Reedsy offers authors a one-stop shop for finding editing, cover design, marketing, and more. Co-Founder Ricardo Fayet chats with D2D’s Dan Wood about everything the service has to offer.
Find more about Reedsy at https://reedsy.com
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book, people, authors, editors, read, work, cover, hire, editing, marketing, ads, designer, publishing, discovery, marketplace, marketers, ricardo, amazon, curate, traditional publishing
Dan Wood, Ricardo Fayet
Dan Wood 00:22
Well, hello, everyone. I’m Dan Wood from Draft2Digital. And today I have Ricardo from Reedsy, one of the founders of Reedsy. Today, we’re just going to talk a little about about Reedsy. We realize that a lot of you around the world are kind of caught, stuck at home. And so maybe having a little bit of a show to watch and break up the day might be nice. And you know, I’ve had a lot of people asking about Ricardo since they know he is in Spain and the numbers in Spain have been kind of bad. So first off, Ricardo, how are you doing?
Ricardo Fayet 00:54
I’m good. I’m good. Thanks. Thanks for asking. And thanks for having me. Yeah, I’m pretty good sitting at home. Got a nice terrace. So whenever it’s sunny, I can at least get some pleasure. That’s nice. And yeah though the air has never been fresher in Madrid.
Dan Wood 01:08
I was kind of surprised, expected you to be like out on your terrace for the interview. It’s like, showing everybody how awesome your terrace is.
Ricardo Fayet 01:17
Yeah, you pick the one day where it’s when it’s rainy in Madrid. So well done.
Dan Wood 01:22
It’s actually sunny here. We had rain yesterday. And now it’s kind of nice out there. So
Dan Wood 01:28
Oh, yes. Well Reedsy. So I imagine a lot of people out there who are have heard of y’all because you guys go to a lot of same conferences we do. You guys do a lot of really cool blog posts. You’ve got some courses out there. So I wanted to start with, let’s talk about like, kind of the main focus of your business is your vetted marketplace to help authors find their team, so editors, stuff like that. So would you kind of talk about that
Ricardo Fayet 02:00
Yeah, for sure. That’s how we started. That’s the main thing. That’s the main thing that we are right now, I think and will remain to be in the future. It’s basically a marketplace, a curated marketplace for all the kinds of services you might need at any point throughout your author journey. So we started several years ago with editing and design. And so we had a curated listing of really good editors, and cover designers. And we extended that afterwards to illustrators, book marketers, ghost writers, author website designers, and just recently launched translators, literary translators for all the main European languages as well. Excellent. So that’s that, aside from virtual assistants, pretty much any kind of freelancer, publishing Freelancer you need to hire.
Dan Wood 02:54
And what’s your vetting process? I know you guys spent a lot of time making sure these people have the credentials. A lot of your people came from traditional publishing, right, who have been laid off or just decided that they can make more on their own freelancing and working with Indies.
Ricardo Fayet 03:09
Yeah, absolutely. Especially on the editorial side of things. Let’s see, a good 80 to 90% of our editors come from traditional publishing. Some of them still work within traditional publishing either as literary agents and they have this freelance editing on the side, with a Chinese wall between the two obviously. Then some of them are still editors at traditional publishing houses and they take some freelancing jobs on the side. I’ve actually had a little bit of an influx of editor applications after this. This fire situation started like that. Yeah. Yeah, a lot of people are stuck at home, they have more time. Maybe they’re seeing that their future within the traditional publishing company is kind of endangered. So they want to start getting some freelance work on the side. So, so yeah, that’s how we get most of our editors really. And since our publishing is relatively new, it’s been going on for 10 years, but still compared to the publishing industry it’s relatively new. And we want people with a lot of experience across all our services then, traditional publishing experience is one of the musts, among our criteria for selecting editors. It’s not necessarily the case for cover design. We’ve had a lot of indie cover designers who work only with indie authors. For marketers, it’s a good mix as well. We actually refuse several marketers who come from traditional publishing because they don’t get most of our clients are indie and what they used to do at a traditional publishing companies like buying media, buying traditional media, billboards, etc. doesn’t really apply to indie publishing, unless you really want to spend a lot of money and don’t want to make any money back. So That’s actually not a criteria for marketers. But yeah, it is for editors for sure,
Dan Wood 05:07
So since you’re kind of the expert on the subject, would you talk about, like some of the different roles of editors, like, for the most part, are people coming to you for Developmental edits? Are they coming for copy edits? Would you explain like some of the differences and the different types of editors?
