Reedsy Review: Is It Worth It for Self-Publishers?

P.J McNulty
April 15, 2020 | 15 mins

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Is Reedsy the answer to finding quality author services for self-published authors?

Self-publishing is a process, and one in which you, as the author, are in charge of.

Many aspiring authors learning how to self-publish a book discover that a huge challenge is finding professionals to work with.

After all, your self-published book’s success relies on finding quality author services like cover design, editing, and marketing.

So, is Reedsy your best bet for a one-stop-shop for author services? Let’s find out!

A Note To Our Readers:

We want you to make informed decisions when it comes to how and where to invest your money. That’s why our mission is to help educate authors on the various self-publishing companies and services that are on the market today.

Our reviews are meant to be unbiased, 3rd party reviews, but we will speak up if there is a scam or a clearly better option.

What is Reedsy?

Reedsy is an online author service marketplace that provides book production services to authors in the self-publishing industry.

With its on-demand marketplace model, Reedsy has a variety of freelancers available for hire, specifically in book editing, design, ghostwriting, and more.

Related: Best Self-Publishing Companies

Reedsy is NOT for you if you’re looking for help with the entire self-publishing process, from book writing to production to marketing, since it’s not an all-in-one self-publishing company.

Have you ever struggled to find quality collaborators for your self-publishing project?

Go and pick your favorite book up, and check out the list of acknowledgments. Great books are made by great teams of people.

Just because you happen to be writing in the self-publishing era, it doesn’t mean you actually do everything by yourself!

What is Reedsy Marketplace?

Authors and publishers can hire professionals on the Reedsy Marketplace platform, which includes tools to make collaboration easier, such as writing tools, automated contracts, secure payments, and more. 

If you’re familiar with other marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr, it’s similar to this company, only specific for book publishing services and the freelancers have been fully vetted and approved by the Reedsy Team.

So what exactly does Marketplace have to offer? Let’s review the Reedsy market…

Here are the Reedsy Marketplace services for authors: 

  1. Editing. Find book editors to polish up your manuscript before you publish your book.
  2. Designing. Find book cover designers and illustrators. 
  3. Publicity. Find a publicist to help you grow your audience and find media opportunities. 
  4. Marketing. Find a marketer to help with your book marketing plan. 
  5. Ghostwriting. Find a ghostwriter to help you write a book
  6. Web Design. Find a web designer to create your author website or book landing page.

What is Reedsy Discovery?

Reedsy Discovery is a paid platform for self-published and indie authors to connect with book reviewers for exposure. When an author signs up for Reedsy Discovery, their book gets promoted to the reviewer community, and interested reviewers can preview your book and purchase it via your link.

Reedsy Discovery was launched officially in March 2019. The review community is growing, and there are some helpful guides to help you learn how to launch your book on Reedsy Discovery to increase your readership.

Reedsy services

Wondering what types of services you can hire professionals for on Reedsy? We’ll break it all down in this section, but first…

Have you ever hired the wrong collaborator for a book, such as on Fiverr or Upwork?

It can be frustrating. When your creative tank is close to empty (especially after writing a book), and your to-do list is piling up, having to interact with someone else can feel like the final straw.

One way to reduce the potential frustration of working with a collaborator is to ensure they come from a specialist marketplace, like Reedsy.

Reedsy Coupon

With Reedsy, you’ll only have the opportunity to work with people who are a great fit for your self-publishing project.

So which categories of collaborators are available?

Reedsy Review: Categories Of Collaborators

#1 – Editors

Are you worried about the quality of your self-published book as a result of editing errors?

Whether you’re writing a novel or writing a nonfiction book, editing is a crucial step in the self-publishing process.

While automated editing tools have come a long way in recent times, there’s still something invaluable about the human experience that only a real editor can provide. 

You can hire the right editor for your self-publishing project, avoiding any embarrassing slips and helping your book become the best it can be.

Here are the types of editing services you can find on Reedsy: 

  1. Developmental Editing
  2. Copy Editing & Line Editing
  3. Editorial Assessment
  4. Proofreading

No matter the level of editorial assistance your book requires, you can find the right editor for your project.

From our research, we found that many self-published authors were content with the editing services received and gave an overall positive Reedsy review in this category. 

#2 – Designers and illustrators

A lot of readers will automatically skip past a written typo, but a visual design error is usually much easier for the eye to catch. 

