Fiverr: Every Author’s Secret Staff

by Anne Hagan, @AuthorAnneHagan

Fiverr can be an indie author’s best friend. Never heard of it? Allow me to introduce you.

Several years ago, when I was working from home doing eBay sales and quick freelance jobs from time to time, I ran across the micro-gig site, Fiverr. Fiverr is a marketplace where freelance sellers can advertise the jobs they’ll do starting at just $5.00 U.S. They can also bid on jobs visitors to the site post and, when they’ve proven their mettle and leveled up, they can offer extended services for more money in addition to their basic $5.00 gigs.

From Fiverr Seller to Buyer

RelicI did many gigs for Fiverr buyers over a year or so and then, when I went back to a full time job, I promptly forgot about the site…but not for long. In November of 2014, I released my first book, Relic: The Morelville Mysteries, Book 1.

I went from Fiverr seller to Fiverr buyer. The eBook cover was designed by Fiverr freelance designer ‘Madhavkmcy’ for the tiny sum of $5.50. Five dollars went to the designer and the rest to Fiverr, which charges 5% for bringing buyer and seller together and acting as the vehicle for the sales process, start to finish.

MC Box SetThat cover is deemed ‘basic’ by much more expensive cover designers, but it appeals to readers. I’ve sold hundreds of copies of that book and also of boxed sets using the same design via another Fiverr freelance designer, ‘Excel_Graphics’ ($15.75 for a “seven book set” cover, converting from and matching the original).

Relic is now permafree on all major book sale sites, and gets dozens of downloads every day. Given that success, I commissioned Fiverr designer ‘Madhavkmcy’ to do my second cover for, again, a whopping $5.50. He’s since done one other cover for me – for the same price – but it’s quite a bit more detailed because I bought the rights to some art that I sent to him to use.

How does it work?

Using Fiverr is really simple. Just go to and create an account by providing your email address and a password.
F1Once you’ve created an account, you can search for your secret staff. Just type what you need into the search bar and hit enter. You’ll get a window that looks something like this:
F2Fiverr will present you with several service providers that its algorithms find that appear to match your search terms (keywords). If you look to the left side of your screen, you’ll see a list of categories that you can check off to narrow your search. You also have several other options to choose from in this column, including the ability to specify the ‘level’ of the providers you wish to see offerings from.

Search for popular providers

A feature I really like is the ability to sort the gigs offered by popularity or by provider rating. You can access that feature from the drop down box located on the top right, just above the offers presented from your search.

Hover over gig offerings to see basic information like the seller ID and the amount of feedback they have for that gig offering or click on the gig to read all of the details of the offering.

Select a gig you like and any extras you want (like faster service or multiple jobs), click to pay via PayPal or major credit card, then enter the details of your order into the next screen. Attach the relevant documents (like images) or other items, if needed. If you forget this last step, Fiverr will send an automated email on behalf of the provider to remind you. Once s/he receives your instructions, the seller will either ask more questions or begin working on your gig.

As your job progresses, you’ll receive notices from the seller (through both the Fiverr site and to your email directly) with additional questions or pertinent information.

When a seller completes his or her work, they’ll submit it through Fiverr for your review. You can accept it as is or you can ask for revisions (within the terms of your agreement – most sellers of written or graphics work offer at least one revision). Fiverr will hold your payment until you’re satisfied with the work you receive and then they’ll pay the freelancer.

What can an author buy on Fiverr?

