Note from Dale: This is a great post to corroborate the projects I’ve used Fiverr for in the last year. I definitely want to emphasize that you can use Fiverr to publish your book in a cost-effective and professional manner.
When I first decided that I wanted to write a novel I have to admit I was a bit naïve going into the process. I was fumbling my way through and asking questions to authors that I knew on a regular basis.
How many words do I need to write?
How many characters are too many characters and how much detail do I go to in describing all of them?
I was quickly amazed and also excited about the amount of work that was unfolding before my eyes. One of the things I enjoyed the most was just the time spent in solitary knocking out the outline and then working my way through writing the story.
As soon as I hit my word target I realized there was a lot more work to go just to get it to a point where I could consider publishing it. This is when I took to Fiverr and other freelance sites to find experts that can assist me with the post-writing work of creating a book.
The results were a mixed bag, but on the whole I highly recommend at a minimum getting ideas from sellers on Fiverr if you are writing a book.
1. Finding an editor
I created a job on multiple sites (mainly focused though on Fiverr and Upwork) to try and find an editor that could take my rough draft and help me get it closer and closer to a finished product. I received a lot of responses from both sites and I quickly realized I needed to be asking more questions to help weed out all of the people responding to my gig.
I asked questions like: How many YA books have you edited? How many books have focused on fan fiction or Norse myths? I would recommend that you think about these things prior to listing your jobs so you can more efficiently get through what will be quite a large volume of people submitting bids or applying to your job.
I ended up paying $350 for the first round of edits on a 53,000-word novel (as an aside, the novel finished around 61,000 words). I got incredibly lucky or did a decent job of vetting the editors because the person I found was amazing, efficient, and literally made all the difference in the world to my book.
Most of the online services would have cost triple the amount of money and would not have turned the book around in three working days. This was an incredible value and I am extremely happy with the choice I made to list this job.
2. Creating a Book Cover
My next gig that I listed was to have a graphic designer help me create a proper book cover for my eBook. I decided to focus on just an eBook release so I only needed a front cover. The volume of responses that I got from this job was a bit overwhelming and there was a very wide range of prices.
I tried a couple of sellers for this and provided them with the information they requested to take a crack at the book cover. The results of this job varied wildly from really terrible designs to ones that were okay but unusable. I ended up creating my own book cover using Canva and some ideas that I picked up from the various Fiverr designs that came my way.
I ended up spending around $150 for these services in total and ultimately didn’t use the results other than to influence the final book cover design. In the grand scheme of things this is a small price to pay to get some creative ideas and I do think that you can get usable book covers this way although I think I would encourage paying on the higher end of the bids as this was definitely an area where I got what I paid for with each design.
3. Copy for my Amazon listing
As soon as I got through a few rounds of edits (each round cost me the same as I used the same seller). I was ready to publish my book. In order to do that you have to do things like prepare the copy for the Amazon listing which is almost an art in itself.
Ultimately, I ended up using the same seller that did the editing for my book to help write (really edit) the copy that would go up in all of the online bookstores (Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, etc.).
This was a modest cost of $50 and it made a huge difference in what I released. They expertly guided me through how to entice people to read the book by making it less of a short summary and more of a comparison piece to other similar books and shows that the reader might also like. I would not have thought of doing that without their assistance, but it makes complete sense.
4. Try Some Book Marketing
I also knew that I was going to need to market the book in order to have any chance of a large number of people reading it. I turned to Fiverr for various book marketing services from bloggers writing about my book to sending out social media blasts to prospective readers about my book.
The costs for these services also vary quite a bit from $5 to several hundred dollars. The results of these types of jobs are really hard to summarize. My main advice here is to have a specific goal in mind when you create a book marketing job.
Are you doing this to exclusively sell books (that is hard) or for overall brand awareness for you or your book (much easier)?
5. Get some Reviews/Feedback
This is an area that I found was incredibly important but also full of ethical dilemmas. There are quite a few services out there that will help you get some reviews and some of them are more reputable than others.
You will find both good and bad sellers on Fiverr in this area. My personal choice was to try to use Fiverr social media services to encourage people to volunteer for the book reviews.
They tweeted out the request for reviewers to try to find people that might be interested in reviewing my book and then would DM me for review copies.
For me, this was great feedback and also resulted in me doing a couple of releases to fix some grammar and spelling errors that somehow slipped through the editing process. I also think this approach is ethical and much better than outright buying reviews which is at best a bad idea.
My experience with Fiverr and other freelance sites has proven to be incredibly valuable and makes it easy for me to recommend that other writers use them in these and other creative ways. It’s not always the end product that you are after from the gig, it’s about your book as the end product.
I think the best part about Fiverr is using it to spark your own creativity. You can take advantage of having other people brainstorm some ideas that you can either accept straight up or you can work them into the final product. Especially if you focus on hiring sellers with a lot of industry experience (which is easy to do on Fiverr).
I can promise you that you will learn something new from each of those projects that will serve you well as an author going forward.