Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: TechCrunch

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 ~

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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Freelance Editors for Writers

Writers who choose the self-publishing route have some critical choices to make about all the things that happen after a manuscript reaches “final draft”…

Reedsy Freelance Editing

Image Courtesy of Mikhail Lavrenov ~

One of the most important is how the book should be edited…

With my last book I chose an English graduate student who only wanted a mention in the book for their services…

You can read about some of the challenges that presented

Doing a Google search for freelance editors might give you what you want—the Editorial Freelancers Association for example…

Something else you might consider is associating yourself with a new service that’s in Beta—Reedsy.

Here are a few things TechCrunch said about Reedsy:

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

“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.”

Authors “…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.”

“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.”

And, a comment that may hold the most important considerations:

“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.”

I absolutely have to share Reedsy’s slogan-quote:
“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?” – Steve Jobs

You can also check out their management team and read their blog

And, you can read another article about Reedsy on Publishing Perspectives.

If you know of other freelance editorial services, please do share in the comments :-)
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A Fun Way To Learn The English Language?

I have people from about 40 countries visiting my blog every day.

Learn English

Image courtesy of Colin Adamson ~

Sure, the USA, UK, Australia, and India are the top ones since I write in English.

But, the other 30-some countries are are always changing and, over the last 3 years, there are only about 12 countries that haven’t shown up in my visitors’ stats.

Part of me is astonished that folks from so many countries come to a blog in English.

Another part of me has a hint about some of their motivations

Back in June of 2011, I published the post, Writing Challenge ~ Use The 1200 Most Common Words To Write A Story

That post has been, for the last 3 years, the most visited post on this blog; and, to date, there are 866 posts here.

For a long time I wondered at my visitors’ interest in a writing challenge; then, not long ago, I was talking with my Best Friend and the idea surfaced that perhaps that post was being paid so much attention because all those people from countries where English isn’t the first language wanted to know what the most common words were—duh!

I can’t imagine the effort it takes to learn English—probably puts some folks to sleep :-)

So, I thought I’d feature a relativity new site that helps people learning English by encouraging them to write within a community of other learners.

TechCrunch has an article about the site and here’s some of what they say: is a social writing platform that wants to help English learners improve their language skills in an enjoyable and non-intimidating way. The concept behind the site is simple. Each day, users are encouraged to write 100 words about any subject they want, and then exchange feedback with other writers. Users also get access to analytics that tell them what language errors they tend to make.”

“The site is aimed at English-language learners ranging from high school students to young professionals….While peer-to-peer commenting is encouraged, users have the option of paying for a subscription writing program to get additional learning material and feedback from professional reviewers.”

“[One of the founders] says that is “modeled on a writing course that has been taught at Yale College for more than a century

English is often said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn; but, opinions vary…

One more excerpt from TechCrunch:

“Doing a bit of personal writing each day is also a great habit for anyone to cultivate.’ most active users log-in between two to five times per day and write four to seven posts a week. The site’s most popular posts are read by about 100 people and users write about a wide range of topics, ranging from biology to more personal, diary-like entries.”

Are you learning English?

Do you know someone who is?

Perhaps can help :-)
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Blogging on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the “business social media site”, right?

Image courtesy of Julia Freeman-Woolpert ~

Image courtesy of Julia Freeman-Woolpert ~

Well They call it the “World’s Largest Professional Network”.

Lots of folks use it to find a job, or the people to fill a job slot.

They also let members “…follow news by industry and sources, companies, and groups…”.

But, since October of 2012 they let you “…follow the likes of Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Caterina Fake, Craig Newmark, President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, and many more.”

They also let you “…like and comment directly on their posts, and share with your network.”

Kind of like subscribing to long-form blog posts by famous people

Just the other day they began rolling out the ability for members (non-famous folk) to do their own blogging.

They say “…the posts will appear on [members’] profiles where they will ‘live forever’ as a part of [the] professional identity…”

That last altered quote originated on TechCrunch in their article, LinkedIn Opens Its Publishing Platform To All Members.

That article ends with these words:

“LinkedIn may be looking to deliver more personalized insights and increase user engagement, but the actual end result—given broad enough adoption of the pro blogging feature—will likely be better hiring decisions as companies get to know the person behind the resume.”

There was also an article with much more financial speculation on Gigaom—LinkedIn has the one thing other publishing platforms would kill for.

That article ends with these thoughts:

“Are there going to be quality issues and other struggles for new publishing platforms like LinkedIn, as there have been for Medium and the Huffington Post? Of course there are. But particularly for LinkedIn, the benefit of having a completely separate business that is generating significant amounts of revenue will give the company a lot more firepower than most of its competitors. Just another thing to keep traditional media awake at night.”

And, aiming right at the users’ benefits, the article, LinkedIn Wants to Be Your Soapbox, Not Just Your Résumé, in The New York Times, says:

“With the new tool, which will be rolled out gradually to LinkedIn’s membership over the coming weeks, users will be able to write and publish posts longer than the 600-character maximum that exists for status updates now. The posts will initially be shared with people in each user’s network, but if they are popular and compelling enough, LinkedIn’s algorithms might send them out more broadly.”

And, from Entrepreneur’s, Have a Blog? LinkedIn Wants Your Copy., we find out:

“In addition to written articles, members can share photos, images, videos and their original presentations via SlideShare…”

Sound interesting to you?
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