  • Book covers – Starting at just $5, you can’t beat Fiverr for a professional design to your specifications. For under $50.00 total, you can often have the cover of your dreams.
  • Full wrap covers – Add a spine and back cover to your existing 2D cover to make it ready for print on demand (softcover) with CreateSpace and other POD providers.
  • Boxed set art – Have a series? Have a bunch of different books you want to offer as one set for more revenue or to take wide to sites other than Amazon? For $5-30.00, depending on the number of books in the set and the art you provide, there are a number of talented providers that can give you something that looks great.
  • Banner and header graphics – Art for your website, blog, Facebook fan page, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and more.
  • Promotional graphics and copy – for use in all of your advertising campaigns.
  • Promotional support – Posting to multiple Facebook groups, posting to multiple Listopia lists on Goodreads, Posting to free eBook promotion sites, etc.
  • Formatting – You can have your novel length manuscript professionally converted from a Word document to the format needed by sites like CreateSpace to turn your eBook into a print book (softcover).
  • Proofreading – Upcharges typically apply for novel length work but most freelance providers will negotiate.
  • Editing – Again, upcharges do typically apply.
  • Ghostwriting – Some of my books contain, ahem, erotic scenes. Early on, because I’d never written those and lived in fear of trying, I commissioned a Fiverr provider to ghostwrite a couple for $5.00 each, and I wrote others. I took her finished work and adjusted it to fit my story and my voice. Bet you can’t tell what she wrote and what I did!
  • Blog posts and articles
  • Press releases
  • And much, much more!

Things you should never buy on Fiverr

This is a much shorter list but there are a few things you should never consider buying on Fiverr:

  • Reviews – Just don’t do it. Amazon is cracking down on Fiverr review providers and removing their reviews.
  • Twitter promotions – Are you on Twitter? Do you see how many authors and how many promoters constantly tout books? It’s not effective. Don’t waste your money.
  • Facebook page promotions – You’re better off spending $5.00 to boost your own post than to pay someone to post your blurb on their fan page where it will be shown to only 5% of their fans.
  • Followers – Do you really want thousands of fake Twitter or Facebook followers who will never like or share a post or interact with you and your other fans in any meaningful way?

Readers, have you ever used Fiverr, and if so, what for? Leave a comment and share!

AnneAnne Hagan is an East Central Ohio based government employee by day and author by night. She and her wife live in a tiny town that’s even smaller than the Morelville of her fiction novels and they wouldn’t have it any other way. They enjoy spending time with Anne’s son and his wife, with their nieces and nephews and doing many of the things you’ve read about in her books or that will be ‘fictitiously’ incorporated into future books.

For the latest information about upcoming releases, other projects, sample chapters and everything personal, check out Anne’s blog and like Anne on Facebook. You can also connect with Anne on Twitter and check out her Amazon Author Page.

All original content by Molly Greene and guests is copyright protected – did you enjoy the article? Show your support by checking out my Amazon Author Page – buy a book while you’re there! Or, subscribe to this blog to receive weekly posts. Your email will NOT be shared, rented, sold, or spammed – that’s a promise. If you haven’t already, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Mwah! Thank you so much.

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24 Responses to Fiverr: Every Author’s Secret Staff

  1. Sasha A. Palmer May 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    I’ve just joined Fiverr, and placed my first order for a Kindle e-book cover. I’ll know more when the order’s ready, but so far so good.

    Thank you for this post, Anne.


    • Anne Hagan May 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

      You’re very welcome Sasha. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you get or disappointed but, for only $5, it doesn’t hurt to try two or three different cover designers and then poll your fans for the cover they like the best. A Fiverr cover just did very well in split testing against another cover I was considering but my readers and family (narrowly) chose the slightly more expensive cover.

      • Molly Greene May 16, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

        THANK YOU, Anne! And I agree. I was a tiny bit anxious the first time I ordered something on Fiverr, but come on, I told myself … I’d only be out $5 if it didn’t work out. Now I’m sold!

  2. Mike May 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    That price for a cover sounds great, but is it typical? Or did you get a good deal from someone still building a reputation? Did you just get lucky that he was a good designer?

    The site looks like a good find, all things being equal.

    • Molly Greene May 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

      Mike, I’ll answer and Anne can chime in later – You can find lots of sellers who’ll do a basic cover on Fiverr for $5.00 + the .50 charge that goes to the platform. I just paid $5.50 for a 3-box set in 3D and was thrilled with the results.

