How Reedsy Discovery Can Benefit Indie Authors - Guest Post by Desiree Villena

There’s nothing more deflating for a writer than finishing a project, meticulously preparing it for publication, and releasing it to little reaction. Publishing new titles has been especially difficult during lockdown, depriving authors of the “chance to make a splash” with exciting book launch parties, as Griselda Heppel puts it. But even in the good ol’ pre-COVID days, visibility in the form of book readings, launch parties, or media attention just wasn’t there for everybody. Particularly for debut authors without publishing connections, it’s incredibly difficult to get anyone to pay attention to you and your new project.

This is something that we’ve been thinking about a lot at Reedsy (if you haven’t heard of us, I wrote a post for Authors Electric last January sharing what we do and talking about our various free resources). We hear from authors a lot, and most of them get in touch with us to ask how they can solve the problem of not getting enough interest and eyeballs on their books on launch week, or early reviews to convince those early visitors to take a chance on the book. With that in mind, here’s what we’re doing to help.

Reedsy Discovery

The project we’ve developed to meet these difficulties faced by indie authors is Reedsy Discovery. This is a marketing platform for authors, created specifically to give indie and self-published authors the chance to have their work reviewed by an experienced book reviewer, as well as see it promoted through our newsletter. These are editorial reviews that authors are free to quote in their Amazon page’s “editorial review” section (not to be confused with paid customer reviews, which Amazon doesn’t allow).

From the Amazon page for Jeffrey Eng’s Never Go Full Pai 
 
From the Amazon page for Kissing Daisy Parker by Michael Milton

How does it work? 

Interested authors who have recently published or are about to publish their books can submit them to Reedsy Discovery for $50. Their book then becomes available to all Discovery reviewers, who choose which books they want to review on the basis of the information submitted by the author. Alternatively, authors can browse our directory of reviewers and request a review directly from a particular reviewer. 

Each Discovery book receives a bespoke landing page that features a synopsis, the review, author bio, as well as an author page with links to the author’s social media profiles and/or website.




Users can ‘upvote’ books they’ve read and loved or books they like the sound of —and the titles that get the most votes every week are featured in our weekly Discovery newsletter, sent to over 270,000 subscribers.

What kind of reviewers might you get?
 



Our reviewers are bookish people from different walks of life: publishing professionals, teachers, freelance writers, marketers, hobbyist or professional book bloggers, lawyers, surgeons, PhD candidates… But they all share a love of reading, and telling other people about what they’ve read. So even if you don’t have a recently launched book to submit to Discovery, you can still apply to become a reviewer and help support indie authors’ journeys. And if that sounds a bit daunting, we’ve assembled a list of book review examples to help you get inspired. 

After all, authors themselves are often the biggest readers, so if you come across indie books you enjoy, it’d be a missed opportunity not to tell everyone about them! 

Ricardo Fayet’s How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market 

Finally, to help struggling authors, our co-founder Ricardo Fayet published a book on book marketing earlier this year: How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market. It’s available as a free ebook (it’s staying free, by the way) and compiles a lot of the marketing lessons he’s learned in all his years of working in the publishing industry. Most importantly, he doesn’t just talk about individual practical book marketing methods (e.g. Facebook ads) — he starts off by talking about the mindset and strategy you’ll need to adopt when it comes to promoting your book.

I hope this information is of interest, and if anything’s unclear we’re always happy to answer questions related to Discovery at discovery@reedsy.com

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