Reedsy is a self-publishing startup that currently offers its users access to a marketplace of skilled freelance book-production professionals. Beginning in spring 2015, however, the site will debut an online collaborative-editing tool on the platform, and there are also plans for a curated Reedsy book imprint.
Based in the U.K., Reedsy launched in September with a skills exchange that gives writers access to a selection of vetted professional book editors and designers. And beginning in March 2015, cofounder Ricardo Fayet said, the company plans to launch an online writing/editing platform that will help writers and editors collaborate on manuscripts. The Reedsy online editing tool provides version control for editorial changes and an internal email and payment system that allows the writer and editorial/production support team to collaborate on the manuscript entirely within the Reedsy platform—no external email needed. Once a manuscript is completed, Reedsy’s editorial tool will convert the manuscript into ePub or Mobi file formats.
It’s free for authors to join Reedsy, create a profile, and find tools, services, and professional editorial support for their writing, according to Fayet. The Reedsy skills exchange offers access to about 200 book professionals at the moment. Fees are negotiated by the writer and the freelancer.
By mid-2015, Reedsy expects to launch a publishing program—though it will differ from most self-publishing platforms in that the company plans to exercise “curatorial control” over what it releases, according to Fayet. Once a writer has completed a book, the manuscript can be submitted to Reedsy to be considered for publication. “Not everything submitted will be published,” Fayet said. “We will choose the best books.” Reedsy will not offer advances.
If their manuscripts selected are for publication, authors will receive an 80%–90% royalty, and the books will be published in e-book and POD print editions. Reedsy will handle digital distribution via the usual e-book retail venues, and Fayet said the venture is currently “in talks” with vendors so it can provide distribution to physical bookstores.
Fayet said users will also be able to download manuscripts that are rejected for a fee (likely less than $100 but to be determined) as ePub or Mobi files and self-published through competing platforms, such as Kindle and Nook. The proposed fee, Fayet said, is to pay for Reedsy to convert the manuscripts to downloadable files, but he also noted that the company may allow rejected manuscripts to be downloaded for free as basic ePub files.
Reedsy makes money by collecting 10% of the fee paid in hiring from the skills exchange—about 60 editing and design referrals have been made to date. Eight hundred writers currently use Reedsy. Fayet also said the site is working to create partnerships with Kickstarter and PubSlush to offer crowdfunding support to authors who need funding.
Fayet was emphatic that Reedsy “will select the best works and only publish those.” He said, “we have a venture capital mentality: if we decide to take a stake in a book, we’ll do absolutely everything to make that book a success.”