Where do you go if you don’t have a recommendation for book designers, formatters, editors, and marketers? These online marketplaces have sprung up to list vetted professionals to choose from.
Reminder: This consumer’s guide is a companion reference to the Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors, 4th Edition, which provides step-by-step instructions on how to create, publish, distribute, and market, and sell your book.
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Bublish has an author marketplace where you can find people to help you with every aspect of publishing, similar to Reedsy and PubLaunch. See Beta Readers and Beta Publishing for more on Bublish.
Bibliocrunch is a community of authors, curated publishing professionals and readers. Post a project, receive proposals and view profiles of rated and reviewed professionals. They have a concierge service to guide you through the self-publishing process for just $25/mo, which I think it a great price! Also fabulous is their new suite of promotional tools for authors to help you host contests and book giveaways. Start for free.
Fiverr is useful for finding people to do simple jobs or fixes. I’ve found people to correct my website PHP, to remove backgrounds and touch-up photos, to create bookmarks in a very large Word file, help me produce audio files for my podcast, and other tedious jobs.
Unfortunately, I’ve found many problems with manuscripts formatted by people on Fiverr. I’m going to generalize here and say that they do not realize that headers and footers do not belong on the first pages of chapters, or that chapters open on odd pages, and they don’t take into account half-title and title pages and other standard front and back matter.
In short, Fiverr people are likely to do exactly what you tell them to do, and no more. I’ve experienced exceptions to this rule, of course, but that’s the general impression I’ve had from using it for a few years now.
Fiverr alternatives include FiverUp, GigBucks, and Guru. A more sophisticated Fiverr alternative is UpWork where you’ll find more experienced (and higher-priced) professionals who are vetted by the company.
PubLaunch is a Canadian company that offers an online marketplace that’s connected with a centralized book production platform as well as a crowdfunding platform. PubLaunch was founded by a longtime editor and they are especially careful about the editors they allow on their platform. Find details in the Crowdfunding section of this book. The PubLaunch founder is interviewed on The Author Friendly Podcast.
Reedsy offers two things; a free online marketplace where you can find pros like editors and designers and a free, simple online formatting tool that exports ebook and print files so you can upload them to the various retailers. They don’t have many styling options right now, but it’s good enough for ebooks, and worth keeping an eye on this free tool.
Reedsy takes a 10% commission on each side of the collaborations that take place on the platform. For example, if the author accepts a quote for $1,000 from an editor, the author pays $1,100, and the editor will receive $900.
In exchange, they provide a smart collaboration interface with messaging, file sharing, integration to Dropbox and GoogleDrive, automated payments, and project protection, which offers mediation and refunds in case of dispute.
StreetLib is an ebook and print book creation and distribution service that also offers a marketplace but it’s pretty narrow at present, mostly for services in Italian. The company has expanded to the US so expect these services to grow. See more about StreetLib in Aggregation and Distribution.
Find a qualified freelancer to do your interior book design, formatting, or book cover designer, editor, proofreader, indexer, copywriter, ghostwriter, email marketing pro, illustrator, videographer, voice talent, translator, administrative support, and so on.
The UpWork interface forces time tracking and takes random screenshots to check that the worker is working on your job. I found an interior book designer who was extremely professional and did great work. I interviewed him by submitting a brief – I only submitted briefs to qualified pros a job success rate nearing 100%. He wasn’t the least expensive (hourly rate) but I think I got a deal because he did it fast. Quality counts!
Writer’s Book is a nonprofit organization with book promotion tools, discount marketplace, expert answers, selling to libraries. I’ve heard good things about it but have no direct experience. Do you? $89/year.
How to Distribute Your Book
The Self-Publishing Boot Camp courses will help you with every aspect of self-publishing. Check out the distribution course in the bundle.