What: Reedsy connects prospective authors with editors willing to do copy editing, ghost writing, formatting, illustration and design of author websites.

Expected pay: you set your rates

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: Freelance editors pay 10%, plus Stripe fees (2.9%). Reedsy also adds a 10% fee onto the client’s bill.

Where: Nationwide

Requirements:

  • Be over the age of 18;
  • have substantial experience in the relevant field — writing, editing, web design, etc.;
  • a portfolio of previous books or projects that you have worked on that match the services you offer;
  • testimonials or reviews of your work
  • pass the site’s screening

Review:

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 are likely to vary widely.

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.

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. Reedsy also carefully vetts prospective editors on the site, favoring those who have worked for big publishers. 

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’ll likely to 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 both 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. And, of course, you have to pay 10% of whatever you earn to the site, plus nearly 3% to Stripe to get access to your money.

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 or Remote. But, you may want to also market your services independently, where you can have more control over your rates and clientele.  

What their users say:

This three-part series in CopyEditing says the site’s benefits are a little more significant than its shortcomings. 

This piece in Publishing Perspectives summarizes estimated earnings for different types of jobs listed on the site. 

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