I d done my very first ghostwritten book in 2012, and had actually constantly wished to do more in this vein. I decided to check Reedsy out to see if it actually was a viable place for a book ghostwriter to discover clients.
Which is the precise kind of writing I d recently narrowed my focus to, as far as the ideal customer for my own freelance composing biz.
I was, a minimum of mildly. I know that in general, mass platforms that aggregate authors together and pit them against each other in a race to the bottom on rate arent an excellent location for authors to hang out.
Back in mid-2018, I got an e-mail from an emerging platform for book ghostwriting and modifying. Reedsy– a UK-based website that sets potential authors with ghostwriters, marketers, editors and designers– was trying to find more book ghostwriters to join its platform. Was I interested?
However I wondered. Unlike most content mills, which offer low-paid blog-post and article gigs, this was for book ghostwriting …
Having a look at the rates
What I heard didnt excite me– many book-writing tasks appeared to be at rates far listed below the expert rate of $35,000-$ 50,000, for a full-length book. More like $5,000-$ 10,000 or two, as Ive heard goes on (or less, even) on some material mills.
However they had traffic, and a great deal of leads coming through. So I decided to sign on as an experiment, and see what took place.
I had some backward and forward with the manager who d emailed me the invite, to discover rates.
Could I discover a pro-rate customer on here?
I signed up.
Over 2 years later on, Im back with my report on trying to get employed as a book ghostwriter on Reedsy. Keep reading for expert suggestions, on what Ive gleaned since.
What did I have to lose by publishing a profile and seeing what established? Possibly there were some gold nuggets therein, amongst the lowballers.
Set up a book ghostwriter profile
I didnt take this action all that seriously in the start. I have an author site with scores of links to clips. Cant the Reedsy potential customers just look there?
No. No, they cant.
Your primary step on Reedsy is to apply– they do vet their skill and search for experienced creatives. If youre authorized, your next step is to establish your profile.
I was slow to catch onto this, however when prospects discover you on Reedsy:
Then, I kicked back to watch what would take place.
I was absurd at first. I generally simply composed a fast bio, added my image, and submitted a couple of my more recent books and e-books to my Reedsy profile.
They cant see your identifying details
You cant link out to portfolios somewhere else.
Why? Reedsy desires your whole interaction to remain on Reedsy (more about this challenge listed below).
Rather of fleshing it out with all my books/ebooks, awards, and social-proof of blogging success. That would come later on, after an editor pointed out to me I should put everything on Reedsy.
At first blush, I simply installed the fundamentals.
Commissions and payments
Big thing to understand about Reedsy:
Commissions on Reedsy total 20%, which yes, is high. The bright side is just 10% of it comes off our fee– the other 10% is charged to the client, on top of your charge.
Do not avoid this step. If youre wanting to browse around and choose about utilizing Reedsy later, if you get a paying gig, bad news– you cant bid on any offers without the Stripe account. Youll require to set it up from the start.
Fortunately, I currently had one, from an earlier explore accepting credit cards, so I just kicked it back to life and hooked it to Reedsy.
Youll need a Stripe account.
Wait and view
Very first thing to understand about Reedsy: You dont get to a database of customers trying to find jobs or authors you can bid on.
This is a passive circumstance
When a client does invite you to bid on their deal, you get an e-mail notification. Then you can log into Reedsy, read their deal, and react from there. Thats it.
Your profile markets you on Reedsy, and all you can do is await someone to discover you and ask you to bid on their writing task.
On the plus side …
I did start to get nibbles right after I completed my profile– and made a discovery about Reedsys customers.
Clients can invite up to five writers per task– so its not exactly a cattle call, which is nice. Youve got ta be welcomed.
Reedsy doesnt take much of your marketing time. On the minus, you have no control over how fast this procedure rolls, or the number of deals you may see.
Its not all books
I discovered right away that Reedsy isnt almost book composing jobs. :
My very first lead was from a startup CEO who desired a blog writer. He was wanting to do a series of blog site posts and after that turn that into a book.
This isnt an entirely bad idea, but tends to lead to far lower costs for us, as the book ghostwriter, due to the fact that blog-post rates are typically low out there. It also takes a year or more to play out and get all those article composed and published.
Think of it like this:
Blogging is practically the gateway drug for freelance writing– the bottom called we typically start on. So that wasnt super-exciting.
I was busy at the time, so I referred this lead to among my coaching students from my Freelance Writers Den knowing and assistance author neighborhood. Not exactly sure the CEO ever followed up, as his task is significant past due and open on Reedsy, to this day.
10 more leads dripped in over the next year, however none were of high interest to me.
That was my next big lesson …
Just since somebody completes a deal kind on Reedsy, doesnt suggest they understand a single thing about the procedure of creating and marketing a book. Or have an excellent idea for a book that you d wish to commit 4-6 months of your life to working on, either.
