In our latest KWL podcast episode, we chatted with Ricardo Fayet, Co-Founder of Reedsy. If you haven’t heard of Reedsy yet, listen up. Reedsy is an online resource for authors, a safe and reliable marketplace where authors can find editors, proofreaders, cover designers, illustrators, ghost writers, publicists, and website designers. Ricardo founded his company five years ago, and since then Reedsy’s marketplace has grown to include over 1500 freelance professionals.
Only the Best: Reedsy’s Competitive Freelancers
Ricardo’s team spends a lot of time curating freelancers, employing only the most qualified individuals — about 3% of applicants make the cut based on editorial specialization, number of books worked on, and extensive experience in traditional or Indie publishing. Reedsy even has its own algorithm that ranks freelancers and incorporates their reviews. Contracts are built into Reedsy service, including industry standards of editing and design, special terms for ghostwriting projects, automated payments, and flexible payment plans and payment dates. Authors who utilize Reedsy are ensured superior services that can take their self-publishing career to a more professional level.
Reedsy Solves the Issue of Discoverability
Ricardo talked to us about Reedsy Discovery, a new platform used by the company to increase authors’ visibility. Discoverability is a prominent issue among authors, and this platform helps readers discover indie books that have been curated and cultivated by independent reviewers. There is a $50 entrance fee for authors, which guarantees one review before their publication date. If the review is positive, Reedsy will showcase the book on their discovery page on the day of publication. If your title is one of the top books, it is featured in Reedsy’s weekly newsletter which includes approximately 50,000 monthly users! The Discovery tool has experienced significant success in its short two months of operation, with thousands upon thousands of readers discovering new novels every day.
Advice from Ricardo: The Importance of SEO
Ricardo wants self-published authors to recognize that Search Engine Optimization is highly relevant to Google. Every other search engine, including Amazon, Youtube, Yahoo, and Bing comes after Google. Every place on the internet these days is a search engine, including Kobo.com. The big concern authors have when trying to sell their books is for potential readers to come across their titles. Book listings vary from one search engine to another, with Google being the most advanced with superior AI. Kobo has a mix of human curation and algorithmic data, which is what makes Kobo special. Each search engine has its own way of displaying results, and its important to understand the search engines with which you want to leverage results.
Reedsy conducts research on the most searched topics to understand what is trending among readers and authors. Authors can use these same tools to gain insight into their readers and generate more interest in their novels. Ricardo recommends that authors use K-lytics and KDP Rocket to optimize titles and metadata, and to make sure their books are showing up in relevant searches. The impact of SEO is traffic – for instance, the Reedsy blog went from 1,000 users to 600,000+ users per month in less than two years. One feature that generates traffic for Reedsy’s blog is the Character Name Generator, which students and authors use for their stories. Authors: once you have the traffic, you convert it to relevant attention from potential readers. The concept of free books leading to paid books follows the same principle: general traffic works like a funnel, getting people through the door and progressing readers toward buying your book.
Publishing in a Competitive Marketplace and Reedsy Learning
The landscape of publishing has become more competitive, as the rate of new books being published is increasing every year. On the bright side, says Ricardo, many books are not of a professional standard – it follows then, that if you are using the right professional tools, you are more competitive as a writer. Some authors respond to this increased competition by flooding their niche and releasing one book after the other; this certainly works, yet authors have also burned out this way.
Rather than churning out novel after novel, which may not be sustainable, authors can focus on continuously improving their craft. Well written books read better and sell better, and Reedsy has a free writing and editing tool that doubles as a formatting tool. You can upload a book as a word document that can be exported to epub or mobi, though it is limited to three templates and cannot be customized. Key word: free! Speaking of free, ie. more music to your ears, Reedsy Learning offers 50 free courses on writing, publishing, and marketing. Reedsy Learning is a self-serve platform in which authors can select the services they want, and these free educational resources allow writers to make the most out of paid resources.
Parting Advice from Ricardo — Sign up for conferences! You will learn, make friends, and important connections in the publishing industry. Challenge yourself to engage with other authors, as everyone has to start somewhere.
Ricardo Fayet is one of the founders of Reedsy, a curated marketplace to find the right editors, designers, marketers or website designers for your books. He’s also a private Facebook/BookBub/Amazon ads consultant for some authors, and is behind the launch of Reedsy’s latest initiative: Reedsy Discovery.