Ricardo Fayet 05:23
Yeah, for sure. I mean, we get all of the newbies. So and especially in these times. So we get mostly people who are looking for an editor without knowing exactly what the editor is going to do. But oftentimes, people are under the impression that they’re just going to need a copy editor to proofread, so someone should look over the grammar, correct any typos, do the formatting stuff like that. What I’d say most people who don’t have a publishing background, think about when they think about editing. So oftentimes, we have to explain that the first step in the tutorial process is developmental editing, which looks at the big picture. So we’re talking fiction characterizations, story arc, structure, point of view, all these kind of big picture elements that you need to nail before you look at the grammar or the style. And if it’s nonfiction, it’s like the structure, how you carry your points across in the book, whether it’s in a specific market, and things like that. And obviously, if you hire a copy editor, so someone who’s going to look at the grammar, and then you realize that there’s this thing called developmental editing, and you want to get a developmental edit done, then your manuscripts probably going to change so much through a developmental letter that you’re going to have to re hire a copywriter after that. Right? So respecting those steps is pretty important. Obviously, what I tell authors is that you don’t need to hire a developmental editor then a copy editor then a proofreader If you have the budget for that, and it’s your first book, that’s great, it’s probably the best investment you can make. But if it’s, for example, the 10th book in your paranormal romance series, you probably don’t need a developmental editor. At this point, you’ve got your plot pretty well figured out, your characters, etc. And so you probably want to invest more in copy editing and proofreading. Whereas if it’s your first book, or first book in a new genre, and you’re you’re on a tight budget, you probably want to concentrate your funds on developmental editing, and maybe crowdsource the copy editing and proofreading cross. Beta readers, for example.
Dan Wood 07:33
That all makes sense. Do you find, I imagine, like editing and the cover designers are probablythe biggest categories where people come to you. With the cover designers, what do people new to publishing, what are some things that surprised them or questions they have or mistakes they make when they’re looking for a cover designer?
Ricardo Fayet 08:00
I think the first mistake is not looking for a cover designer. Okay? Yeah, doing the cover yourself. We still see too many of those
Dan Wood 08:11
We see that too at Draft2Digital. Like, I love all of you that work with us, but please work with a cover designer.
Ricardo Fayet 08:17
Yeah, and, and I know some people out there do their own covers, and they’re great because they have a background as a graphic designer, but most people don’t have a background. One thing is being a creative person. And I think if you’re a writer, you’re probably a creative person. Another thing is being a graphic designer, they don’t go hand in hand.
Dan Wood 08:39
And even for some people with a graphic design background, but covers are a very specific thing. I am always telling people you know, really look at what book covers in your genre look like because they are a special code to tell people, hey, this is the kind of book you’re looking for. That they have their own language to them. If you’re in space opera, you want to have a spaceship on it? If you are in fantasy, nine times out of 10 you want to have a dragon because dragons make everything better.
Ricardo Fayet 09:09
Yeah, that was actually gonna be my main point, not the one about dragons…
Dan Wood 09:13
What do you think about dragons on everything, every genre?
Ricardo Fayet 09:18
That that would make books a lot better, a lot better looking, at least it will. But yeah, even. Yeah, I think it’s a really good point to look at covers, even if you’re going to be working with a professional cover designer, you should look at the top selling covers in your genre. First, you should know what your genre is, and then look on retailers and see what the top selling books in that genre and what the similarities across covers are actually doing right now, in this free time that we have a little bit of analysis on Amazon of like the top hundred books in a bunch of categories and trying to like pinpoint similarities across all the covers and you find out that for example, in some genres Something like 98% of the covers use, like all caps for the title. And some other genres like over 80%, as you said, in space opera over 80% of covers have like a spaceship on them. So interesting.
Dan Wood 10:13
Now that sounds like a great content. That’s why you had to kind of go and look for that.
Ricardo Fayet 10:17
I need to finish that.
Dan Wood 10:19
I’m curious if that will change over time to like, you know, if you revisit that a year from now, like is that trends? Those things are good to know. Like everyone should know them. So
Ricardo Fayet 10:30
hopefully, yeah, unfortunately, there’s no automated way of doing that. Even with image recognition. I don’t I don’t think it’s there yet. But at least Yeah, if we update the post once a year, it could be a cool piece of content. But yeah, it’s it’s easy to spot like the commonalities. Across covers. And even if you’re going to hire professional cover designer, they may not know what the the genre expectations are in your genre. There are some great cover designers who are great at design, but they don’t really know a lot about marketing or your expectations in your genre.
