Publishing startup Reedsy wants to surface the next hit indie book. It’s launching a new service today, Reedsy Discovery, aimed at promoting only independently published books. Users who join it will be able to connect with a similar-minded reading community, previewing chapters and browsing recommendations.
The service will have a huge pool to draw from: A little over one million titles were independently published in the U.S. in 2017, compared to the traditionally published 300,000 titles. Granted, the number of undiscovered winners in that million is likely pretty low. With Discovery, Reedsy is betting a mix of human curation and machine learning algorithms can pick out the biggest gems while supporting a more welcoming community than that of, say, Amazon’s automatic recommendation emails.
I talked to Emmanuel Nataf, CEO and co-founder of Reedsy, to learn more about which types of indie books have the best odds of getting past that book-marketing bottleneck – or at least which ones self-publishers hope can make it.