Couple of ideas, couple of actions
In short order, I found myself searching through a series of unfocused offers. One literally explained their composing demand as Not Sure Yet. Hardly ever were any book lays out, chapter drafts, or related products published to offer you a sense of the existing state of the task, like:
Was the book simply a gleam in the authors eye?
Do they have a partial or rough draft, a stack of interview tapes, speeches theyve provided on the subject, an argumentation thats a beginning point?
How will we put this book together?
Worse, few had a vision of what they desired to do as soon as the book was written, which affects how you deal with the book job. Couple of stated whether they:
Planned to self-publish
Seek a representative or traditional publisher, or
Whether they possibly currently had representation or a book deal
Thats essential to understand. With self-publishing, we can dive right into writing the book and/or detailing. I d offer a quote for one of those services.
In the latter, the normal procedure would be to first create a book proposition. This is a various job than composing the book itself, and normally includes:
Table of contents
3 sample chapters
Bio on the author and how their POV on their topic is special
Competitive analysis and positioning for this book
Marketing prepare for how the author will promote the book
Regularly, I d discover myself asking in Reedsys message board for explanation
Are you looking for a writer for a book proposal?
A book overview?
Schedule ghostwriter services to produce a draft from an existing outline?
9 times out of 10, the answer would be: Silence. They d never respond! Poof, theyre gone.
It looks like when you confront these striving authors with the concrete truths of the various steps it would really require to get their concepts into an ended up book, and the publishing choices that form those steps, numerous just fold their tents and flee.
If you do not delight in grappling with that, its something to understand off the bat. Its possible the language barrier likewise stands in the method of getting the answer to questions about the state of their project and what writing services they really need.
It was feeling like Reedsy wasnt going to be worth my time … till EVERYTHING CHANGED.
There seem a high percentage of authors whose first language is not English. These aspiring authors are hoping a native-speaking author can clean up their work. Which I totally get– fantastic opportunity for us.
Along comes COVID
Then, COVID and the recession occurred– and things blew up.
This was the state of things. I got about 15 offers amount to with no closed deals, in the very first 18 months or so.
Considering that February, Ive had 25 deals on Reedsy
The book is something they can do, right now, when so lots of things are difficult to do.
I had linked on LinkedIn (since LinkedIn marketing is my primary HQ for finding customers these days) and was able to raise them in time to find a workaround, and we hopped on my Zoom link.
Huge pointer: When you get on a first customer conference, make certain youve got their telephone number! Preferably, one you can text in case of issues.
This appeared more appealing. However as I started to get on first client meetings, I ran up versus one huge obstacle of resolving Reedsy.
Ive got a theory about why:.
They do appear to permit Zoom or other meeting links to come through, so that you can connect on a video call, fortunately.
Rather of resting on their hands during sluggish economic times, they could emerge ready to level-up their professions, or get that long-dreamt-of book into print.
And here you bump up versus an issue …
One very legit-sounding contact who wanted a business case-study based book created sent me a link to a Google Teams meeting to read more. When I went to join it, the link didnt work.
Through Reedsy, you cant provide out your personal e-mail. We could have exchanged phone numbers, but had not, so I had no backup.
Many thought leaders who may be trying to find their next terrific corporate function– or simply people who have a book in them and wish to leave a legacy– see this as downtime in which they might get that book done. (With the danger of Covid, they might be considering their own death, too, and that if they dont do it now, they might be robbed of that chance by the virus.).
Sadly, they ghosted me after, although I appeared like a remarkably perfect fit, as their book was formatted exactly like among the others I d performed in the past. Another drawback to Reedsy– individuals sort of disappear, and you never understand why.
Generally the rate of incoming offers roughly quadrupled. Heres a recent screen shot of the past couple months (names edited to adhere to Reedsys terms of service):.
Keeping all of it on Reedsy.
The platform simply removes it right back out again if you try to pop your e-mail or writer site URL into a Reedsy message. Same on the customer side. And yes, its frustrating.
The quality of leads appeared to improve right in addition to the amount, too. Numerous have been from clearly monied, thought-leader/CEO type clients who were major about working with somebody to ghostwrite a book. Almost all my meetings with Reedsy leads have actually come since the pandemic hit.
Desire to attempt to work around these rules?
If you do some of your communication somewhere else, their point of view is that youre going to void their security guarantee. They need to be able to see it all to guarantee you.
Whats the bottom line? After 2.5 years on Reedsy, here are my results up until now:.
My statistics on Reedsy.
Best of luck. Any reference of emailing a prospect outside the platform or linking on social media will draw a cautionary note from Reedsys admins, and may run the risk of getting you started the platform.
