Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Author Services

What’s Your Favorite Flavor of Publishing?


Folks outside the U.S.A. may be correcting my spelling of the 4th word in the title of this post to “Flavour”

Kinds of Book Publishing

Image courtesy of Tracy Olson ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/designkryt

But, for anyone reading this, we’re talking about the 3rd definition of that word in my Oxford dictionary—“An indefinable characteristic quality”

There are so many ways to publish these days that many of them must be characterized with rather “indefinable” qualities that the media might call their “Spin”

Regular readers of this blog will know that I tend to lean toward “Self-Publishing” though I can see a few narrowly-defined situations where I might consider “Traditional Publishing“.

And, within the flavor-range of Self-Publishing, I can clearly recommend FastPencil and Smashwords.

And, as I scan the news-feeds and other resources I use to find material for this blog, I’m nearly continually seeing yet more Flavors of Publishing.

The latest to cross my threshold is Reedsybilled by themselves as the placeWhere authors meet the best editors, designers and marketers for their books”.

True, Reedsy is not calling itself a “publishing solution” but the media they’ve grabbed is trying hard to make them sound like a replacement for a traditional publishing house

Each linked source below will take you to their article about Reedsy.

Forbes (business magazine) says it’s “the platform that enables authors to collaborate with professional editors, designers and marketers directly rather than through a publishing house”.

The Guardian (newspaper) says “The main thing that sets Reedsy apart from the many companies offering ‘author services’ is its platform. This is a tech company first and foremost…”

TechCrunch (Nerdly tech site) says authors “can find freelancers, ask for a quote, and start exchanging messaging with these professionals”. (and, eventually pay them………)

Publishing Perspectives (seems self-explanatory) says “It proposes to become the must-go place where serious self-published writers can turn to get professional help and produce a high quality book in this exploding book market”.

MediaShift (not sure why they have “shift” in their name) says, as a reason for Reedsy’s existence, “For several years there had been a gold rush of self-published authors who, spurred by newspaper articles on Kindle millionaires, flooded the market with low-quality, poorly-written books in the hope of overnight success.”

So, Reedsy, essentially, has gathered around-200 freelancers in editing, designing, illustrating, and marketing and has created a site where you can employ them to help you get ready to publish books—Reedsy receiving 10% of the fee paid.

Two thoughts:

I see no mention on their site about how a book would actually be published. Yes, they clearly say they’re offering author services but they say nothing about helping you produce a book or guiding you toward such a conclusive act

They’ve garnered some very heavy-hitting media coverage; but, the following terms of their agreement may cause some to pause:

“The Platform: (i) is a beta version; (ii) is provided on an ‘as is’ basis; and (iii) may not be free of bugs or errors and you agree that the existence of any bugs or errors shall not constitute a breach of this agreement.”—“Access to the Platform is permitted on a temporary basis. We may suspend, withdraw, discontinue or change all or any part of the Platform without notice. We will not be liable to you if for any reason our site is unavailable at any time or for any period.”

So, it’s not a “Publishing Company” but it’s trying hard to seem as necessary as what a traditional publishing company offers

Why are there so many “companies” these days that package-up a few services that an enterprising individual could find on their own and present the package as some “absolutely essential” service?

However, I must end with the admission that once Reedsy settles out of its Beta-phase it just might be a good place to find some of the services an author who self-publishes might be able to afford
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Is Self-Publishing Really A Do It Yourself Proposition?


Are you a writer who’s rejected the idea of offering your work to a traditional publishing house?

Do you believe you can do everything it takes to self-publish?

Now, be honest with yourself—you can actually accomplish Everything it takes to publish and distribute a book?

If your answer was yes, you can stop reading this post :-)

If you’re a writer who knows the traditional route is not for you and you also know you’re going to need help with self-publishing, you’ll need to find other people who can help—Publishing-Aid Folks.

When I self-published my last book, I did the cover, I located a graduate student in English to help with editing, and I used the Publishing-Aid Company FastPencil for book production and distribution—total cost, $300.

Of course, there’s the whole issue of promoting the book… <— there are 31 posts at that link.

Some writers may be able to spend a lot and some are on a tight budget but, if you need help with All  aspects of self-publishing, you’ll appreciate a three-part article by Suw Charman-Anderson.

Here’s a bit of her bio:

[She’s] “…the former Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, a campaign group based in London. She is also a journalist, social software consultant, blogger and public speaker.”

And, here are the links to her article:

An Introduction To Author Services, Part 1

Author Services Part 2: Choosing Who To Work With

Author Services Part 3: Marketing And Promotion

Now, for a few excerpts from that three-parter (to encourage you to go read it):

“Any self-published author knows just how much hard work goes into preparing a book for publication and how many new skills authors need to develop if they are going to truly do everything themselves.”

“There are a lot of freelance professionals out there who have the skills and experience to help you create the very best book you can and bring it to market in a timely fashion. Many authors rely on finding individual freelancers that they can work with, often via their own contacts.”

“But how do you choose an author services company or a freelance to work with? How much does it cost? And how do you need to adjust your processes to work with editors and other services?”

“It’s also important to prepare emotionally for your collaboration with editorial professionals.”

“We’re not necessarily a gregarious bunch, us writers, and I would bet that most of us would happily pay someone else to do our marketing and promotion for us, if we could. But is it worth it? And what, out of all the things you could pay for,  should you pay for?”

“It also helps to think about your goals in the short, medium and long term.”

There is much detail and many examples in Ms. Charman-Anderson’s article.

Check it out and then come on back and share your thoughts and feeling in the Comments :-)

And, in case you haven’t considered how much money you can make being an Indie Author, do go read this post by my friend, Angela Yuriko Smith: The truth about author earnings.
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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