Dan Wood 11:05
Always ask them if they’ve worked within that genre. Exactly. That’s a great idea for your cover designers do people see like samples of what they’ve worked on before? When they’re going through like a portfolio? I guess you’d call it?
Ricardo Fayet 11:22
Yeah, absolutely. They’ve got a portfolio section and a gallery section where they can display or letter all their designs and they also indicate the hours that they work on on their profile. So when you’re searching for, for a fancy cover designer, you can just like browse by fantasy and if you really want dragons on your cover, you can search also use the keyword search, put in dragon in there and you’re going to get results for like fantasy cover designers who work on dragon books. So you’re sure that you’re going to get a nice dragon on your cover.
Dan Wood 11:51
That’s excellent. So will you talk a little bit about Reedsy’s role in making sure that both the freelancer and author are happy with the end results. I know, not only do you make it a little bit easier by curating them, you make it so you don’t spend so much time looking for these people, but then after the fact just making sure that everyone is satisfied with that, that whole arrangement. So
Ricardo Fayet 12:21
Ricardo Fayet 12:23
Ricardo Fayet 14:30
able to mediate, and that’s fine.
Dan Wood 14:32
It’s nice to have like an extra layer of security. When, yeah, especially with editing. The costs are kind of high and what translations, they can be kind of high.
Dan Wood 14:46
Do you have a feel, I know this is gonna vary a lot by project but are there any like? Just general costs, like you have like a rule of thumb for how much editing in general costs or how much covers are costing?
Ricardo Fayet 15:05
Yeah, we pull basically on a yearly every year we pull the average costs from our marketplace. As you said, it depends a lot on the project depends a lot on the professional. But we’ve got all the data, we’ve got data across 10s of thousands of collaborations. So we can pull averages and do some data analysis. And we publish that every year in a post we call The Cost of Self Publishing. So if you google cost, you’re going to find that post. We’ve got a calculator in there for editing so you can say okay, I’m developmental editing for a fantasy book, that’s 120,000 words and we’re going to give you averages. For cover design, the average cost folds around $500- $600 depending on whether it’s ebook only or print, so with a spine and back cover. You mentioned translation, translation is pretty new service on the marketplace, but it’s it’s a service that’s been out there for longer, and that’s actually consolidated a lot better than editing. Like there have been translation associations and committees for a lot longer and the professional like the cost for professional translation is around 10 cents per word. So that’s kind of an established cost depending on the language, whether the translator is also going to do the editing and the proofreading, help you with marketing, they it might vary, but generally like our range is between eight and 12 cents per word.
Dan Wood 16:32
So yeah, I know both you and I were a little bit skeptical of translation a couple of years ago. You know, a lot of people were talking about it, but the payout was taking a long time. I know on our end, we’re seeing an increase in European languages like we’re selling a lot more. So I think we’re starting to see a move towards other countries using ebooks a lot more than they have in the past. For us, German, for a very long time, has been like our biggest seller outside of English language. This last year it was French. Are you guys seeing any patterns to what languages people are translating into right now?
Ricardo Fayet 17:17
Yeah, the first collaborations we’ve had in the marketplace were for German. We’ve had a small one for Spanish as well. But that was more of a passion project. So I think Yeah, Germans really the number one, number one markets right now outside of English speaking markets. I’ve been really surprised by France because I mean, you and I met 20 Books Vegas quite a few French, French authors self publishing in French, on on the Amazon, France store amazon.fr and making really good money and there’s actually a good group of those authors, making I think some of them to six figures a year, which I was really surprised by. So it shows that there is digital ebook traction in those countries a lot more than the government or like official stats would indicate the stats that don’t capture basically anything without an ISBN. So I think those markets might be might be ready. Amazon’s move to make Amazon ads available in all these countries as well, all these countries stores makes it very easy to promote books in those languages and there’s very little competition for Amazon ads on those country stores. Amazon ads are mostly like plugging in titles and author names so you don’t really need a translator for that and you just go on the local country store and plug in and take the keywords. I think Publisher Rocket, you had an interview with Dave Chesson and he’s gonna release a German edition soon. So that’s gonna help your keyword research in German and then the other retailers: Kobo, is very Strong and other countries. They’ve got partnerships with FNAC, for example, in France. Mondadori in Italy. So they have the reach so you can sell a lot more in those countries, thanks to them. You guys distribute to Tolino in Germany, which is bigger as big as Amazon. I don’t know what the latest stats are.