    • Anne Hagan May 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

      It’s very typical. Now, for $5 bucks, you’re not going to get high concept art but, if you stick to designers on the site who have lots of good feedback and/or have leveled themselves up to be level two (or higher) designers, you’re going to get something that looks professional. As I recommended to Sasha, it pays to choose 2-3 different designers and let them each do a design and then you choose or have family, friends and fans vote.

  3. Edita A. Petrick May 16, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    Fiverr is good in some respect, but like with most things in life caution is advised. Most often you just get what you pay for. These days you can get super-professional covers for under $50 or even under $40 from seasoned pro designers. Many if not most cover designers have a collection of pre-mades. Editing or beta-reading on fiverr is…well, to get a reader or editor who are what they claim to be, it’s going to cost. Maybe a bit less than you’d get from UpWork/Elance but editors or most service providers who are pros are not on fiverr to give away their services for a pittance. Think custom-quote for editing a 90,000 word m-script – say $350-400 and that’s a fair price. What do you get for $5.00 – a sampler of 1,000 words to show you what the editor does.

    Book-formatting is not a simple thing. It takes time, effort and above all knowledge that once again is not to be had for $5.00. I had a pdf (ready in every way) document made into pdf-text document print format for CreateSpace – $50 – and that’s about the middle of the road. I have a superb formatter – pro all the way – for $200 I will have a fantastic looking Kindle, with drop caps and font that just makes the words pop off the page, an epub and a print format. Plus unlimited revisions AFTER the fact if a reader finds a (gasp) typo or such. So fiverr may be saving you a few bucks there but that’s if you find a formatter who knows his stuff. Most understand the basics but so do I. It’s not enough to produce formats that look professional.

    I’m finding more and more that the old maxim: you get what you pay for, is very applicable to fiverr. You may get lucky…maybe but you may also spend $5 or $10 and face having to go in the end to go buy a pro cover or go to pro editor or formatter in which case it’s $5 and $10 wasted money. Been there quite often these past few months.

    fiver is heap of fun exploring but this site should have ‘buyer beware’ flash across the screen now and then.

    • Anne Hagan May 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

      You’re absolutely right Edita. You do get what you pay for and there are bad providers on Fiverr just as there are bad providers on eLance, oDesk and many of the other, often more expensive freelance sites. You still need to check feedback and vet the seller.

      I’ve found a wonderful Fiverr provider that takes my novel length MS Word files and turns them into books that are wonderfully formatted for CreateSpace for $20-25 dollars. Yes, it’s not $5 bucks but it’s far less than I paid on eLance for comparable service.

      I did note in my ‘Things You Can Buy’ list that proofreading and editing costs more there than just $5. Those services typically are paid for by the word or, at a minimum, by the page and they do cost. Fiverr providers of those services tend to freelance and offer them across multiple sites and price very much the same.

      One service that I’ve found that makes Fiverr a lot easier for buyers than sites like eLance, Freelancer and the like is the ability to quickly ‘Post a Request’ if you can’t find a gig that fits your needs. All you need is a login for the site. When you post, bids start coming in immediately for the job from different providers. That’s actually how I found the provider who does my Createspace formatting.

      • Peter Thomson May 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

        Hi Anne, Thanks for the article, it certainly closes the gap between writers who can afford pro-services and those who cannot and would like to publish. Would you care to share your formatter – please? Best Wishes

        • Anne Hagan May 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

          The formatter I’ve used most often goes by the user name aalishaa. You typically need to contact her first through Fiverr and tell her how many pages/words you have and she’ll send you back a quote. My stuff runs 50-75,000 words. The most she’s charged me is $25 and she’s both fast and good. I’ve never had to ask for revisions.

          I recently used maximini and he/she (?) was much less expensive but much slower. Of course, I was also having s/he do the full wrap cover which is nice because you don’t have to wait for the fomatter to finish and get their page count then hire a second cover person. That might be part of the reason it took 8 days. I was happy with the formatting and cover and it only cost $10.50 total but, even using two different people before, I usually had it all in half that time, just for more money. If you’re in a hurry, aalisha and the full wrap designer of your choice is the way to go.

