Reedsy Launches Its Marketplace For Indie Authors To Unbundle Traditional Publishing Houses

Meet Reedsy, a new startup that wants to unbundle the good old publishing company and provide all the services you need to self publish a book. As an author, writing the first draft is only the first step. You will need to work with an editor, copy editor and cover illustrator to turn your draft into a book. We already covered Reedsy’s big plans, and the startup is now open for business.

When you release a book, people will probably buy your book in the Kindle Store, or order a physical copy on Amazon. Doing this yourself or working with an editor will have the same end result as finding a printing company is not that hard when you are an indie author. Yet, there is still one main difference between self-publishing your book and signing with a publishing company. Your publisher will make you work with an editor to polish your work.

“Many traditional publishing houses got rid of their staff and now work with freelancers to do all the hard work around your book,” co-founder and CEO Emmanuel Nataf told me in a phone interview. “There are now many freelancers who are incredibly talented and no longer have a binding contract with their respective publishing company.”

In September, Reedsy started working with these professionals and building a comprehensive marketplace to connect them with authors. More than 2,000 editors, copy editors and illustrators asked to work with the startup. In the end, the Reedsy team handpicked 200 of them.

On average, these professionals worked on 10, 15 or 20 books. Some of them even worked on New York Times best sellers. In other words, this isn’t a platform for amateurs looking to make some money on the side.

Two weeks ago, Reedsy also opened its doors to authors. They can find freelancers, ask for a quote and start exchanging messaging with these professionals. Everything happens on Reedsy’s website, with dedicated tools to negotiate the price, rate people and browse portfolios.

In the next few months, the startup will keep building on top of this marketplace. There will be a payment system, you will be able to attach files and more. It will become a sort of Basecamp for indie authors.

Finally, authors, editors and copy editors will soon have a collaborative text editor to track changes and comment on the draft directly on Reedsy’s website. It will replace the cumbersome process of having to send Word files back and forth.

When the book is done, writers have the option to download everything and retain control on their work. They can submit the Epub or Mobi files by themselves to the Kindle Store or iBooks Store. The first Reedsy-enabled books will be available early next year.

There are two key components behind Reedsy’s platform. First, it’s a highly curated marketplace. The startup targets serious writers who are willing to spend a few thousand dollars to polish their work.

Second, there is a nice viral loop built into Reedsy. Many freelancers rely on word of mouth recommendations and don’t actually need more clients. But they want to tell their authors to use Reedsy to make it easier for them. Even writers who don’t need editor recommendations will end up using Reedsy.

It’s still very early for Reedsy. The company seems to understand its niche market pretty well. Now, it needs to prove that great books can come out of its platform. It’s a modern take on the publishing house, but best sellers are still going to be the store front of Reedsy.

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