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III. Goodreads Readers > Is Reedsy Discovery A Scam?

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Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice) (marriedtobooks44) | 38 comments Hello!

I'm not sure where the best place was to post this. I received an email about Reedsy Discovery Reviewers Program and I'm wondering if it is a scam or genuine. Here's the message in question:

Hi there,

Did you receive Colman Keane’s invitation to join Reedsy Discovery as a book reviewer?

If you’re still undecided, you might like to know a bit more about how it works. As a reviewer, you’d be given exclusive access to our library of ARCs in exchange for writing reviews on Discovery. Any reviews that you write for us, you can cross-post to your blog and social media accounts as well!

And since Colman recommended you, you’ll receive a $50 welcome reward after publishing your first review.


Side note, I did get an email from them prior to this one with similar wording. I also got laid off from my job and so really need some money right now for family members and their essential shopping. What should I do? Thanks!


message 2: by Michel (last edited May 13, 2020 05:39AM) (new)

Michel Poulin | 203 comments My first impression is that this is a scam. To offer a cash reward for publishing a review is one suspicious indicator of it. Also, offering a review for money is against the rules at Amazon and on Goodreads. I have myself being inundated by emails from people offering their services as proofreaders, editors or reviewers, at quote reasonable prices unquote, and this since I offered my free books to those stuck at home by the Covid-19. The net is seemingly full of scammers and hackers these days.


message 3: by Cathy (last edited May 13, 2020 05:40AM) (new)

Cathy Williams-Thrun (cathythrun) | 6 comments Hi Alice,
Ironic that I see your post this morning. Yesterday my publisher (Tellwell Publishing) sent me my media kit and referred me to Reedsy Book Blogger (a service within Reedsy Discovery) to have them read, review and blog my book. If my publisher referred me to them then I'd say they're legit. Good luck


Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice) (marriedtobooks44) | 38 comments Cathy wrote: "Hi Alice,
Ironic that I see your post this morning. Yesterday my publisher (Tellwell Publishing) sent me my media kit and referred me to Reedsy Book Blogger (a service within Reedsy Discovery) to h..."


Michel wrote: "My first impression is that this is a scam. To offer a cash reward for publishing a review is one suspicious indicator of it. Also, offering a review for money is against the rules at Amazon and on..."

Thank you both for replying!


message 5: by Opal (last edited May 13, 2020 06:43AM) (new)

Opal Edgar | 4 comments Truthfully, if anyone has any experience with them I would love to hear about it (both writer and reviewer). The Reedsy sites have popped up a number of times in my research for reviewers and I really don't know what to make of them.


Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice) (marriedtobooks44) | 38 comments Opal wrote: "Truthfully, if anyone has any experience with them I would love to hear about it (both reader and reviewer). The Reedsy sites have popped up a number of times in my research for reviewers and I rea..."

Same here! That will help me make my final decision for sure :)


message 7: by Bruce (new)

Bruce E. | 160 comments I have received multiple review offers most requiring payment. One reviewer tried to make a distinction between a review and an editorial review. Does anybody know this distinction?


message 8: by Linda (new)

Linda Kasten | 7 comments Reedsy is a valuable resource for writers. I am currently an editor listed on their service. They offer free webinars and email classes on just about every topic to do with writing. They have a YouTube channel where you can watch prior seminars for just about every aspect of writing, all free.


message 9: by David (last edited May 16, 2020 09:21AM) (new)

David Cuff | 25 comments Bruce wrote: "I have received multiple review offers most requiring payment. One reviewer tried to make a distinction between a review and an editorial review. Does anybody know this distinction?". Bruce, I've copied this from Amazon's Reviews FAQ page https://www.amazon.com/gp/community-h....
4. Can I pay for someone to write a Customer Review for my book?
No. We don't allow any form of compensation for a Customer Review other than a free copy of the book provided upfront. If you offer a free advanced copy, it must be clear that you welcome all feedback, both positive and negative. If we detect that a customer was paid to write a review, we'll remove it. The only type of paid review that Amazon supports is an editorial review. An editorial review is a more formal evaluation of a book usually written by an editor or expert within a genre, but can also be written by family and friends. If you've received an editorial review of your book that you’d like to post to the Editorial Review section of your book’s detail page, please visit our Author Central Help Page.


Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice) (marriedtobooks44) | 38 comments Linda wrote: "Reedsy is a valuable resource for writers. I am currently an editor listed on their service. They offer free webinars and email classes on just about every topic to do with writing. They have a You..."

That's good to know! :)


Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice) (marriedtobooks44) | 38 comments Fantasyryus wrote: "Fantasyryus wrote: "Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks) wrote: "Hello!

I'm not sure where the best place was to post this. I received an email about Reedsy Discovery Reviewers Program and I'm wonderi..."


Fantasyryus wrote: "Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks) wrote: "Hello!

I'm not sure where the best place was to post this. I received an email about Reedsy Discovery Reviewers Program and I'm wondering if it is a scam o..."


Thanks for commenting! I just realized that I wasn't very clear in my original post. I'm a blogger and bookstagrammer, not a published author. :)


message 12: by Jim (last edited May 16, 2020 03:34PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1072 comments Well established professional reviewers, copy/conceptual editors, graphic/layout design artists, and publishers do not seek or contact potential clients; potential clients seek and contact them.

Within the extremely competitive literary field, novice authors are tempting targets for scammers to contact directly or encourage contact through websites and literary periodicals.

Rule of thumb: If something sounds too good or easy to be true, it isn't true.


message 13: by Anne (new)

Anne Lovett | 4 comments Okay, I am an author and I signed up to get some more reviews. No reviews on RD so far, and I got a message from the director that someone said they weren't picking it up because it obviously not been edited, did not have a professionally designed cover and the description was not accurate. Some of their services were offered to help. Well. I had a professional editor and cover designer, and a judge in a contest I entered had said the editing was great. I'm wondering if this is just an way to find people to market to. Do they say this to all the authors?


message 14: by M. (new)

M. Sheehan (skyviewseries) | 15 comments Anne wrote: "Okay, I am an author and I signed up to get some more reviews. No reviews on RD so far, and I got a message from the director that someone said they weren't picking it up because it obviously not b..."

Ha, I knew it, the exact same thing happened to me. 3 rounds of editing, content edit, manuscript evaluation, etc. Then Reedsy says it needs to be edited before they will "Launch it", and also recommended that they offer editing services...I'd say that pretty close to a scam.


message 15: by Penelope (new)

Penelope Swan (penelopekahlerswan) | 191 comments Few make a living writing. If it's money you seek writing is not a likely way to get it.


message 16: by Michel (last edited Oct 21, 2020 08:14PM) (new)

Michel Poulin | 203 comments Penelope wrote: "Few make a living writing. If it's money you seek writing is not a likely way to get it."

I agree with you, Penelope. Someone should write because they enjoy writing or because they feel that they have something important to say, not because they want to make money out of it.


message 17: by Penelope (new)

Penelope Swan (penelopekahlerswan) | 191 comments This is a good conversation to have here isn't it, Michel. All the arts need to be presented to those artistically inclined as a wonderful way of pursuing personal growth and fulfillment but not a good choice for a financial career. Thank you for agreeing with me. So many posts here are placed by people who write who think the purpose of their efforts should be to sell a book. That's a terrific way to get your heart broken. Write for yourself. Publish because it's fun. Don't expect to make a financial killing--even to make a living. Some can. Do. Most do not.


message 18: by Helen (new)

Helen Gould (helenclairegould) | 101 comments I think for many people who write fiction they start off doing so because they have a story that just won't let them forget about it. Those are the people who may well succeed, because their passion will drive them to seek an audience for their story. I'm not sure how it works for non-fiction, because I've never really had any intention or interest in following that side. But even those who have the story and the passion have a hard time gaining the exposure necessary to build their audience. If you don't believe in yourself, you'll fail, and if you aren't prepared to invest the time in bringing your work to public notice, you'll fail. And sometimes you have to be prepared to find other ways to bring your work to public attention. And then, you just have to keep plugging away at it!


message 19: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 203 comments Helen wrote: "I think for many people who write fiction they start off doing so because they have a story that just won't let them forget about it. Those are the people who may well succeed, because their passio..."

