this as another example of a resource. 🙂

      • You’re welcome, Dylan! The EAC has a list of other editor associations across the world. Here are their names in case they could be of help for your readers:

        Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC)
        American Copy Editors Society (ACES)
        Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders & Indexers (AFEPI)
        Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS)
        Canberra Society of Editors Inc.
        Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)
        Editors Victoria Inc.
        Ghana Association Book Editors (GABE)
        Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd)
        Northwest Independent Editors Guild (NIEG)
        Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW)
        Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)
        Society of Editors (NSW) Inc.
        Society of Editors (Queensland) Inc.
        Society of Editors (South Australia) Inc.
        Society of Editors (Tasmania) Inc.
        Society of Editors (Western Australia) Inc.
        Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE)
        Writers & Editors Network (WEN)

    • You’re more than welcome. It’s an interesting concept. Early days, as yet but if they manage to pull it off it could be great news for writers, and for freelancers looking for work.

  4. Pingback: Reedsy – the one-stop shop for writers? | Suffolk Scribblings

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