No matter if your aim is to avoid a glaring graphical mishap, or to provide a beautiful design your readers will love, you can find professional graphic designers and illustrators to help you.

You can find a variety of professional designers on the Reedsy Marketplace, from children’s book illustrators to book cover designers

Here are the graphic design services you can find on Reedsy: 

  1. Cover Design
  2. Illustration
  3. Typography
  4. Book Interior Design

You might even try hiring a graphic designer on Reedsy to help you create a visual lead magnet for your book. Or, you can have the same designer create each book cover for your box set series.

Ensure your book’s visuals look fantastic by browsing the Marketplace’s category for designers, to find one that fits your book’s style and vision.

If you’re curious about Reedsy reviews specific to design, take a peak around the Marketplace and view artist portfolios. You can do this for free.

#3 – Publicists

Plenty of people mistrust book reviews these days, fearing systems have been gamed or otherwise manipulated.

If you’re looking for some help getting your book into the hands of the right readers, and don’t have enough hours in the day to chase after media opportunities, the publicist section is the place for you.

Here are the publicity services you can find on Reedsy: 

  1. Press Coverage
  2. Blog Tour

#4 – Marketers

For a lot of authors, writing is its own reward. To sit and see your ideas come to fruition on the page is one of the best feelings out there.

Having to get out and promote it? Often less enjoyable!

For self-publishers looking to get effective help from tried and tested book marketers, check out the Marketplace. Whether you need help setting up a book funnel, implementing KDP ads, optimizing your Amazon Author Central, leveraging book promo sites such as BookBub, or any other book marketing strategy – you might find a marketer to help you get done-for-you services on Reedsy.

We couldn’t find Reedsy reviews specific to the bulk of marketing services offered, and noticed that this was an area where freelance options weren’t as diverse, so always ask for experience and specific results before hiring a Marketing professional on Reedsy.

Related: How To Build Your Email List

Here are the types of book marketing services you can find on Reedsy: 

  1. Marketing Strategy
  2. Email Marketing
  3. Advertising

#5 – Ghostwriters

Sometimes, ghostwriters are needed to assist with a self-publishing project. Ghostwriting is when a professional writer writes content for you, but does not receive the byline or author credit.

Perhaps you want a draft outline to work with, or simply higher levels of output to serve your fans with the next installment of their latest series.

Reedsy currently offers two different types of ghostwriting services:

  1. Ghostwriting
  2. Book Proposal

No matter if you’re looking to have your full book ghostwritten, or only its proposal, you can find the right collaborator on Reedsy. 

#6 – Web Designers

Online marketing is an important part of the promotional approach for most creative work these days. 

Whether you want to create an author website on WordPress, or a Shopify store to sell some self-publishing merchandise, or maybe just a book landing page, web design skills will always be useful. 

If you don’t want to take time away from your Work-in-Progress to learn web design, Reedsy has experienced people to help out. 

Reedsy Coupon

How does Reedsy work? 

So, how does it feel to get up close and personal and use the Reedsy service? We found that the platform was very user-friendly, and the experience was pretty seamless.

Many companies offer author services that sound enticing, but if the platform is clunky, it ends up being more of a headache than it’s worth. After all, even the most promising features can soon become painful if the experience of using them is subpar.

Thankfully, that isn’t the case with the Reedsy platform, and it was extremely smooth experience as we browsed the site.

We also found that learning how to navigate the Reedsy process was pretty straightforward, and there was live help available via the Reedsy support chat.

Overall, Reedsy had a positive review for user experience and site navigation.

Reedsy Review: Live Chat

Here’s how to get started with the online platform, and our thoughts on the overall feel of the experience.

Step #1 – Sign up with Reedsy

Reedsy Marketplace Sign Up Page

It’s simple to create an account and begin browsing the range of service providers found on their marketplace.

The initial step requires only an email address, or to link your Reedsy account with Facebook or Google. 

Step #2 – Set your specifications

One area where Reedsy really stands out is in the way it allows you to set your project description. It has plenty of search customization features, but it isn’t overwhelming.

There is also support offered should you encounter any issues or have questions.

Want to choose a particular genre? No problem! Save time and narrow down your options to find the right people for your specific project.

