Before starting The Michelangelo Project, Isabel Wu never considered writing a book. But when she found herself researching the impact of the digital age and how social change was affecting her clients, she felt she should share her findings with a larger audience. She knew self-publishing was a good approach for authors with an expert niche and was comfortable using freelancer platforms. Now all she needed was the perfect platform to get started.

Finding a high-quality publishing marketplace

When I started looking into publishing The Michelangelo Project I wanted to make sure I was hiring highly skilled and experienced professionals to work on my book. I wanted the end result to do justice to the people who supported me during the writing process — and after investing hundreds of hours into the book, I didn’t want to end up with a sub-standard result. 

Scouring some of the freelancer platforms out there, I wasn’t convinced by the quality and level of expertise, especially in the field of writing and publishing. So I looked for a marketplace specifically for writers, and that’s when I came across Reedsy. Their community of vetted publishing professionals was exactly what I was looking for.

Working with specialised and committed professionals

When choosing Reedsy professionals for my publishing team, the bios played a big part in finding the right freelancer. Many professionals had several services and genres listed, but the editors and designer I chose specialised in the particular audience I was writing for. Other than the bios, their immediate engagement stood out to me. They clearly weren’t just carrying out a task, they were devoted to helping create an end product before I even gave them the job.

While I decided quite early on that I wanted to hire both a developmental editor and a copy editor, I was told hiring a designer is another must-have. So my publishing team consisted of three professionals: Greg Brown, the developmental editor, Jasmin Naim, the copy editor, and Laura Duffy, the cover designer. They each had a particular approach and the mixture was invaluable. 

All three of them were extremely generous and engaged, and they treated my book like it was a really important piece of work. That made all the difference. Self-publishing isn’t easy, so knowing that these experts who work on great titles all the time believed in my book was really inspirational. 

While Greg was very direct and made sure I stayed on track with my main argument, Jasmin had more of an inquisitive editing style and picked up every detail that needed further scrutiny. Then, Laura, as the designer, was the consummate professional and even scheduled a telephone consultation to ensure she had a good grasp of my book before designing the artwork. 

Not only were the publishing professionals themselves outstanding, but also Reedsy’s own customer support is efficient and very forthcoming. I had an unexpected hiccup at the editing stage and one of the editors I had originally hired couldn’t complete the job. But Reedsy acted immediately, refunded the fee and made sure that I found a great replacement quickly. Having this kind of safety net really put my mind at ease during the whole process.

Receiving praise for my high-quality book

Since the book has been printed, I have had a lot of comments on the quality of the finished product. The book gets conversations going and I love that it invites people to share their experiences. One person read the book and then ordered 10 more copies to give away. I feel that this and every other piece of positive feedback also belongs to the professionals, not just me.

The term “self-publishing” is a bit of a misnomer, because what I did wasn’t really “self” at all. I wouldn’t even attempt a “self”-publishing effort — working without experts. It’s truly a team effort which is why finding the right team is so important. I found my team with Reedsy and can only recommend this high-standard platform to authors. They go beyond all the important elements such as resources and ease of use, and nurture a highly professional culture.

 

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Buy The Michelangelo Project here, and assemble your own publishing team here.

 

Made with help from Laura Duffy

Designer on Reedsy