That is so right! Another major factor of importance for a writer is patience. Building a readership takes time, lots of time. It took me eight years to build my readership (I post my stories on Free-Ebooks.net) and I can say that it was slow going at first. Those writers who keep asking for someone to review their books are only risking to get sucked into some kind of scam, like in this case.


message 20: by Belynda (new)

Belynda Thomas (belyndawilsonthomas) | 76 comments These comments are so helpful. I was looking at Reedsy to help me format my book but then on a blog post I found out that their help would be incompatible with uploading it to Amazon, so it seemed like a way to need more help.
In the end I formatted it myself and uploaded it to Amazon and voila it is available for sale. That of course is the next hurdle but I try not to think too much about how many people aren't buying my book. Everyone says we need to build a body of work and we will get readers. That we should concentrate on what we can control our writing and putting out a good product in a timely fashion. This is where I am putting my efforts. I've notices with the blog I started in 2018 that views have grown over time. If the same thing happens with my novels on Amazon (as I add to my catalogue and don't just rely on my first release). Over time I may have something. Today on my blog I quoted The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and our good habits will compound over time - we have to give it time.
If anyone would like to read the full post it can be reached at:
belyndasbooks.com


message 21: by Manoj (new)

Manoj Pandey | 12 comments I agree that anonymous reviews as received from Reedsy do not look fair. It is often reported that they ask the author to get the book edited > find the edit poor > suggest editing services from Reedsy guys. It makes them unhelpful if you don't like to call them unprofessional in approach.

[As a fellow author and (not regular though) reviewer, I can offer my free quick review once in a while but only for literary or sci-fi fiction. But please do not send the book to me without a prior appointment.]


message 22: by Jim (last edited Dec 29, 2020 07:36AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1072 comments Contrary to what many novice authors believe, sales drive reviews, not the other way around. Focus upon striving to continuously learn and improve upon basic writing, promotional, marketing, and editing knowledge and skills rather than actively seeking reviews and the sales, and therefore, reviews will follow.

Very few novice authors ever achieve notoriety and commercial success within this extremely competitive field. That said; some have. There is no reason why you might not eventually become one of them. Keep in mind that self-satisfaction and pleasure are sufficient incentives to continue writing for as long as you wish. Like beauty, success lies within the eye of the beholder.


message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie Morton (juliem69) I used Reedsy for my latest cover and I love it. I also submitted my book to Reedsy Discovery. They do have guidelines for submissions, like any legitimate service. and your manuscript has to meet those guidelines to be accepted. I have used Reedsy services in the past and found them to be professional and responsive. As a rule-of-thumb, I look for companies associated with Amazon directly. I DO NOT respond to solicitations. I do the soliciting of services.


message 24: by Guy (new)

Guy Morris (guymorris) | 74 comments I have used Reedsy to find jacket designers and other services, and for the most part I was satisfied. Finding a good designer, formatter, editor, etc can be tough when you don't know them.
I also tried their Discovery service for reviews and was completely disappointed. ZERO responses. If you can't guarantee a review, then don't charge.
I am now slowly building positive reviews from readers and others, but as a fresh author, I wanted the exposure and will not use them again for that service.


message 25: by Raegan (new)

Raegan Salander | 13 comments I found my book editor on reedsy and she was very good, if expensive. The whole process was straightforward and I got my manuscript back on time. So, it seemed fine to me.


message 26: by Edward (new)

