The Elance for publishing: Writer.ly offers marketplace for authors needing help

It’s not easy for an author to put out a commercially successful product. Not only does he or she have to craft a story, but there’s so much more: editing, designing, marketing, etc.

To make life a little easier for authors, a new Seattle-based startup is offering up a helpful marketplace.

Writer.ly was born after founders Kelsye Nelson and Abigail Carter were sitting in their writing group one day discussing the difficulties authors face.

“We were talking about how if authors could simply get a little help, they’d go a lot farther in achieving their publishing goals,” Nelson explained.

Kelsye Nelson and Abigail Carter, founders of Writer.ly.

Hence the beginning of Writer.ly, a hub for authors to find services and experts they need to publish successfully. The website also acts as a venue for freelancers looking for work.

It’s essentially an online marketplace for writers to post jobs and then receive bids from editors, book designers, website builders and anyone else they need to get their work published.

Writer.ly makes money by taking a 10-percent cut on every job completed on the Writer.ly marketplace. Nelson says that her company has been called “the eLance.com for publishing.”

“Our simple, streamlined platform is easy for the non-tech crowd (as many writers are) to navigate,” she said. “When a writer comes to our site and searches for an editor, they don’t need to wade through technical editors and coders. Everything they see is specific to their industry.”

The website is in its early stages and there are very few postings so far. But they already range from someone needing help to market their books and another person wanting a press release writer.

The interface allows you to search by location, price and skill set. When a client selects a freelancer, he or she will pay 25 percent of the total fee upfront. Once the work is done, the last 75 percent is paid off. 

Nelson added that Writer.ly is engaged with the writing community.

“We act as advocates for authors and freelancers,” Nelson said. “We take every opportunity we can to promote our users projects and share information about the publishing process. This is evident in the over 13,000 people already following our social streams.”

The company currently employs four people. Nelson, the CEO, was Vice President of Growth and Outreach at Brown Paper Tickets and led marketing efforts at Hedgebrook, TransACT and Headsprout. Carter, the COO, is best-selling author of The Alchemy of Loss. She was previously the Director of Web Management for Audible.com.

Wrtier.ly is funded by both founders and angel investments through participation in the Seattle Angel Conference and the Founder Showcase in San Francisco. 

  • Petra

    Sounds wonderful.. but what I don’t see is tips on ‘how to secure my copyright’. Any suggestions?