Reedsy connects professional book editors with self-published authors who need editing, design and development help
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: 10%
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements:Over age 18; substantial experience; portfolio; references and pass a screening
Reedsy connects authors with professional book editors, writers and designers who can move a book project from concept to reality. Most of the authors using the site are planning to self-publish, so the quality of their manuscripts can vary widely.
What we like
The attractive elements of Reedsy’s set up: Editors set their own rates and payment formula, determining when progress payments are required. Those payments are automatically collected by the site, which saves editors from dealing with collections.
How it works
Freelance editors sign up with the site, providing a detailed resume, portfolio, and references. Reedsy carefully screens prospective editors, favoring those who have worked for big publishers. If you pass the site’s screening, Reedsy puts you into its database and contacts you when a client’s needs fit your profile.
Clients say what they need; the site sets them up with five appropriate editors. Those editors submit bids, based on their normal rates and a description of the necessary work. The client chooses the freelancer from those bids.
Bidding for jobs
But your chance of getting a job is likely to be determined by whether your rates are in a normal range. That range runs from 1 cent to 3 cents per word for most types of editing.
Thus, you’d likely earn $100 to $300 for editing a 10,000-word manuscript. (That’s about 40 double-spaced pages.) The higher prices are for more technical work, such as historical fiction or business books, which can require substantial fact-checking.
If you’re fast and good at rejecting projects likely to require heavy editing, you should be able to make a reasonable living here. But it would be tough to charge premium rates.
Reedsy takes a 10% commission from both the editor and the client. So, if you charge $500 to complete a project, you’ll take home just $450 after the site’s fees.
In our view, the benefit of having someone market and bill for you is well worth the 10% fee. But having to blind-bid against other editors is a negative. Since you’re bidding against only skilled editors, they presumably won’t cut their rates too steeply, though.
Reedsy is a far better place to look for editing jobs than, say, Upwork. But, you may want to look for editing jobs at ServiceScape, which expects editors to charge considerably more. You can also market your services on Fiverr, where you can have more control over your rates and clientele.
This piece in Publishing Perspectives summarizes estimated earnings for different types of jobs listed on the site.