Reedsy is one of our newest affiliates and we were lucky enough to interview their CMO and co-founder, Ricardo Fayet! Check out the interview below and their website here!
WW: How did Reedsy begin? What was your mission when you started?
RF: The fundamental mission of Reedsy hasn’t changed since it started in 2015: allowing authors to connect with the world’s best publishing professionals, and get the same level of assistance in publishing their books that they would get through a Big Five publisher.
We started with a simple Marketplace featuring 100+ editors and 50+ designers, and have since expanded to marketing, ghostwriting, author website design, and literary translation services. While still featuring less than 5% of the freelance professionals who apply to join Reedsy, our rigorously vetted Marketplace has grown to well over 2,000 vetted professionals.
WW: What does Reedsy offer and how can it help writers today?
One tool we offer which we’re particularly proud of is the Reedsy Book Editor, which allows authors to write, edit, format, and export their books, all for free, from a visually clean and user-friendly interface. It’s now used by tens of thousands of writers every month to both write and prepare their books for publication.
We also have curated a number of directories, designed to aid writers searching for resources and contacts in the publishing industry by compiling them in one easy-to-find place. For example, we recently released a directory of literary agents to help authors whose dream is to get their book picked up by a traditional publisher — and there are more on the way!
WW: What is the best piece of advice you can give struggling writers visiting your site?
RF: Well, it very much depends on what they’re struggling with!
If it’s the actual writing, then I’d recommend them to check out our free writing courses for tips on a variety of areas of writing and craft. No matter what you’re stuck with, there’s a good chance you’ll find help there! More importantly, my number one tip for authors is always to make sure that they’re writing at least a little bit every day, so as to build a proper writing routine.
If they’ve already written but don’t know what to do next, or aren’t sure whether what they’ve written is worth publication, then the best thing they can do is hire a professional editor to assess their manuscript. An editorial assessment by a professional editor is one of the very best investments you can make — not only for your book, but for your writing career in general, as you’ll be able to apply most of the advice to your future books as well.
Finally, if they’re struggling with marketing, I recently released a book all about that which is free to download on all retailers, so my best piece of advice would be to, well, go and download it! It’s packed full of tips to help self-publishing authors maximize the potential of their book.
WW: How has your website and what you offer changed over the years since you started?
RF: It hasn’t really changed, but rather expanded to include more services on our Marketplace, and to cover more topics through our courses and blog.
We quickly realized that, while we offered a huge range of services and professionals through our network, many first-time authors didn’t really know what they needed in the first place, nor how much it’s going to cost them. For example, most authors who’re just starting out have probably never heard of “developmental editors” or “typesetters”, despite these being an integral part of the publishing industry. It can be hard for authors to prioritize their spending, or know which services they do or don’t need. The options can be overwhelming!
So we figured out that the best way to help authors make smart and efficient use of the professionals on Reedsy, and get the most value possible out of the service, was to provide them with as much free education as possible about the process of writing, publishing and marketing a book. By pointing them in the right direction and equipping them with all the information, we can help authors make informed decisions on what they need, who to hire, and where to put their money.
WW: How can writers, designers, editors, etc join your site to offer their skills to those in need?
RF: It’s simple: they just need to sign up here, fill in their Reedsy profile as exhaustively as possible, and then submit it for review!
First, though, I’d encourage any professionals looking to offer their skills on Reedsy to read about our selection criteria, as we tend to be pretty strict about who we feature on the Marketplace (less than 5% of people who apply, on average).
What are some of the books Reedsy has helped with that we need to add to our must-read list?
RF: That’s an excellent question, and depends very much on what genre you like to read!
Unfortunately, since we don’t publish the books ourselves, we often have little visibility on what happens to them after the author has worked with Reedsy professionals to get them ready. That said, we do feature several Reedsy-produced books, along with their origin stories, on our Reedsy Stories page.
More importantly, we released a new product a few years ago called Reedsy Discovery. Discovery’s mission is to help readers find the indie bestsellers of tomorrow — many of which have been produced with the help of Reedsy!
So, if you’re looking for a Reedsy read, what we’d recommend is that you check out the latest releases in your favorite genres on Discovery. You’ll be able to read an editorial review of each book, as well as the first chapter for free. And a little 🏆 emoji will mark all books produced with the help of a Reedsy professional, making it easy to identify the ones we helped make happen
Note: if you’d like to submit your new or upcoming release to Reedsy Discovery, you can do so here.
WW: Does Reedsy have anything new coming you'd like to share with our readers?
RF: We definitely have a lot of things coming, but one we’re particularly excited about is the launch of the collaborative features on the Reedsy Book Editor. You can already leave comments and edit your manuscript with track changes, but you can’t really share it with other Reedsy accounts — nor with Reedsy editors — just yet.
This should change in the coming months and you’ll be able to share your manuscript and co-write, edit, and beta read in real time, through any device, all on the Reedsy Book Editor. This will make it easier than ever for authors to collaborate seamlessly, and we’re very excited to bring the Editor to the next level!