Reedsy’s Indie Services Marketplace Goes Where BiblioCrunch Has Gone Before

Reedsy's Indie Services Marketplace Goes Where BiblioCrunch Has Gone Before Self-Pub A new marketplace is launching on Monday which should help indie authors and publishers connect to and hire the services they need to produce their next book.

Reedsy, which describes itself as a curated marketplace, soft-launched a few weeks ago in order to sign up industry-experienced editors, marketers, designers, etc, and on Monday it is opening up to authors.

You may have read about Reedsy earlier this year on TechCrunch:

Created by Emmanuel Nataf and Richard Fayet, the company is, to be fair, another in the long list of DIY publishing outfits. Like Tablo and Softcover, Reedsy offers a one-stop-shop for writers. However, the team has decided to create a services marketplace for authors who are looking for interior and cover designs as well as editing help.

That description might sound familiar to some of my readers; other startups have tried similar ideas with less than complete success. Most notably, BiblioCrunch launched in 2011 with almost the exact same business model as Reedsy, only to pivot less than a year later.

BiblioCrunch pivoted from a marketplace focus to offering a mentorship/concierge service on a monthly/yearly subscription. They still have that marketplace, but they found that there was less of a need for a marketplace than there was for guidance (via Skype, phone, email).

So does that suggest that Reedsy is pursuing an idea which is already proven to fail? I asked Ricardo Fayet, the co-founder of Reedsy, how he planned to differentiate its marketplace from BiblioCrunch and he told me:

Our first difference is in the quality and vetting of the people displayed. We go over each profile manually to make sure it fits our standards, and are able to attract real professionals.

That is because Reedsy is author-friendly as it is freelancer friendly. We don't make freelancers pay to be listed on the marketplace, and never will. Also, Reedsy is not a "bidding" marketplace where authors post projects and wait for the hungriest, most reactive freelancers to submit their offers. Authors will have to select the people they're interested in (based on the information showed on their profiles), and request a quote directly from those.

Finally, we are developing collaboration and project management tools to allow authors, editors and designers to work more efficiently together, and keep the workflow in one single place.

In short, this is more of a listing service than a competitive marketplace like, say, Fiverr. Correction: And to be fair, that is not a good description for BiblioCrunch's marketplace either.

***

I got Fayet's email on Monday, so I've had most of a week to ponder Reedsy. Do you know what I think?

One, BlblioCrunch's lack of success means less than one might assume, and two, I'm still not convinced there is a need for this type of service.

I think it's been 3 years since BiblioCrunch launched, and two years since it pivoted to offer their VIP service. I think the market has changed radically in those three years, and that what didn't work in 2011 may work now.

That said, I can understand why BiblioCrunch pivoted and I don't think the situation has changed all that much. To put it simply, authors who don't need any guidance don't need a marketplace,and those who do need guidance need more than a marketplace.

I am not a book author but I can see both paths, in fact. If I wanted to find people to hire to help finish my book, I wouldn't need a marketplace or listing service; I would ask the dozen or so indie authors I know for referrals.

But in all honesty, I might still sign up for BiblioCrunch (after asking for opinions on the value of the service).The option of pestering someone with questions could well be worth the $120 a year.

Tell me, have you tried either service?

We won't know their true measure until after indie authors try them and comment. Speaking of which, if you would like to pen a guest post on your experiences with Feedsy, drop me a line. If you have something to say, I have a soapbox.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

15 Comments

  1. Miral Sattar12 October, 2014

    Hi Nate!

    A couple clarifications:

    1) Freelancers don’t need to pay to get listed on Bibliocrunch. Being listed is completely free. There is however a transaction fee for each project completed

    2) Bibliocrunch is not a bidding markeplace where publishing professionals can undercut each other. Proposals are completely private.

    We’ve found authors usually select the freelancer most suited for their job.

    Reply
  2. Miral Sattar12 October, 2014

    3) Bibliocrunch is a marketplace to connect with curated book publishing professionals. We go over each application carefully and vet the freelancers who we accept to join the marketplace.

    -Miral

    (Ps my previous comment got stuck)

    Reply
  3. Mike Coville12 October, 2014

    I think there is a need for a way for authors to find professionals that provide the services that help make a manuscript into a book. If the author publisher community is going to succeed that need to produce quality books for readers to buy.

    I have launched http://www.helpupub.com as a directory of service providers. Sites like the ones you list complicate things and try to make money off the process. The one thing author publishers do not need is to add a middleman to the publishing process. Helpupub lists service providers for free and connects authors for free.

    The site is still in it’s infancy and there are some exciting features we are working on. It is up and running at this time for authors to begin finding service providers, and for service providers to list themselves.. all at no cost.