          Since you’re probably going to ask, I use rbdelossantos to do my CreateSpace covers. He’s excellent and very quick.

          • Molly Greene May 18, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

            Anne, thank you SO MUCH for your informative, comprehensive replies. All this info is extremely helpful. MWAH!!

          • Peter Thomson May 24, 2016 at 8:14 am #

            Thanks very much for coming back Anne in answer to my question. Best Wishes. Peter XO

    • King M. May 22, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

      Hey Edita,

      I’m looking for a great editor and book formatting. I would love to contact someone referred as a professional. Who are those that you spoke so highly of in your post? Your formatting pro (for $200) and editor (under 90k words).


      • Anne Hagan May 24, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

        I’m sorry I missed this before King. I haven’t used Fiverr for editing but editors are available there. Across the board, editors charge by the word or by the page. It doesn’t matter if you hire them from Fiverr or from anywhere else you can find them. The best I can tell you is to look at several, ask questions and pick the one who has no scheduling conflicts, who seems to understand your particular needs and who fits within your budget.

        My formatting pro charges an average of $20 US, not $200. Her Fiverr user name is aalishaa. (Alisha with an extra ‘a’ at each end).

        • King M. May 24, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

          Thanks for the info and insight. It is greatly appreciated!

  4. Chris Mentzer May 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    Great article! I’ve always seen the Fiverr links but never visited the site. Now I have reasons to do so! Thanks!!

  5. Kumar May 22, 2016 at 11:30 pm #


    It was interesting to read on Fiverr.

    I have been using Fiverr for quite some time. I write just one blog post a month – 1000 word. It is an important aspect of my branding. To ensure it is of high quality, I get 3 beta readers / freelancers on fiverr to critique and edit. The 3 different views ensure the article turns out super good. Of late, I give tip also of Usd.5 each, as Usd.5 for the high quality job they do seems very low.

    Other than fiverr, I have used (earlier known as elance) – for full-book editing. You post the job, and get offers. I think you can get 30,000 word, book editing starting at Usd.150 or so. I also got lay out of my print book done through it – again on similar costs. – Usd.20 survey, on what book covers seems good, what book title is good etc, etc. I even put up 2 versions of my book back cover and got it voted. For usd.20, 50 Respondents select from A / B options, with their reasons. You can get the same work done from friends, but friends are busy, and they will just say – it is good etc. Here you get the reasons too. I used it for my book cover design. Job starts at Usd.199. It is worth it. 20 – 30 designers submit their designs in that. You get to pick and choose.

    All in all lot of quality freelancers out there.


    • Molly Greene May 23, 2016 at 8:27 am #

      Thanks Anil! I believe Anne mentioned Elance in one of her replies – and you’re right, there are a lot of good options for us and quality freelancers out there. Best to you!

  6. Sally Jenkins May 24, 2016 at 1:59 am #

    I’ve had several e-book covers designed via fiverr and think it’s great value for money. However, I’ve also tried a couple of book promotion gigs via Twitter & LinkedIn and found they had no impact on sales.
    But I’ll continue to use the site for covers.

    • Molly Greene May 24, 2016 at 8:19 am #

      Thanks, Sally!

    • Anne Hagan May 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

      Yes, you’re right. I mentioned Twitter posts in my ‘Things never to buy on Fiverr’. You’re correct there. As for LinkedIn, I was a recruiter for many years. It’s very much a professional site for connections and networking. It’s not built for sales – unless you’re looking for employees – and most people don’t respond to anything at all salesy, especially about books other than the occasional non-fiction, business related book.

  7. Sue Coletta May 30, 2016 at 7:03 am #

    When Marred first came out I fell into this trap by paying $5. to Firverr to promote to millions, they claimed. I doubt I even got one sale. Live and learn. That said, I’ve heard wonderful things about the services you’ve mentioned. Plus, your book covers always look awesome. What’s not to love?

    Hope you enjoy your Memorial Day, Molly!!!


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