Edward Hochsmann (emhochsmann) | 29 comments I started out with Reedsy and I have to say I'm generally satisfied. I have had two editors - the one for my first book was lousy (although, being new, I didn't know it at the time) and the one on the second was awesome. In fact, the second was so good and reasonably-priced, I had her fix the problems that first one left me (if you want her name, send me an IM - happy to throw more trade her way). So editors can be hit and miss. The review Reedsy Discovery provides is not an Amazon product review, but more like one provided by IndieReader or Self-Publishing Review. If you like it, you can paste it in to the "Reviews" section on your Amazon author's page. I had difficulty generating interest until I sent IMs to a group of reviewers. That got me on the radar and I haven't wanted for a reviewer since. I think Reedsy is a good resource for editors and cover designers - unless you are a no-kidding artist, you should not design your own cover - at a reasonable cost. Their blog and information resources are useful as well.


message 27: by Guy (new)

Guy Morris (guymorris) | 74 comments I use Reedsy to locate professional editors, designers and others to produce a quality book. I would recommend for professional services without hesitation.

The Reedsy Discovery Review service is not so good and a huge disappointment. It took forever for them to respond (longer than KIRKUS) and in the end the review was poorly written. I will never use Reedsy Discover reviews again.

When I go into bookstores to talk about my books and I mention Reedsy, I get a blank stare half the time. When I mention my KIRKUS recommendation or BookLife (Publishers Weekly), then eyes open and ears open.

A review service should (a) provide the reader with a trusted assurance from a respected source. (b) with any luck, a nice quote or two to use in marketing. I did not get either from Reedsy Discovery.


message 28: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Piro | 15 comments Same here. I'm not using Reedsy again because I've had nothing come out of it, and my reviewer's review irritated me--what she said didn't match her rating.


message 29: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 161 comments I placed one book with Reedsy Discovery and got one review from it. (See here if interested.) I woulnd't call it a scam, but like many services, how much value you get from it depends on a number of factors, including dumb luck. Their mechanism for deciding which books to feature in their Discovery Newsletter isn't clear. They say if you get a lot of upvotes your chances will increase, but in fact I've seen books in their newsletter with very few upvotes. If you get lucky and make it into their newsletter, that would probably be worth something. Otherwise? Hard to say.


message 30: by Julie (new)

Julie Morton (juliem69) I used a Reedsy cover artist for my latest book and I was very pleased. I really like the cover and he was more reasonable than most. He communicated frequently and finished on-time. However, I too will not be using Reedsy Discovery again. Reedsy is not a scam but, their Discovery program did me no good at all. I got only the review from their bank of reviewers and, frankly, it made no sense. She said I succeeded in every important aspect of my book, character development, pacing, research and others. But, she only gave me three stars. If I succeeded, I would have thought it would at least merit 4 stars. The 3-star review did nothing to help sales, in fact, probably hurt them. So, I won't use that portion of their platform again, however, I will use other areas.


message 31: by Linda (new)

Linda Kasten | 7 comments Dale wrote: "I placed one book with Reedsy Discovery and got one review from it. (See here if interested.) I woulnd't call it a scam, but like many services, how much value you get from it depends on a number o..."

Thanks for sharing. Sorry it wasn't a better experience. I will not use it, then.


message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  (manka23) | 11 comments I have my blog listed on reedsy for authors to contact me about reviews and i get a lot of traffic from there since they have me listed as a top book blogger for 2021. But i dont know about compensation for reviews. I dont really remember signing up to be listed on their site bc im listed on a few but it has enabled a lot of authors to find me and request reviews for their books.


message 33: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 161 comments Weasel Words made it onto their featured page last week, although it didn't show up in their newsletter. I'm not sure if I got any sales from it, though.


message 34: by David (last edited Sep 07, 2021 12:50PM) (new)

David Kirby | 3 comments I used Reedsy to find an editor and cover designer - both fantastic and reasonable. I used their free formatting tool, which took a while to master, but the result was fantastic. Some of their tutorials are very good too. I also paid $50 for a book review. Someone picked it up to review within 12 hours, and I recently got an email that it will "launch" on the 13th - no requests for edits, changes etc. That said, I can see why people get upset that they charge for a review that may not actually happen.


