A new UK-based self-publishing services startup Reedsy has just rolled out “the first version of its website, progressively inviting editors and designers to join their marketplace over the course of the next 48 hours.” Reedsy aims to offer an online skills marketplace that “helps authors collaborate with expert editors, book designers, marketers and translators to take their books to another level. Reedsy will only work with certified, industry-experienced freelancers so authors can find the best partners for their project.”
Founded in 2014 by a small team out of Seedcamp, “Europe’s top accelerator,” to “change the way the publishing industry works,” Reedsy is financially supported by Seedcamp and Scottish publisher DC Thomson, which, as it happens, is based in my old home town of Dundee. Privately held DC Thomson, which dates back to 1905, publishes a portfolio of Scottish newspapers and magazines, and is best known for The Beano, a UK kids’ comic stuffed with iconic characters and still in business since 1938, and for the equally iconic (in Scotland) newspaper strips “Oor Wullie” and “The Broons.” Their involvement in a project of this kind is, to say the least, curious, but it’ll be interesting to see what comes of the collaboration.
The main jarring note in the Reedsy thesis so far is co-founder Ricardo Fayet’s thesis that: “Reedsy will be an author’s secret weapon. Authors, whether they’re self-published or traditionally published, are only as good as the people they work with. Being a great writer is just one part of succeeding as an independent.” Maybe yes, maybe no. But I’m happy to suggest that authors are a good deal better than the people they work with – as authors. If they want to get others to take the peripheral tasks off their hands, fine. But they’re also temperamental and insecure beasts, and I wouldn’t try to knock their self-confidence just to sell my platform.