Reedsy has a lot of services and tools to help you publish a book, but is Discovery something you should consider? After all, exposure and marketing are ultra-vital to self-publishing. Can Reedsy Discovery help with that exposure?
It’ll cost you $50 per book submission to find out.
What is Reedsy Discovery?
Reedsy Discovery touts itself as being a way to help get indie, self-published books in front of more readers while providing a professional review of the manuscript.
Users are able to read the first chapter of your book and then vote on whether it’s good or not. Then, your book is provided with a small landing page where others can read the reviews or buy your book.
Overall, it’s a platform that attempts to get your manuscript in front of as many people as possible by targeting readers who signed up that are interested in the genre.
Then, you can take the landing page of your book from Reedsy Discovery and share it across various networks and social sites. Not only does it have the professional review front and center, but the “buy” button is predominantly at the top of the page.
For those who don’t have their own blogs or websites, this could be quite beneficial in the long run.
How Reedsy Discovery Helps Publish Your Book
Marketing your book as a self-published author is nearly a full-time job. Because if no one knows your book exists, no one is going to read it.
Platforms like Reedsy Discovery can help shine a bit of light onto your book. But you’ll still need to do your part to get the word out.
Search phrases and keywords will only get you so far. So, how can Discovery help?
Professional Book Reviews…Maybe
First, after signing up and submitting your manuscript, the book is put into a list of over 2,000 book reviewers to read. If your book is chosen, the reviewer will provide a nice breakdown of the book and whether it’s a good story or not.
Then, it’s put into the Discovery feed where anyone can pick up the first chapter and give it a read. At that point, the reader can also provide reviews.
However, there is no guarantee that a professional reader will pick up your book. They have a month to do so, and if they haven’t, you can re-submit the manuscript up to three times at no extra cost.
At this point, you’re relying purely on the reviews of Reedsy’s readers.
It is possible to send your manuscript directly to a specific reviewer. Then, he or she has up to 48 hours to accept the request, or the book returns to the open review pool.
One thing that does pop a red flag for me is the extreme similarities between reviews from those who read the first chapter. A few are so closely related that it seems that either they were made by the same person or generated through AI.
Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but I’m not sure if I trust the reviews from the open pool.
As with any kind of writing, you better have a thick skin. Paying $50 for a review doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to like the results.
You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time. So, never assume everyone is going to love your book.
Best Books Are Featured in the Newsletter
The books that have the best reviews and most up-votes are placed in the weekly newsletter from Reedsy Discovery. This further expands to finding your target audience and potentially gaining a few new readers.
Unfortunately, this is also not a guarantee. Your book has to be deemed as “the best” before consideration.
This is one of the issues I have with single-review platforms and agents. Instead of trying to please your target audience, you have to please a single individual.
For instance, there are a lot of books and movies that I love that single reviewers hated.
Some of this can be offset by the number of upvotes from avid readers, though. So, you’re technically not at the mercy of a single reviewer who hated your book.
Success also relies heavily on the user base of Reedsy Discovery. If there aren’t a lot of readers willing to give the first chapter a go, you’re not going to get a lot of reviews or comments.
And from what I’ve seen thus far on the platform, it doesn’t seem like it’s an overly popular place for readers, in general.
Keep in mind, though, that this is just me looking in. I haven’t submitted my own book yet, but I plan on giving it a go once I have the final draft ready to publish.
Viewable from Discover Feed
The Discover feed is where you’ll find all the books submitted to Reedsy. This page defaults to the Popular list, in which you’re book needs to meet certain criteria to become listed.
However, you’ll still show in the “Recent” section regardless if people like your book or not. This means it’s still searchable by those looking for specific genres, authors, or storylines.
Though, after spending a few minutes in the “Recent” feed, it feels more like a black hole of poorly written novels, those with terrible reviews, or filled with what Reedsy deemed as “Explicit and Sensitive” materials.
However, after reading those explicit warnings, I really didn’t see anything that would be triggering. So, I’m not sure exactly how Reedsy Discovery determines “sensitive” content.
If you’re a horror or dark fantasy author, good luck getting out of the black hole.
The Book’s Landing Page
Perhaps the most important element of Reedsy Discovery is the book’s landing page. With your $50, you’ll get something that you can easily promote in a variety of ways.
As I pointed out earlier, this is useful for those who don’t have a website.
These landing pages look well-designed and provide the important details of the book. This includes the professional review, reader reviews, links to buy the book, ratings, and even an author bio.
So, what would you do with the landing page? Well, you can copy the URL and share it on social media, link it in your email signature, or otherwise share it any other way you’d use a website link.
For example, you can share the “Reader reviews” page on Twitter. This could prompt sales if you have a lot of those types of reviews.
Of course, this also depends on whether you have your book available on platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or even Apple Books.
You’ll need to publish your book before the landing page would be of any use.
Why Are Book Reviews So Important?
Reviews play a pivotal role in online society. They help us determine if a product or service is worth the time and money. In fact, 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase, according to Trustpilot.
Recently, I even came across a reader on Twitter who admitted to not buying a book on Amazon if it doesn’t have a lot of reviews.
This is one of the primary reasons why authors, especially self-published authors, ask incessantly for reviews from their audience.
Now, you can spend money to buy reviews. However, you’ll need to be careful about doing such. Some scams out there will bombard your book with fake reviews, which goes against the guidelines of most publishing platforms.
For many of us, it’s an uphill battle as many people simply don’t want to take the time to write something up.
Should You Use Reedsy Discovery?
The obvious issue with using Reedsy Discovery is that the only guarantee you have is that your book will appear in the Discover feed and you’ll get a landing page. A reviewer may or may not pick up your manuscript.
For a lot of new authors, the landing page alone might be worth the $50 investment. They are easily sharable with links to buy your book, which means you can promote it virtually anywhere that you can add a web address.
Keep in mind that the Discovery site isn’t as popular as others when it comes to marketing. For example, far more people read works on Goodreads, Smashwords, and the like.
On the other hand, there are a few avid readers who don’t mind taking a moment or two to read the first chapter before possibly buying the book from Discovery.
In my opinion, it’s probably worth the $50, especially if you don’t have your own blog or website. As I said, you get a professional-looking landing page that highlights reviews of your book, should you receive any.
In fact, I plan on trying out Reedsy Discovery as soon as I publish my next book in the next couple of weeks. At that point, I’ll update this post with my experiences on the platform.
Let’s cross our fingers and hope I get a professional review.
What Marketing Methods Do You Like Most?
A lack of proper marketing is where a lot of self-published authors fail. In reality, there are a lot of ways to market your book beyond searching Amazon.
Considering how Amazon is filling up with AI-generated books as of late, you’ll have to get somewhat creative to get your name out there. And the Reedsy Discovery platform has the potential to help.
Just remember that it’s still up to you to write a good manuscript and use that landing page to the best of your abilities. Reviews will only do so much, and you need to get the book in front of as many people as possible.
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