message 35: by Francisco (new)

Francisco Villate (rhalzahi) | 33 comments Thanks for sharing it, David. I am starting to use Reedsy. I heard several reviewer will come by using their service. It is that true? Are you expecting just one review or several of them. At the end, I would like to know if this option of reviews in Reedsy, paying $50 makes sense or we may find something different. I am making my own cover for a new book. I will look for the tutorials you refer to. I understood you used their free formatting tool, not a professional cover design service, right? Maybe I am asking too many questions here. Probably better if I send an email directly to you. I am curious to see your final cover and know more about budget for an editor.
Thanks, Francisco.


message 36: by David (new)

David Kirby | 3 comments Hi Francisco! I am pretty sure you only get one review. I used the formatting tool, and also hired a Reedsy artist for cover design. She did a fabulous job, on time and working closely with me on details. Unless you are a professional artist, it's well worth the money (in this case, $600) You can see the cover here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... Good luck!


message 37: by Francisco (new)

Francisco Villate (rhalzahi) | 33 comments After using Reedsy I must say it is a great place to learn. Excellent tutorials, excellent webinars. In Discovery we can find good professionals for editing and cover design. I have to recognize it is very good and I recommend it. Maybe they have to work more on the model to conduct reviews that does not seem to give the expected value. I do not think it is a scam, they are just learning, doing the best and doing it very well.


message 38: by Rob (new)

Rob Samborn (robsamborn) | 6 comments I wish I saw this thread before signing up for Reedsy Discovery.

I wouldn't call it a scam, but it's definitely misleading.

Some things to note:

If your book hasn't launched yet, you can't get any reviews until someone reviews it. Yes, you read that right. It's a bizarre chicken-and-the-egg process that doesn't benefit anybody.

If your book launches without any reviews on Reedsy Discovery, then it's ineligible for further reviews.

You can only get ONE review. You read that right, as well. So you end up paying $50 for a review, which is against Amazon and Goodreads' policies. It's one thing if you're paying for the platform/service and multiple people can review, but if it's one-for-one, then you're clearly paying for it.

Apparently, a reviewer did select my book to read. I'm still unclear on how this happened as my book hasn't launched yet and therefore, it's not available for people to review.

I'm sure I'm missing something in the process, but that's in part because it's incredibly convoluted and misleading.

Their other services may be fine (I haven't used any), but I'd stay away from the Discovery program.


message 39: by Robert (last edited Oct 12, 2021 04:50PM) (new)

Robert Connor | 4 comments My publisher lined up a review for my first book from a blogger with a large-ish following. No money changed hands and that worked out really well. That blogger very kindly cross-posted the review here. Then I noticed that one of my publisher's other books was reviewed by someone working through Reedsy. I thought 'hey, maybe I can do that, too,' and submitted everything I needed to get that review, including linking the new account I'd set up with them to my Goodreads account, until the final stage where I was required to pay $50. I hadn't seen anything before that about a payment being required, so I stopped. I get e-mails from them every day or so either advertising other books that have been reviewed through them or urging me to finish submitting my information (ie paying them). I replied to the first of those e-mails and got a response a couple days later to the effect of 'yes, the $50 payment is required.' I declined.

Bottom line, Reedsy doesn't feel like a scam to me, but then other than that limited initial engagement, I don't really have much experience with them:
1. They require $50 payments from authors (or publishers), for which, if you follow their instructions precisely, you will get exactly one review.
2. They promise and deliver promos for books submitted to them, though perhaps the conditions for them doing so are somewhat convoluted.
3. According to some on this thread, they pay $50 to reviewers, at least sometimes.


message 40: by Kyrie (new)

Kyrie Wang | 8 comments Jim wrote: "Contrary to what many novice authors believe, sales drive reviews, not the other way around. Focus upon striving to continuously learn and improve upon basic writing, promotional, marketing, and ed..."

Thank you for the reminder Jim! It's very discouraging sometimes and I wonder why I write at all!


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