When starting Reedsy, our ambition was not only to connect authors with vetted, hand-picked editors, designers and marketers. As I wrote when I first introduced Reedsy on Elizabeth’s blog, “we are a technology company at heart”. We wanted to be more than a simple marketplace, we wanted to reinvent the way authors and editors work together – let’s face it, Word wasn’t made for writing books.
That’s why we’ve spent the past several months now on something that we like to call the Reedsy Book Editor. I offered a demo of the tool at the NINC conference last year, and now we are ready to make it live.
There are several concepts that went into building this tool. The first one lies in its design and user experience. There are countless text editors out there, some more beautiful than others, but in the end they all get the job done, and preferences are just a matter of taste.
In our case, our preference lies in simple, minimalistic design. Our product and design team took most of its inspiration from the blogging/publishing platform Medium – with whom I imagine most of you are familiar. We wanted to replicate the same intuitive experience Medium offers to bloggers and adapt it to a much more complex format: books.
You can read more about the design process we went through and the technologies we used here, but I’ll get to the point you’re probably waiting for: the features.
- Writing in a beautiful interface – ok, we covered this already.
- Painless formatting and export to ePub: our Book Editor respects the layout of an ebook. Therefore, you literally have no formatting to do: the table of contents, copyright page, chapter breaks and other subtleties are inserted automatically.
- Automatic typesetting: that’s where it gets really powerful. You can choose between two print templates and export a professionally-typeset, print-ready PDF file.
- Not really a feature per se, but worth mentioning: it’s 100% free.
What does this mean? You can write your book, or copy-paste it, into the Reedsy Book Editor and export an ePub and a print file, for free, in a matter of seconds. We have tested our ePub file on all devices and on Amazon’s mobi converter (which means you can get a .mobi file as well from it). And we have been working with IngramSpark to make sure the print-ready file complies with all their guidelines – and it does. Here is an example of what you can do in a few seconds with the Reedsy Book Editor; click on the image to download an excerpt from Michael Doane’s book, The Crossing.
In a nutshell, this means you don’t have to learn how to format or typeset anymore, nor hire someone to do it for you – unless, of course, you want a customized print product. As our designer likes to say: “machines can’t do art yet!”.
This is only the first version of the editor. If you were in the room listening at NINC, you might recall me announcing many more features, like collaborative writing, track-changes, comments, timelines, etc. These are coming, along with a wider selection of templates for the PDF, and you can get a glimpse of what they will look like here.
In the meantime, if you want to test the Reedsy Book Editor, just sign up to Reedsy, create a book, and start writing.
Ricardo Fayet is a co-founder of Reedsy. An avid reader and startup enthusiast, he likes to imagine how small players will build the future of publishing. He also blogs about book marketing on the Reedsy blog.