Dan Wood 19:20
I feel like they are about even, Amazon might be a little bit bigger now. But pretty close. Yeah.
Ricardo Fayet 19:25
Yeah. So the market is less Amazon centric, maybe in this country. So you’ve got…you’re gonna make the other retailers really happy. I know that Kobo is looking for a lot of foreign language content. So there’s an opportunity to be the first mover now, you’re not, maybe not, going to recoup your investments into translation, unless it’s in German. In German, I think you can really recoup it quickly. In the other languages, it might take more years but right when, when the rise hits in France, like it hit Germany a few years ago, you’re gonna be among the first movers. And that’s, that’s always great.
Dan Wood 20:05
We definitely saw some advantage to being the people in 2010-2011 that were the first in the English markets. There was a lot less competition and so they get a lot more visibility. And that has helped them. It’s not that you can’t catch on now, but it is just a little bit harder because you’re, you’re going up against all this other great content out there. So we kind of talked about the marketplace is definitely how you guys make your money. But you guys do a lot of really cool stuff to give back to the community. And I wanted to highlight to everyone that you guys have a lot of free courses that you do via email. And so can you talk about some of those courses? Because I know a lot of authors have mentioned them to me, and I’ve learned a lot from them.
Ricardo Fayet 20:50
Yeah, that’s that’s one of the things a lot of authors know us for. It’s a program called Reedsy learning and as you said, it’s email courses. So there’s no video, at least yet. And the idea is you sign up for a course and you get an email, an email a day for 10 days in the morning, and it’s a short read. It’s five minute reads over coffee or breakfast, or in the commute, when we were computing. So that’s, it’s, it’s quite handy. And it allows you to learn about something new, a new aspect of maybe marketing or writing or publishing in five minutes a day for 10 days. And it’s entirely free. So we’ve got 52 I think now.
Ricardo Fayet 21:39
Dan Wood 21:42
Wow, that’s all good. I mean, you’ve got, like you said, You’ve got the marketing aspect. You’ve got some aspects of publishing, just general stuff about writing, I believe, and like how to handle plot I saw. I mean, just remember when you started this, I thought it was a cool idea. And then I was looking at it, just before started talking. I was amazed by how many of them you have now. So yeah,
Ricardo Fayet 22:05
Yeah, it’s, it’s what you want. I mean, we have the chance that we have a lot of experts on the marketplace basically. So a lot of our editors have contributed courses on writing children’s books, cookbooks, YA middle grades, we’ve got romance, specific courses for each of those genres. Then we’ve got one on story structure, point of view, writing dialogue, character development. We’ve got editing courses as well. So one on self editing. One on kind of more big picture editing. We’ve got courses on distribution. We’ve got a great course by Mark Leslie Lefebvre, I don’t know if you know him.
Ricardo Fayet 22:47
Used to be the Kubo guy.
Ricardo Fayet 22:53
So we’ve got a course from the Kobo guy on Kobo with tips. Tips for visibly on Kobo, it’s pretty cool. We’ve got a course from another of the best beards in publishing David Gaughran on Bookbub ads.
Dan Wood 23:09
So I feel I feel like that’s a blog post right there. The top 10 beards in publishing. Although mine right now, I don’t know if I would make it but David’s and yours are in top shape.
Ricardo Fayet 23:20
Now it’s nicely trimmed. So you know, it’d be in the nicely trimmed category. Yeah. And yeah, we keep adding more. And then I’ve written several myself on the marketing end of things like Facebook ads, Amazon ads, which I have to update pretty often, which is a bit of..
That’s just always changing, isn’t it?
Ricardo Fayet 23:44
Yeah, yeah, thankfully, it’s not a video course. So we have a few screenshots in there that we change when the interface changes, but not everything. So. So it’s a way of giving back. It’s also, you mentioned the Reedsy marketplace is where we make our money. And in order to be able to use a Reedsy marketplace, you have to be a little bit savvy as an author. We’re not selling a package where we’re going to do everything for you. You have to come in search for an editor, search for your cover designer. So we want to arm people, arm authors, who are really serious about this with a knowledge they need to be able to choose the right editor. I always believe that if you’re going to hire a marketer, you should already know things about marketing yourself. So always the first thing I tell people, take some free courses and then set up some ads. And if you see some traction, maybe hire a pro to help you with those ads help you learn them better, but there’s no point hiring someone to do everything for you because no one’s going to do that.