    The industry is changing and I am excited to be a part of it. As an author publisher myself, I recognize the need to hire talented service providers to do the things that will help take my book to the next level.

    Reply
  4. Ricardo Fayet12 October, 2014

    Nate, you just quoted the first part of my answer to your question. To be fair to your readers, I’ll add the other parts:

    We are developing collaboration and project management tools to allow authors, editors and designers to work more efficiently together, and keep the workflow in one single place.

    Our main differentiation factor, though, relies in the overall touch and feel, design and UX of Reedsy.

    To be fair, I stated this not “against” Bibliocrunch, but to position Reedsy globally among marketplaces.

    @Miral: I also know Bibliocrunch is preparing a re-design of the website and I look forward to it. Again, my comments were not directed at Bibliocrunch in particular, but at the whole marketplace landscape in general.

    Now, I don’t think Bibliocrunch and Reedsy aim at serving the exact same target market, so though the concept is definitely similar, there is no point in pinning both services against each other.

    Reply
  5. Howard Kaplan12 October, 2014

    I am an author with experience in traditional publishing but none in eBooks. My books were published before eBooks existed. I’ve now published The Damascus Cover as an eBook and paperback in conjunction with a coming feature film of the novel. I simply could not have done without Bibliocrunch. I had and have a million questions and trying to figure this out on my own would have been a nightmare and beyond stressful.

    Reply
  6. Margery Leveen Sher13 October, 2014

    I am going to launch my book shortly and I could not have done it without Bibliocrunch. The process has been flawless and Miral Sattar has been wonderful to work with. I did not want to spend my limited time figuring out how to find an editor, a cover designer, a formatter, and the whole process needed to upload in each format. Bibliocrunch offers a superlative service, and Miral is incredibly knowledgeable.

    Reply
  7. IrishImbas13 October, 2014

    I’ve read through the above and as an author I must admit I don’t really see the advantage of the above services being offered – but this is speaking for someone who’s already published several books across several different platforms.

    I think Reedsy, Bibiocrunch etc. are all grand if the target market is for new writer/publisher entrants who haven’t already established a team of editors/illustrators. I don’t think they’ll be of much interest to those who already have such people in place. I also agree with Nate’s point that most authors will find editors/illustrators/ etc. by asking other authors. Personally, I prefer to work with someone who’s been referred to me in a positive sense (not always feasible of course). Again for new entrants, this would be harder.

    Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if anything changes.

    Reply
  8. Stephen Morris13 October, 2014

    I have had great experiences with Bibliocrunch! The evening classes/talks have always been very informative and I always learned something, even when I did not expect to learn anything. I have also found great professionals to assist in my various projects, especially related to promotion and advertising my book(s) — thanks to the assistance I got via Bibliocrunch, my first book hit the Kindle top download/bestseller list!

    Reply
  9. Suzette Brown14 October, 2014

    Hi Nate !

    I can give a personal shout out to Ms. Sattar and her company. Last summer, I was scared, frustrated, non to trusting of anyone, almost ready to sign out of desperation with a SP (vanity) company – and really not knowing what to do or whom I could contact.

    I researched publishing companies – and thankfully finally found ASJA.org and ask them to PLEASE help me find a trustworthy company where I would not be ripped off or taken for granted. The rest is self-explanatory.

    ASJA recommended a company called “Bibliocrunch” and as cute as the name is, it worked instantly for me. Ms. Sattar thank goodness, called me, she helped me set up my account as my techno genius is not outstanding. I cannot explain to you how relieved I was. The process is amazing….I posted the first chapter of book – it is on caregiving and I knew not everyone would be interested.

    I started receiving numerous “bids” from different publishers, editors, and interested individuals. WOW – it did work. All individuals kept in touch with me, and were very interested in my nonfiction memoir.

    Finally narrowing the choices down to a company named “Author Options” – my stress, frustration and ignorance of the writing world were taken care of. Author Options was more than any new author could ask for…..but my main concern out of this process was TRUST. I found trust and professionalism with Ms. Sattar and Author Options.

    Bibliocrunch, I highly recommend (and have) for any author for future endeavors.

    Thank you to Ms. Sattar and Author Options.

    Suzette Brown
    Hampton, VA

    Reply
    1. Miral Sattar15 October, 2014

      Thanks, Suzette!

      Appreciate your love! :))

      Miral

      Reply
    2. Roda29 July, 2015

      It’s almost a year later. Would you still recommend Bibliocrunch? I’m getting to publish my second book, a full length novel as compared to a full-color storybook length.

      Thank you.

      Reply
      1. miral31 July, 2015

        Hi Roda,
        Do send us an email! miral at bibliocrunch.com. Happy to answer any questions you have.

        Miral

        Reply
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