Reedsy Review: Marketplace Interface

Step #3 – Confirm your collaborator 

After finding the right person, and mutually agreeing on terms, it’s time to start collaborating with your new creative partner.

Step #4 – Collaboration management

Reedsy provides everything you need to manage files, payments, and communication. There’s no need to switch back and forth between different platforms and software.

You can handle it all in one place, while also benefiting from their security and other protection policies. 

Reedsy Collaboration Management

Step #5 – Mutual feedback

To keep in line with Reedsy’s ethos of being a specialized, supportive community, both authors and collaborators can give feedback after a project. This helps you to get a feel for if a potential relationship is a good fit or not. 

Overall, it’s refreshing to have a way to collaborate effectively and efficiently in one place, with the needs fo the self-publishing community firmly in mind. 

Reedsy for self-published authors

Does this company serve the self-publishing community in ways other than marketplace provision?

Related: Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

It appears so. Thankfully, this company is looking to do more than just make it easier for authors to collaborate effectively.

They are also looking to inform, inspire, and assist you on your journey to becoming a more successful self-published author. 

Reedsy Resources

If the world of writing represents fairly stable terrain, the sands of self-publishing are shifting rapidly.

To stay on top of the latest and most useful information, check the following free information:

  1. Blog. Get insights into the latest from the book design, book marketing, and craft aspects of the self-publishing world. 
  2. Email Courses. Looking for a more in-depth, but still manageable, educational experience? Reedsy Learning offers small publishing courses at no cost.
  3. Reedsy Live. Do you prefer the energy and experience of live training? Live offers a selection of webinars just for self-publishers. 

It’s great to see that the company is educational as well as commercial. Raising standards in accessible ways for authors only helps the entire self-publishing world. 

Reedsy Inspiration

Sometimes, knowing that something is possible is as important as knowing how it’s done.

Reedsy’s success stories are valuable ways of reminding yourself that not only is self-publishing possible, but it’s possible for people just like us. When this type of inspiration arrives at the right time, there’s nothing more valuable. 

Reedsy BookEditor 

Looking for a simple and free typesetting tool to help your book look great on the page? Reedsy allows you to help your words look great on the page, and to ensure your front and back matters as they should be.

Reedsy Bookeditor

Some of the things we like about Reedsy BookEditor include:

  • Focused. If you want a focused tool that makes your typesetting easier, BookEditor does the job. Why waste time learning an elaborate tool if this one feature is what you need?
  • Free. Perhaps you’re paying a typesetting freelancer, or investing in some other solution? Using the BookEditor is one way to simplify and increase the frugality of your book creation process. 

If you already use specialist writing software, you might find that the BookEditor doesn’t offer a real step up. Otherwise, it’s definitely worth checking out. 

Reedsy Discovery 

Sometimes, getting your new book into the hands of the right readers is the toughest challenge. Reedsy’s passionate community of reading fanatics give their verdict on the latest from the indie world. 

So what stood out about Reedsy Discovery?

  • Personal. A lot of people miss the days of a human rather than an algorithmic recommendation. In the age of influencer marketing, getting your book into the hands of the right person with real credibility can make a huge difference.
  • Quality. In keeping with the company’s brand, these reviews come across as considered and careful. They can be a lot more persuasive than algorithmic suggestions. 

Overall, Reedsy provides a great mix of information and practical tools to help authors reach the next stage in their publishing journey. 

Cons of using Reedsy

So why should you avoid working with this author services company?

There are many pros to Reedsy, but there can also be some cons. This Reedsy review wouldn’t be complete without addressing both sides of the equation.

The following factors might cause you to think about whether Reedsy is the right fit for your self-publishing needs:

  1. Limited pool of service providers. If you’re looking for the largest number of potential collaborators out there, Reedsy might not be the best place for you. The vetting process typically results in better collaborators, but less of them. If you prefer a larger number at a cheaper price, consider other options.
  2. Depth of information. Reedsy is great for offering actionable ideas and advice for self-publishers. But if you’re looking for something closer to an MFA, it might not be the best bet.
  3. Cost. Of course, you can see our collaborators independently, or through any other meeting place, and pay less in the process. However, you might well decide the cost of using this company is justified by the quality, security, and convenience it offers. 
  4. No audiobook services. At the time of this article, it doesn’t appear that Reedsy offers services for self-published authors looking to publish an audiobook.