Dan Wood 24:45
I hear that over and over, how dangerous it is just to try to hand off your marketing. You need to really understand what they’re doing even if you can’t do it as well as they can. You need to try to be following along for the future. Let’s talk about the other awesome free tool you guys have that I hear about a lot in like groups and at conferences is your book editor, which can help people do the conversion, you can actually write in it. And you guys have some future plans to help collaborative writing or working with the editor.
Ricardo Fayet 25:21
Ricardo Fayet 25:23
So it’s, it’s, as you mentioned, it’s a writing tool really now. So kind of a distraction free writing tool. That’s meant for books. So you’ve got kind of chapters on the left sidebar, you can organize it in parts, we’ve got front matter and back matter as well. We’ve got the older parts of the front matter hard coded in there. So you don’t have to figure out whether the epigraph comes before the introduction or the preface or the foreword. The table of contents, we’ve got all of that in there in the right order. You could just take the parts you want. When you write your book in there, you can export a Word document if you want to work with an editor and when you’re ready to publish, you can just export an ePub and MOBI or a print ready PDF. And yeah, similar to the kind of export options or the formatting options you have with Draft2Digital templates. Free tool. So you might as well take advantage of it if you haven’t bought Vellum already.
Dan Wood 26:28
I agree. You know, I’m kind of partial to the Draft2Digital one since we’ve built it, however, I do hear a lot of people out there that use the Reedsy one and you’ve got two great free tools to try and see if they work for your needs before you spend the money. I do hear great things about Vellum all the time, you know outside of Vellum, ours and Reedsy’s editors I wouldn’t really even look at many of the others unless you have a very specific need. I think they’re definitely the best ones out there. What was the next…Oh, Reedsy Discovery, so this is something new. So I want to make sure we talked a little bit about it. We’ve got about five minutes before we’re going to start taking a few questions from the audience. So
Ricardo Fayet 27:14
Yeah, Reedsy Discovery. It’s new. I mean, it’s been going on for a year, but we’re kind of slow rolling it. And the idea is to provide a little bit like Books2read, a new promotional avenue for authors. So the way it works is we’ve got a community of reviewers, which we curate same as our editors, proofreaders, etc. And then we’ve got a community of readers. And what we do, is you submit your book in advance so it’s only for for new releases or books that have been recently released. So you submit your book to Reedsy Discovery and you set a Discovery launch date, which can be the same as your books launch date or a little bit before, or a little bit later, it’s up to you. We’ve got some people who’ve used it for crowdfunding projects as well. So they put the link to Kickstarter, preorder, we’ve got people who’ve used it to revive something that’s been published a few months ago. So all that’s valid. And what we do, so you pay $50, for the submission, to submit to Reedsy Discovery. And what that gets you is we make the book available, and we make one advanced review copy available to our reviewers, to a reviewer pool. So when a reviewer picks it up, it disappears from the review pool. So you can only get one review from a reviewer. But what we do is that that reviewer has to commit to leave a review before your discovery launch dates. And then that review gets in. If it’s a positive review, and there’s no guarantee that it is going to be a positive review, but if it’s a positive review, then we’ll give it a lot of exposure to readers on your Discovery launch date. So we’ll go live in our Discovery feed where we’ve got quite a few readers browsing that every day. And yeah, we encourage authors to, to tell their readers to upvote their books in there. And every week, the top books in terms of reviews and upvotesmake it to our weekly discovery newsletter. So that’s, that’s kind of the author sides. And our goal with discovery is to really turn into a kind of a new Goodreads because it hasn’t been updated in years Goodreads.
Dan Wood 29:30
So yeah, Amazon’s just kind of like Goodreads go to Hell.
Ricardo Fayet 29:36
Yeah, and it’s still used by millions of people around the world. So we think that means there’s clearly a need for something like that. Definitely. So we’re kind of trying to provide an alternative. Just today we launched the library feature on Discovery. So as a reader, you can go in there and add books in your library that you’ve read or that you want to read. So we’ve basically replicated the the bookshelf feature that you have on Goodreads in a much, much, much nicer way. So, so yeah, we’re… Our goal is basically to build a big reader community there that authors can tap into, via reviewers.
