I'm the founder of Reedsy, a unique community helping indie authors publish beautiful books. I'm also the teacher of several courses on book marketing and advertising. AMA publishing or marketing-related!

Ricardo Fayet
Mar 30, 2018

I'm one of the four founders of Reedsy, a marketplace connecting authors with some of the world's best publishing professionals — think editors, cover designers, illustrators, book marketers, and publicsts.

We've also built a super intuitive (and free!) formatting tool: the Reedsy Book Editor. It allows any author to turn their manuscript into a flawless ebook  and/or a perfectly typeset, print-ready PDF file. 

Finally, I'm the teacher of 4 courses on book marketing and advertising for authors, and have coached hundreds of authors through publication. 



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What advice would you give to the authors who struggle with time management?
Apr 5, 4:01AM EDT0

I'm really not an expert on the subject, but we have the chance to host a really great course on Reedsy Learning called "Stop Procrastinating! Build a Solid Writing Routine" which shares quite a few tips around that.

It's written by a digital productivity coach who did a bit of research on behavioral psychology and applied that to writer's block, and procrastination in general.

The main tips are:

  • scheduling and planning your writing time so you start writing – unthinkingly.
  • using freewriting to unblock yourself when you’re really stuck.
  • building accountability structures around you to keep you writing.
  • setting goals and rewarding yourself when you hit them.
Apr 5, 5:02AM EDT0
What is the book you're currently working on about?
Apr 5, 4:01AM EDT0

It's a book on advanced Facebook advertising tactics for authors. There are already a few books on that topic out there (I particularly recommend Michael Cooper's one), but I've been trying some more advanced things for Reedsy that I think authors could highly benefit from as well. So I'm currently running a few tests for free for some authors I know, and will then document the results in the book :)

Apr 5, 4:59AM EDT0
Why do you provide some services for free? Is it a part of your marketing strategy?
Apr 4, 10:25AM EDT0

Yes it is. I think free is still very powerful, but it only works if you really put a lot of effort into what you give away for free.

Nowadays, people expect to see free stuff on pretty much any website. They see it as the classic marketing ploy. However, what they don't expect is for that free stuff to be any good. If you "wow" your users with free — something we strive to do every day at Reedsy — your business will earn a solid reputation very quickly.

Apr 4, 10:28AM EDT0

What's the most effective ebook marketing you'll recommend? Paid ads, social media events, etc?

Apr 4, 12:52AM EDT0

There are a lot of factors to take into account: how are you publishing your book? Where are you selling it (exclusive to Amazon or wide)? What is your genre?

The answer will vary depending on all these. But I'd say that in 90% of cases, paid ads on Facebook, Amazon and Bookbub are going to be more effective than spending time on social media or going to events.

Apr 4, 5:17AM EDT0
What kind of templates will you be adding to Reedsy Editor in the future?
Apr 3, 7:30AM EDT0
How do you know Emmanuel? Were you close friends before starting Reedsy? What is it like to work with a friend?
Apr 3, 5:29AM EDT0

Emmanuel and I have known each other for 10 now, and have always been close friends. It's great to work with a friend, but you need to make sure that you share the same views and vision for the business. We're all friends now among the founders of the company :)

Apr 3, 7:10AM EDT0
What is covered in your courses? What aspects of book marketing do you teach?
Apr 3, 4:10AM EDT0

We try to cover pretty much any topic that can be of use to independent authors, so we have courses on:

  • Facebook ads
  • Amazon ads
  • Getting and leveraging book reviews
  • Pitching to libraries
  • Running a price promotion
  • Setting up and growing a mailing list

But to every indie author who's just starting, I recommend taking the Book Marketing 101 course first, as it will lay some important ground rules like putting together a marketing plan and prioritizing efforts.

Apr 3, 4:41AM EDT0
What is the best tip that you have learnt from GrowthHackers?
Apr 2, 5:13PM EDT0

I don't think marketing is about tips or secret hidden techniques. I use the GrowthHackers newsletter to find articles that will remind me about certain channels and push me to test them (i.e. messenger chatbots) or to keep up with changes in the SEO world.

That said, there's one article I found through that newsletter which really changed our entire approach to blogging at Reedsy, and which I recommend to anyone looking to grow a business through SEO. It's from SiegeMedia: How to Increase Web Traffic by 250k+ Monthly Visits.

Apr 3, 4:38AM EDT0
What are the five rules for writing fiction that you live by?
Apr 2, 11:05AM EDT0

I really don't write that much fiction. I tried my hand at NaNoWriMo last year and didn't reach 10k words… So I don't think I'm qualified enough to answer this question, sorry :)

Apr 2, 11:10AM EDT0
How to get featured on your blog? What kind of author stories are you looking for?
Apr 2, 9:54AM EDT0

First, we're looking for stories from authors who've worked with a Reedsy professional on their latest book, and/or who've used our Reedsy Book Editor to format it, and/or who've taken several of our Reedsy Learning courses.

