Fiverr is a fantastic resource for the self-published writer. But, you need to be very careful when dipping your toe into the sometimes muddy waters of low-cost services for hire. This quick-and-dirty Writer’s Guide to Fiverr will help you take those first steps and, hopefully, allow you to get the services you need done well and in a timely manner. I’ll take you through some of the most common pitfalls and teach you how to discern the good from the bad at a glance. Here we go!
You can find practically anything on Fiverr, but I’ll focus on the ones most pertinent to the self-published author. These are: logo design, book cover design, editing, and e-book formatting. I steer clear of marketing services on Fiverr altogether, since that category has so much risk associated with it. Once you’ve decided what service you need, you’ll need to make sure you’re connecting with a professional.
You can search by topic on Fiverr easily, just enter, say, “EBook Cover Creation” and press “search”. Your results will populate and you can begin finding someone to fill your need. But don’t just click on anyone. I suggest categorizing your results by clicking on “average customer review” rather than “relevance” or “recent arrivals” in the filter box. That way, you can begin with people who have strong histories of good service.
Always check the number of reviews. Someone with 843 five-star reviews has more history than someone with only 45 reviews. After you’ve narrowed it down with this method, do yourself a favor and check out their portfolio. Here’s where it pays to do your research. For example, I’ve seen plenty of users post book covers from some of the big book cover creation sites like damonza.com and Derek Murphy as their own work. Obviously, this is fraud, or at the very least, dishonest, and you may be in for a difficult working relationship with these vendors.
No writer’s guide to Fiverr would be complete without telling you to check the location and language of each vendor. Many will say they are conversant in English when, in fact, they have minimal skill and may even be relying on Google translate to communicate with you. This may not matter with some services, but when you’re trying to get a design idea across, it’s crucial. On the other hand, I’ve worked with several designers with limited English who had fantastic natural talent and a willingness to get it right and I was more than pleased with the end product. If I had limited time and patience, though, I’d go with someone from a country conversant in your language.
If you’re looking for editing services of any kind, you MUST be careful to choose an individual for whom English (or whatever language you’re publishing in) is their native tongue. Don’t be fooled by individuals who post that their native tongue is English if they’re living in a country that is not English-speaking. They may be telling the truth or they may not be; I simply don’t have the time or the money to find out. Go with the safe bet, always.
Sometimes, working with Fiverr vendors requires patience. I suspect (but can’t prove) that many of them subcontract work to people living in other countries. While your contact may be an English-speaking native in the U.S., UK, or Canada, the folks doing the work may be in any one of many non-English-speaking countries. This can result in miscommunication and work that must be redone several times.
That being said, the folks I worked with have always strived to give me a good, clean product. It may have taken a few tries, but I’ve gotten a product I’m pleased with each time. If you are on time restriction or are not a patient person overall, you may want to try a different route than Fiverr.
I’ve used Fiverr for both logos and book covers and have been very happy with what I received. In fact, the Gottabeewriting logo was done for $10 by a lovely designer named Bunny. You can find a link to her on Fiverr here. The book covers for Salt in the Blood and Blood in the Flame were completed by Hammad at this link. Check them out:
I got his premium package for $50 and I feel it was money very well spent!
If you’re happy with your Fiverr purchase, please consider giving your vendor a tip. For the most part, they charge very little for their services and it’s always nice to pay it forward when you can.
In conclusion, go ahead and try Fiverr as a resource for some of your self-publishing needs, but do be aware that there are many scammers out there and you need to protect yourself by doing some thorough research first.
See you on the next page!