Dan Wood 30:27
Very cool, I’ve gone ahead and flipped over to. I’ve got the web address for Reedsy. So you guys should definitely check that out at some point. Which is just www.reedsy.com, which is R-E-E-D-S-Y.com. So check that out. Start with a question here from Am TV, which is: Hi this Angeline Bishop was wondering who’s behind Reedsy’s bestseller podcasts, which is a very cool podcast. Yeah, I checked it out like very well produced and well done.
Ricardo Fayet 30:52
Yeah, it’s a really good question. We can, it’s one of those things I forget to talk about on podcasts and interviews like this, because we can’t really cover everything. It was actually an initiative from one of our interns a few couple years ago customer, Casimir M. Stone. We ended up hiring him full time for that. And then he moved on as a freelancer. So we’ve we’ve just hired him as a freelancer. So it’s his, his creation. We kind of find authors, for him to interview from our Reedsy community. And, yeah, he produces kind of, he produces it in series. So we’ve got four series out, and it’s there’s a lot of storytelling. It’s not just an interview with the author. He does interviews, but then he mixes it in a whole narrative and take some bits from what they’ve said, and adds a lot of narration in there. So it’s very different from the podcasts you have out there. I know some people love it, some others don’t like it. It’s just something different. There’s so many great publishing podcasts out there. We didn’t want to ad just another, another similar one, we wanted to do something different. And yeah, Casimir M. Stone is the guy behind it.
Dan Wood 32:11
I really liked the first season and then I guess I just kind of forgot about it. And so I’ve been meaning to check out the rest of the seasons. We had a comment, which I think was in reference to discovery from Delilah: It needs to be at least five weeks from the date you submit your book. Is that, am I interpreting that right?
Ricardo Fayet 32:31
Yeah, that’s correct. So you you need to when you submit your book to Reedsy Discovery, your Discovery launch date has has to be like, five weeks.
Ricardo Fayet 32:42
Five weeks later, because
Ricardo Fayet 32:45
we’ve kind of determined like from testing in the early days, it was I think we only had two or four weeks, and we’ve seen that most reviewers need a longer time to pick up a book, even if they’re indie reviewers and stuff. And also in some cases, you know, especially in these times a reviewer picks up a book, then falls, ill or whatever, and has to put the book back in the review pool. So that allows extra time for someone else to pick it up and review it.
Dan Wood 33:16
I know that some of the umm, like Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, some of the places out there that give professional reviews, you know, have like days, like three months and so that like, that’s really five weeks is not bad. And we’re seeing more Indies, like I said early on a lot of Indies, you know, they’d finish a book, they’re gonna edit it and they would publish it immediately. That seems to be less the case now where people are starting to try to coordinate review things like that. They’re trying to coordinate audio books, in some case, some print books. And so that’s kind of cool to see that people are just planning things better.
Ricardo Fayet 34:02
Yeah. And rapid releases as well. Definitely
Dan Wood 34:05
A question from our own Kevin Tumlinson. When it comes to marketing, how far does it go? Are there any done for you services? And if so, are there any guarantees on results?
Ricardo Fayet 34:20
So that’s a tough one. On the guarantee side? No, there’s really not going to be any guarantee on results. And on the how far does it go? It depends. So you’re basically hiring people on Reedsy on the marketing side of things. So we’ve got people separated. We let our marketers choose between three different services. One is a marketing strategy. So that’s for someone who just wants a marketing plan for a new release or just wants to brainstorm about marketing ideas or wants an audit on kind of, they’ve got books out there there aren’t selling they want to know why. So that’s great examples of like situations in which you’d hire a professional marketer for like marketing strategy, then we’ve got people specializing in email marketing. So if you want, if you don’t want to set up your mailing lists, or somebody wants someone to do it for you, d set up a welcome automation and all that, then we’ve got people who specialize in that. So, tips for email marketing, basically, if you don’t want to read Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Lebreque and you want someone to do it for you, which I don’t necessarily recommend. It depends on like, how much time you have and how much money you have, you know,
Dan Wood 35:33
A little bit better to have your own voice to it, I believe. So yeah,
Ricardo Fayet 35:36
Definitely it is. I’ve done it for a few authors myself. And generally I leave places where they can add their own voice, like I tell them, this is a structure that I’d recommend. And here you write a paragraph in your own voice. So that’s one thing then we’ve got advertisers, so people who specialize in advertising, generally they’re not going to run the ads for you forever. They would either work around special promotions or run ads for your for a specific time period, or teach you how to do ads, so they’d set up the ads, work with you on them for a couple of months and then leave you with the tools to take over basically, the tools and the knowledge to take over. So these are the kind of main categories and there is really no guarantee in terms of results. Some of them because of experience, I’ll be able to tell you, okay, based on your cover your reviews and all that I think that if we do a price promo, we book these sites and we spend this much money on Facebook, then you can get into the top five in your category. It’s not a guarantee, but that’s kind of an objective for the marketer to reach.