I had a number of dynamic conversations with the Reedsy staff who invited me onto the platform, understanding the portfolio and audience I have, about the absurdity of asking people to not link in any other method.
So. I get that. However lets say Im not looking forward to attempting to handle a complex book task entirely through Reedsys messaging page.
4 live meetings taken.
Ghosted by 2 sources after the meeting.
2 offers accepted.
4 deals declined.
16 leads closed or cancelled their offer without description.
It was a fairly simple and quick $1,500. With possibly more to come.
My 2 composing tasks on Reedsy.
The come-and-go cycle.
The other Reedsy customer is the big wheel Ive been wishing to land …
Typically, uses appear to reoccur on Reedsy– they pop on, you ask a question, and then next thing you know, theyve closed or cancelled and youll never understand why. They pick among the standard pre-written lines like went with a better author or simply disappear.
We started with a $2,000 book-outline project, because the existing summary was very sketchy. In about three sessions, we took his little notes, talked through the rest. Then I strolled him through dependably effective book structures that get books read, we chose one, and developed the chapter headings and subheads.
You might be questioning what the two writing tasks are that Ive landed so far. Heres the information on that:.
They actually wanted the piece for an upcoming in-person conference (in July 2020!), which then, of course, got cancelled. They said there would be more deal with deal, however the cancellation gave them more time to continue having fun with the first piece … so to date, nothing more.
What they required was extremely specialized– a piece that spoke to lay sheriffs without any financial training about their pension. This is the type of crazy thing I appear to bring in, that makes use of my business-finance background.
Dorkalicious! Right up my street. They remained in a huge rush, we took a conference, and I was rapidly worked with. I bid $1500 and they didnt blink. Quick yes.
This is practically my dream customer. This expert works with many CEOs every year, so he could be an extraordinary recommendation source for me as well.
The first gig that I got worked with for through Reedsy was a position paper/special report piece for a group of pension-fund consultants and wealth managers in Indiana.
In some cases, I just proceeded and bid on the deal, without asking for a conference. If the deal seemed sketchy, I wanted to rapidly ballpark my rate with some, to see if there was a genuine lead there or they desired a book written for $300.
A $35,000 book-ghostwriting deal, with an organization specialist who does public speaking. My longtime background as a business press reporter talking to CEOs and blogging about corporate governance was a best fit.
Bidding on deals.
I definitely think a couple of the deals I sent were probably too high for that author. Keep in mind, people, that common individuals who simply want their memoir composed usually dont have the spending plan to work with a professional author.
So do not expect feedback.
— Im excited!
It took a long time, but I lastly found the customer I was looking for on Reedsy.
We wrapped the outline job this week, hes verbally accepted my charge, and were just preparing the agreements. This project is a go.
Reedsy: Yes or no?
If you have other services you use, such as style, modifying, or book-marketing, those are other areas where you may link with customers on Reedsy in a comparable style, publishing a profile and responding to offers. I just understand the composing side.
Anecdotally, it sounds like modifying rates on Reedsy may likewise be rather low, however I d enjoy to hear from other Reedsy members in the remarks.
As with any platform, you can see that getting accepted to one of these is far from a ticket to instantaneous riches. Or a reason to stop doing your own, proactive marketing.
Always consider any platform you sign up on as a supplement to directly targeting potential customers and actively pursuing new leads on your own.
My experience also reveals that yes, professional rates ARE possible on Reedsy– but there are a lot of lowballers, too.
I did, and have certified 2 other inbound leads from my own LinkedIn activity and simply my portfolio thats all over the internet, of similar caliber. Do not just search in one location for customers.
I hope my experience assists authors understand the chances on Reedsy. Im excited to have finally landed what seems my first real book-ghostwriting client in a long time.
More Reedsy functions.
Should you be on Reedsy?
What do you consider Reedsy and book ghostwriting platforms? Lets talk about in the comments.
Reedsy– a UK-based website that pairs potential authors with ghostwriters, marketers, designers and editors– was looking for more book ghostwriters to join its platform. If youre hoping to search around and choose about using Reedsy later on, if you get a paying gig, bad news– you cant bid on any offers without the Stripe account. You can log into Reedsy, read their deal, and react from there. If you attempt to pop your e-mail or writer site URL into a Reedsy message, the platform just removes it right back out once again. Lets state Im not looking forward to trying to handle a complicated book job completely through Reedsys messaging page.
Reedsy certainly has a stream of leads– now more than ever, if my individual experience is any sign. Bring your gut impulses, ask concerns … and keep an eye out for quality clients, I d state.
That depends upon your objectives for your composing organization, and whether you want to put in the time to learn the dross to find a possible customer. If your rates are lower, youll likely see more wins on Reedsy than I have.