Roundup: Publishing Services Marketplaces

Hiring the right pro to assist in publishing a book can sometimes make or break a project, but how do you go about finding them?

Roundup: Publishing Services Marketplaces Self-Pub Tips and Tricks

The answer to that question is probably going to change with time, but right now authors and publishers can find industry pros through one of the several startups that have launched listing services.

Two different services have launched in the past month. That makes six seven different ways to find and hire a pro (that I know of), which is enough for a listicle.

First up is Smashwords. While they are primarily known as an ebook distributor, for the longest time Smashwords has been maintaining a list of ebook formatters and ebook cover designers. Those are just two of the skills an author might need to hire, but if that's all you need then you need not look further.

This online forum maintains a directory of freelancers and companies that offer services to authors. It is not a marketplace so much as it is a yellow pages directory, but it's still worth a look.

Launched in 2018, StreetLib Market is a late addition to this list. It is a true marketplace where services are listed with a price tag, and you can find everything there except web design.

Next up is Bibliocrunch. This 3 year old startup is more focused on offering a concierge/mentoring service, but it does also offer a marketplace where authors and publishers can meet and hire freelancers to work on a project. BiblioCrunch offers a free membership tier as well as a paid membership with more services and support.

Just launched into beta last month, Reedsy is one of the newest of the services mentioned here. It's free while the bugs are worked out, and offers a curated list of freelancers.

This is one of those startups which is hard to quantify. It doesn't offer a marketplace so much as it offers a listing service for freelancers, while at the same time building a community through local events and around its blog.  With more categories than you can shake a stick at, BM can connect you with freelancers who can do almost anything.

Blurb has made a name for itself in distributing POD books, especially graphics intensive books like coffee table books, but in the past year Blurb has expanded to include ebook distribution and other services.

And last week Blurb launched a skills marketplace called Dream Team. That marketplace is still limited to a select number of freelancers, but it should grow in time.

This is a mailing list for copyeditors, and it also maintains a list of freelancers editing services.

And last but not least, we have White Fox. This 2 year old startup is a services provider and not a marketplace, so it doesn't quite belong on this list. But it is similar enough that I think it serves the same needs as the other companies mentioned above.

And just so we're clear, with White Fox you are hiring them. They contract out the work, which means that an author might not know who exactly is working on their project. But on the plus side White Fox serves not just authors but also publishers who want to hire a freelancer to write for them.

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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.

13 Comments

  1. Mike Coville11 November, 2014

    These services are all interesting. I think there biggest problem is that they are trying to fill the role of a legacy publishing house, when the legacy publishing model is failing. This is one of the reasons I launched HelpUpub.com a couple of months ago.

    HelpUpub.com is not a middle man, it is a directory of service providers so that content creators can easily find talented people that can turn their manuscript into a professional book. The last thing a writers needs is to pay a middleman to connect them with service providers. At HelpUpub.com the content creator has complete control over who works on their book with them.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder11 November, 2014

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ll add you to the list.

      Reply
  2. Greg Strandberg11 November, 2014

    Really, the list on Smashwords was intended to be anything other than a joke? When was the last time that was updated?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder11 November, 2014

      They say September 2014.

      Reply
  3. Greg Strandberg11 November, 2014

    Take a look at the dates on that Reedsy blog. February? I don’t think they’re serious about staying in business.

    Blurb seems like a wonder – I can pay them to go to work, great, my dreams are answered. Bibliocrunch looks about the same way.

    I emailed a couple of those other places, but to me it seems like many of these eBook marketing service sites are rather low-scale and try to keep overhead low. They work more hours and try to pay out less, maximizing those profits. Bringing on more help is more of a detriment than a benefit.

    Or maybe this crop is pulling ahead. I’m just not convinced, however, not from what I saw on most of those sites.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Fayet12 November, 2014

      Hey Greg,

      It’s not February, it’s actually September… We’re a London startup, hence the formatting of the date.
      And I can assure you that we’re serious about staying in business. We’re already registering a lot of interaction on the platform, and you only need to take a look at our marketplace to understand how serious we are in terms of the quality of the people we work with.

      Cheers,
      Ricardo

      Reply
  4. Tim Inman12 November, 2014

    Hi, Tim form whitefox here. Great to be included in the above although I wanted to clarify some points.

    Transparency is at the very heart of what we do so all authors we work with know exactly who is working on their books. We choose a menu of names from the network who we feel have the skills that best suit the project, and then the client can decide between them. Our database has about 1,500 names across 300 different specialist areas, so we think we have something for everyone.

    Thanks again for the inclusion, we will be watching how the automated services develop with some interest.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder12 November, 2014

      Thanks, Tim. I’ll correct the post.

      Reply
  5. […] The Current Field for Publishing Services (The Digital Reader) As the marketplace for independent publishing services expands, the competition for authors–which in many cases includes traditional publishers–intensifies. With that in mind, here’s a survey of the current landscape. Related: Blurb Links Authors With Publishing Experts […]

    Reply
  6. […] P.S. If you are in need of an alternate suggestion, I would recommend finding the services you need through a services marketplace. […]

    Reply
  7. […] services like Bibliocrunch, which offers a concierge service (hand-holding, by any other name); publishing services marketplaces like Reedsy, and author forums like Absolute Write or the KDP Forums, or, and I kid you not, the […]

    Reply
  8. […] I call it a "services marketplace" because there are so many sites like this one that they're now a category which includes Bookbaby, FastPencil, and a half-dozen other sites. […]

    Reply
  9. […] So you are an author, and you need help with your next book, but you don't know where to find it. You could ask other authors for recommendations, or you could visit one of the many publishing services marketplaces. […]

    Reply

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