Dan Wood 36:42
So sticking with the marketing theme, Amanda Lee, our good friend, (Hi Amanda!). She says, What are you seeing with advertising right now? Facebook seems to be doing better even in limited genres than it was before. I know you on the side kind of run some ads for people. It might be a little bit early to really pull a lot of or make a lot of assumptions about how things are working now, but just what are your thoughts on are things working that weren’t working or things working differently in the age of Corona?
Ricardo Fayet 37:17
Yeah, I think it’s not too early to draw conclusions like Facebook ads have never been cheaper right now. It’s kind of crazy across the board. I see it for a Reedsy.
Dan Wood 37:26
Yeah. Because you’re not competing with all the physical goods. I imagine. Like so many. Interesting,
Ricardo Fayet 37:36
Yeah, a lot of the big brands and the big companies, they usually use marketing agencies. So they contract out. There are two types of marketing agencies. And the first thing you’re going to cut in times of crisis or potential crisis is kind of the agencies you use. So there’s a lot less competition on Facebook now. And so I wrote down in my in my last Reedsy newsletter, Reedsy marketing newsletter. But basically, if you look at the three main advertising platforms for authors, two of them Amazon ads, and Bookbub ads, you’re competing mostly against Authors and Publishers. On Amazon, obviously, all brands advertise on Amazon. But if we’re looking at the books and Kindle Store sections, it’s only authors and publishers advertising in there. And there’s just as many people advertising there as there were before I think. Same for Bookbub. Whereas on Facebook, even to reach like, specific people who are fans of like, for example, Stephen King, these people are also going to be fans of other as you said, other brands and other physical products. So you’re actually not just bidding against authors and publishers to reach those people, right? You’re bidding against a big number of companies, the majority of which are not advertising right now during these times of Corona so definitely get on the Facebook ads wagon. It’s one of the best times ever to be testing ads on there.
Dan Wood 39:03
So do you guys have a one of your email courses on Facebook ads? Or is it like a more general one?
Ricardo Fayet 39:10
No, we’ve got a specific one written by myself.
Dan Wood 39:12
I would definitely check that out then. Yeah, other good sources we know of, a lot of people have said very good things about Mark Dawson’s course on Facebook ads, which I don’t think it’s always available. Is there anyone else you would recommend on Facebook ads
Ricardo Fayet 39:30
in the industry, let me think I
Ricardo Fayet 39:36
Mal Cooper’s book on
Ricardo Fayet 39:41
I can remember
Dan Wood 39:42
Is that on Facebook ads, or is it just Amazon ads? Or I guess she does both right?
Ricardo Fayet 39:48
Yeah, yeah. They’re both there. No, there’s one on like, launch I think that they just released and they have the old one which they did a new edition of Help my Facebook Ads Suck. That’s the title Help my Facebook Ads Suck, really really good book especially the new edition it has like stuff on funnel strategies, retargeting video, all that. And it has one of the most awesome chapters on read through. So it’s a really good book to be checking out.
Dan Wood 40:24
Hello from Crystal I use Wattpad where I read small stories and use it also to promote my self published work. I’ve gotten sales. What are other recommendations promote one’s book without hiring a professional.
Ricardo Fayet 40:37
So yeah, we’re just talking about Facebook ads right now, if you’re ever going to try ads and now’s the time to to try them on Facebook, ads on Bookbub ads or other alternatives as well. I generally would generally say the three platforms are pretty different in how they work. So if you test all three, you’re probably going to develop an affinity for one of the three and that’s where you should focus all your your spend on, you got to be really, like it has to be somewhat fun for you to go in and create ads. And you get to really understand how the platform works. Me I, I really hate Amazon, I can run ads in there, but I’m not the best at it because I don’t really understand how it works. It doesn’t make a lot of logical sense to me, whereas I understand Facebook and to some some extent Bookbub. So you got to find a platform and other ways…ummm..There are, there are hundreds of ways like we’ve got a blog post on 50 book marketing ideas, BookBub’s got a blog post on 100 book marketing ideas. So just Google book marketing ideas and you’re going to find
Dan Wood 41:34
So much of it, just know where your readers are. Like the best, the best way in this industry to just dominate is to know your readers as well as possible. I know with fantasy, Reddit has a big subreddit about fantasy. I see a lot of indie authors there and being a part of the community. Wattpad that you mentioned, is a great way, especially to meet younger readers. There’s a couple other services out there like Wattpad that cater to specific things. And so, like, how awesome is it that so many of us have jobs that let us work from home relatively easy, as opposed to, you know, like 90% of the people out there in the world. ad one from Mark, the former Kobo guy now Draft2Digital’s Director of Business Development. And I think this is a good one because I know people, I know you guys put a lot of thought into this and into your logo. So how do you come up with a name for the company? And I want to add the logo question in there too.