Consider the pros and cons of using Reedsy against alternative options available to you, and you’ll soon be able to see if it’s the best fit for your needs.

Reedsy FAQ

Still not sure if Reedsy is a good match for your self-publishing project?

Here are some of the most common questions out there, to help you research more in this Reedsy review:

Is Reedsy free?

The information on the site is free, but the actual cost of services provided is not. If you want to hire a professional on Reedsy marketplace for your book publishing needs, you will have to pay the freelancer’s fee, and any fees associated with Reedsy (more on this below).

If you want to read an in-depth blog post, sign up for an email course, or use a tool, you can do so at no cost on Reedsy. However, the actual publication services require payment.

How much does Reedsy cost?

You will pay a project fee (10% or less) and payment fee (2.9%) when you hire a professional on Reedsy’s Marketplace. The overall cost to use their services depends on the service and collaborators you hire. 

This means that you can choose to hire professionals that fall within your specific budget.

Related: Publishing Costs

When collaboration occurs through the marketplace, Reedsy takes the following amount:

  1. Project fee. Reedsy charges a project fee. 10% is the highest rate collaborators will be charged, and collaborators with a historical record of working together are charged less. This is great, as it encourages an atmosphere of win/win, mutually supportive collaboration. 
  2. Payment fee. Reedsy also charges a 2.9% payment processing fee. 

It’s good to see that Reedsy has incentivized long-term relationship building into its costing structure.

Where is Reedsy based?

Reedsy receives funding from the European Union but has team members and collaborators from over 600 global cities. It is based in London, but is a virtual remote company, with employees located all over the world. 

The company has a strong remote work ethos, perfect for the collaborative and open self-publishing industry. 

Is Reedsy a vanity publisher?

No, Reedsy is not considered a vanity publisher because it is not a platform where you actually publish books.

A vanity publisher, or vanity press, is a publishing company that requires authors to pay large fees in order to have their book published. These companies have a bad wrap in the self-publishing community, and are often considered scams, because of the high cost and poor quality. Vanity publishers often present themselves falsely to unaware aspiring authors, making them think they are a traditional publishing company that has accepted their book, when in fact, they will publish any book for the right price.

Reedsy is NOT an actual publishing company, but rather a marketplace that provides author services (such as editing and design). Therefore, Reedsy is not a vanity publisher and is safe to do business with.

Is Reedsy safe?

Reedsy freelancers are vetted professionals, that have been approved by the Reedsy team, who reviews each applicant before approving their account. Therefore, you can trust that the freelancers on Reedsy are safe to entrust your book to.

If you ever have any issues with the quality of services rendered, Reedsy’s customer support team is readily available to address any concerns.

Other Reedsy reviews

There’s an abundance of Reedsy reviews online, so we recommend doing more research on the company before you decide to invest!

Here are some places to search for more Reedsy reviews:

  1. Google. Just search “Reedsy” + “Reviews” or “complaints”
  2. Facebook groups. Search your private Facebook group for authors for the term “Reedsy” to see any relevant threads. Or, post your own question!
  3. Reddit and other forums. There’s an abundance of forums to search for Reedsy reviews in.
  4. Social media. Post on Twitter to ask your author community about their experience. Or, try doing a search on Instagram using hashtags.

Here’s a positive review on Reedsy for editing (from Reddit)…

Reedsy Reviews

Here’s an overall 4.7 rating on the Reedsy Facebook page…

Reedsy Ratings

You can also check out this video review of Reedsy from Dave Chesson with Kindlepreneur. Keep in mind that this video is from 2015, so Reedsy has grown and changed a bit since then.

Reedsy review: Is Reedsy right for you?

In a nutshell: If you’re looking for quality, vetted professionals and freelancers for author services to help you publish your next book, Reedsy is worth checking out.

Reedsy is NOT for you if you’re looking for help with the entire self-publishing process, from book writing to production to marketing, since it’s not an all-in-one self-publishing company.

If you are in need of a self-publishing company that provides comprehensive education and coaching on the entire self-publishing process, consider a program from Self-Publishing School, our parent company.

However, if you only need help with finding quality services in specific areas of expertise, then Reedsy’s services are worth exploring.

No matter what your book production needs are, you will find qualified professionals ready to provide author services to you. Reedsy’s free information and resources available are also super helpful.

What experiences can you add to this Reedsy review?

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