Then, we're looking for authors who've been successful in their genre, or who'd like to offer a different take on a specific subject. Some of our favorite authors stories are, for example:

Apr 2, 10:09AM EDT0
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Mar 31, 7:10PM EDT0

I haven't written a full book yet! I expect to finish my first non-fiction (and relatively short one) in the coming months. 

Apr 2, 10:05AM EDT0
Do you have any helpful suggestions to help struggling writers become better novelists?
Mar 31, 12:55PM EDT0

Yes: share your writing. Get feedback. I know you're probably afraid of doing that, but it's the best way to become a better novelist. There are a bunch of ways to do that, as well:

  • Join a local writing/critiquing group
  • Join an online writing/critiquing forum (Scribophile and Absolute Write are well-known for that)
  • Find beta readers (more about how here).
  • Hire a professional editor.
Apr 2, 10:04AM EDT0
What experience in your past has best prepared you to be a marketing expert?
Mar 31, 5:03AM EDT0

Nothing, really. I went to business school and took entrepreneurship and marketing classes, but I don't think that prepared me much…

When we started Reedsy, I had no choice but to learn how to leverage SEO, online ads, content marketing, and all the other digital marketing channels to grow the business. I probably wasn't prepared, but starting a company left me no other choic than to prepare myself.

Apr 2, 10:01AM EDT0
What story of a successful marketing strategy could you share?
Mar 30, 11:26PM EDT0

This is one of my favorite ones, as it uses a good mix of simple channels that would work (if executed well) for most authors out there.

Apr 2, 9:58AM EDT0
What is the basic algorithm of the Reedsy Book Editor? How does it work?
Mar 30, 7:11PM EDT0

We don't really have an algorithm for the Reedsy Book Editor. It just uses several technologies (Angular JS) and open-source libraries (Quill), on top of LaTex for the typesetting bit. 

We're now using OT to build its real-time collaborative features, which you can learn more about in the landing page video.

Apr 2, 9:57AM EDT0
What interesting books have you read recently?
Mar 30, 6:52PM EDT0

I just finished reading Bandwith, a techno-thriller by Eliot Peper which I highly recommend. It seems like all sci-fi nowadays tackles the same themes in the same way, but Bandwith definitely sets itself apart. It's not too dark (à la Black Mirror), but it's not a happy ever after either. It strikes a fine balance. Also, Eliot Peper is an author I've been following since his debut novel and his career so far is an inspiration for any indies out there :)

Apr 2, 9:53AM EDT0

What would you say are your top tips for authors getting reviews for their books?

Mar 30, 6:35PM EDT1

I think the best tip for getting book reviews over time is to build a solid "street team". This is a list that's separate from your main mailing list and where you only allow trusted readers who've followed you over the years and who you know will leave you a review at launch if you send them an ARC a few weeks before. Streat teams is what allows bestselling indies like Mark Dawson to launch with 100+ reviews every time. Of course, you need to cultivate this street team and regularly communicate with them, offer them perks, run giveaways, etc. to make them feel part of your creative process.

Now, if you're looking more for short-term tips, then the best way to get reviews is to reach out to book reviewers. We've built a handy directory of over 250 book review blogs at Reedsy which you can filter by genre to identify reviewers to reach out to for your next launch.

Apr 2, 9:49AM EDT0
What are some of the disadvantages of using the Reedsy Book Editor?
Mar 30, 1:09PM EDT0

The main disadvantage is that, right now, the only way to import your existing manuscript to format it within the interface is by copying and pasting it (chapter by chapter). So it means that if you have an 80k word manuscript, it'll take you a good 10 minutes to import it into Reedsy. Everything after that is automated and takes just a few seconds, but still, we're working on a better solution for the import.

Another disadvantage compared to some of the other solutions out there is that we have limited templates and customization options. We'll be adding more templates in the future, but if you want a lot of fancy (and probably unnecessary) stuff in your book, then the Reedsy Book Editor isn't for you.

Mar 30, 1:38PM EDT2
What skills will marketers need in the future? How do you stay sharp?
Mar 30, 1:04PM EDT0

I think marketers will need to get more and more technical, be able to do complex data analysis and develop coding skills. I'm probably not doing everything I could be on that end, but I try to keep up with the things (I think) I'm good at — SEO, content marketing and paid advertising — by reading weekly digests of good articles on these topics.

I've found that the GrowthHackers newsletter is a good way to do that.

Last edited @ Mar 30, 1:59PM EDT.
Mar 30, 1:41PM EDT1

Reedsy has expanded its services from just editing, to covers, to marketing and now also the Reedsy Editor for formatting, and Reedsy Learning. Are there other ideas you decided not to explore?  Given how fast the publishing industry is changing what else are you considering in the future?

Mar 30, 10:20AM EDT2

There are quite a few ideas we explored and decided not to go into. Two big ones are crowdfunding and actual publishing (as in, acquiring the rights of some Reedsy books and publishing them under a Reedsy imprint). 

For the future, we have a clear roadmap where the Reedsy Book Editor is going to take a more central role and integrate with the marketplace (as shown in the little video in the landing page). We also have something in the works on the marketing side, but I can't say anything more about that.

Mar 30, 12:12PM EDT1
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