Ricardo Fayet 42:42
Yeah, really good question.
Ricardo Fayet 42:45
So we had a long list of names, and it’s pretty hard to come up with a company name, that has some relation to what your company does and has a really good available. It’s very hard. I know and also that’s short, you know,
Dan Wood 43:01
So, we don’t know because we picked one that was ridiculously long. At least it had something to do with what we do. Draft2Digital is literally what we do but….
Ricardo Fayet 43:11
Yeah. And you turn it into D2D, You know, there’s a cute like letter initials and numbers in there it works. It works. We went for the short and cutesy name. And yeah, so that name was on the on the list that Emmanuel our CEO put together early on, and I think it’s the, maybe the only one we really liked. And the relationship to books: it comes from reeds. So reeds were what were used to make papyrus, one of the early, earlier instruments for writing. So that’s that’s your link to publishing there. And so it turned into Reedsy, and since we were in that whole Egyptian hieroglyph vibe our designer made our logo out of the Egyptian hieroglyph for writing and turned it into a parrot, because why wouldn’t you turn it into a parrot.
Dan Wood 44:11
I know when I think of parrots I think of Reedsy.
Dan Wood 44:18
So we’re getting towards the end of the show. We try to keep these to about 45 minutes. I know there’s a couple of questions we didn’t get to, but we’ll try to answer some of those in the comments where we can. This will be available for you to watch later on if you want to, especially if you’ve got friends that weren’t here to see it live. Want to end with Amanda saying Ricardo has The Hobbit behind him, now I like him even better. The Hobbit, it’s a great thing. Great book. Ricardo’s a really cool guy. Reedsy, I’ve just really been impressed with how you got started. Maybe around the same time that Draft2Digital did maybe a little bit later. I’ve known Ricardo now for five, six years, since you were just like a baby, like he had no facial hair, I was like, Can this guy even drive? And now like Reedsy’s just been doing great. I’ve seen them at conferences all over the world. You know, we’re trying to use this time with our spotlight to highlight people we know, that we trust that we hear back from authors that they’ve really made a difference in their career. So I highly encourage you to check out both Reedsy as a marketplace but also Reedsy for all the free stuff that they offer because it’s a lot of great content. Do you have any closing words Mr. Ricardo Fayet?
Ricardo Fayet 45:38
No, thank you so much. I mean, so so many kind words. You’re my number one…
Ricardo Fayet 45:45
My number one marketing person when it comes to promoting Reedsy at conferences.
Dan Wood 45:48
I know I need to get my own business cards for that. So like when I’m representing Reedsy when you’re late…so Ricardo is fashionably late to all the events he throws at conference. I was really afraid he was going to show up five to 10 minutes late for this because he is just fashionably late. Is that European thing? I don’t know.
Ricardo Fayet 46:10
Yeah, it’s, uh, I don’t want to. Yeah, no, I don’t want to shine a bad light on Europeans. I’ll say it’s like, it’s a Ricardo thing. But I mean, I did show up like five minutes late to the kind of rehearsal, you know, pre pre live thing. So that counts,
Dan Wood 46:26
But you made it. Well, thank you, everyone, for joining us. We will see you tomorrow if you want to. We’ve got content scheduled all this week. And we’re looking at content for next week. Tomorrow we have Cory from BookBrush. Thursday, I believe we have Will from Findaway Voices to talk about audiobooks. Book brush, if you don’t know, helps you make social media graphics, and it’s awesome. And then Friday, we’re looking at having someone from Bookbub on so they can answer some more of the marketing questions because they know a ton about marketing. So thanks for having us. We’ll talk to you later. Bye!