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
I 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.
That 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 Fiverr.com and create an account by providing your email address and a password.
Once 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:
Fiverr 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!
Anne 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!