This week we are thrilled to have our friends from Reedsy share their thoughts on a dream publishing team. We asked Reedsy to help us with this as our readers wanted to know what to do after they finished a story edit using Fictionary.
Fictionary helps you tell better stories. Reedsy helps you share your stories with the world.
How to Use Reedsy to Build Your Dream Publishing Team
“No one achieves anything alone,” said Leslie Knope, offering some of her trademark sage advice. Any author embarking on their publishing journey should take note: no one achieves anything alone, especially in this industry.
This post will guide you through the daunting process of building your dream publishing team using Reedsy, one of the best platforms for first-time and self-publishing authors.
Step 1: Identify your needs
Every book takes the same essential route to getting published: editing, layout, cover design, marketing, and publicity. But not all manuscripts are created equal — and that’s a good thing!
Your first step is to identify exactly which services your book requires. Do you already have a polished manuscript, or is it still pretty rough around the edges? If the latter, you’ll want to focus on editing services first. Once you’ve got that covered, you can move on to fulfilling your design, publicity, and marketing needs.
What’s more, you want to identify your personal needs for communication and collaboration with your team. Do you prefer discussing things over email or video chat? Are you sensitive to criticism and need an editor who will break it to you gently, or do you need tough love to get motivated? Finally, think about your personal budget — how you want to prioritize your spending and how much you can spend in total.
Create a list of these specifications, both as an author and a client, to use as a basis for team member selection. You deserve the perfect fit! Which brings us to…
Step 2: Do your research
Having identified your needs, you can move forward with a much clearer concept of what your ideal team will look like. Now comes the exciting part: turning your ideas into reality as you start to research professionals!
Reedsy pre-selects all its freelancing professionals for you, listing only the top 3% of candidates on its marketplace. These professionals are divided by category: editing, design, publicity, marketing, and even ghostwriting and website experts. You can also search by genre and keyword within each category to refine the profiles you see. A few simple search-and-scans should narrow your choices down to a handful of professionals in each category. However, keep in mind that you may require more than one per category, especially when it comes to editing.
A great way to keep your options organized is to add standout profiles to your shortlist.
This way, once you’ve found the people you want to contact, you can simply click through to the request form — which is our next step.
Step 3: Ask for samples and specifics
Requesting one or more freelancing professionals on Reedsy leads to a form where you’ll be asked to fill out some basic and some more in-depth information about your book. This will be the start of your dialogue with your prospective team members, so present yourself and your project in as much detail as possible!
One of the most important parts of this step is requesting sample work and asking for your professionals’ opinions on aspects such as your book’s cover design. Many Reedsy profiles already list significant works and achievements, but this is your chance to get down to the nitty-gritty of this person’s process. How do they differ from your other options? Does their work match with how you envision the style, tone, aesthetic, or image of your published book?
Again, you’re looking for exceptional compatibility, nothing less. Reedsy’s carefully curated set of professionals ensures that you won’t have to compromise on quality. But you may find yourself doing a bit of bargaining in this next step…
Step 4: Pick the perfect professionals
At this stage, you’ll get an even better idea of what each professional has to offer. You’ve read their work, scoured their profile, and now they’re going to tell you what they can do for you individually. This is your chance to ask your most hard-hitting questions, such as:
✓ How many clients do you have, and how much time can you devote to me?
✓ What are the unique challenges presented by this project, and how will you tackle them?
✓ Are there any suggestions you have for me right off the bat?
And of course…
✓ How much is all this going to cost?
Reedsy freelancers work at the very top of their game, and their prices reflect that. While you don’t want to go wildly out of your budget, you shouldn’t discount anyone based on the quote they give you. There’s room for negotiation, and at the end of the day, it’s always better to pay for first-rate services than to get a deal on something second-rate.
Choose your team members with that in mind and, no matter the cost, it will be worth it.
Step 5: Establish your routines
You did it — you’ve effectively researched, interviewed, and hired your dream publishing team! Now what? You might think the hard part is over, and in many ways you’re right. But don’t forget the crucial, oft-unspoken epilogue to building your perfect team: using it to its full advantage.
Set deadlines, request feedback and contact your team members frequently. You may want to schedule a weekly catch-up with your editor to dissect major changes, or with your publicist to talk strategy. Be friendly and open to suggestions, even radical ones. After all, you’ve hired each of your team members because they know their branch of the industry better than you do.
As hard as it can be to ask for help and advice, especially as a proud writer, there is simply no substitute for a superb publishing team. If you make the effort to work with them, their returning contributions will reward you tenfold. Just remember: no one achieves anything alone.
Savannah Cordova is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors and publishers with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. She enjoys reading fiction and writing stories in her spare time.