Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fiverr - What can't I get done for $5? How Fiverr helped me grow as a writer and self-publisher.

If you haven't had the honor of knowing what Fiverr is, here is the low-down: Folks with skills (whether they are actually needed skills or skills at all is up to debate) offer gigs related to their skills for a starting price of $5.

I have a Fiverr gig - just one, though you could have more - for authors wanting Latin in their books. Personally, as a Classical scholar, I hate it when I'm reading along in a book and come across some random Latin horribly translated by, I can almost guarantee, Google Translate. I love coming across the random Latin, per se, but hate the horribly translated part; either it's just plain wrong, or written wrong, or there aren't any endings, the word order is complete trash, etc. So, I figured, if I got the skills, and I do, then why not offer this wonderful skill I have for making English to Latin good to authors out in world just looking for someone like me to step into their lives at exactly the moment they need me. And, what's better? I can earn $4 for doing it!

But, this post isn't about my Fiverr (though, if you need me, I got you!), it is about these five gems I discovered...

First off, there are a lot of other folks out there doing a bang-up job. Don't just take my word for it, go do some searching and researching on your own. Hey, for $5, if you get a dud, just chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on.

On to the good stuff....

Ebook Cover Designer #1 for $5 (plus some other options for extra gigs - I paid $15 total for my cover) jimmygibbs will create:
In this gig I offer a unique and professional cover design for your ebook. Your cover will be 100% unique, I never use any pre-made templates of any kind. You will receive your cover within 5 days.
I first got this one, about a half a day earlier than his suggested delivery date:

Asked for a tweak to the text to make it look a little less like a dramatic or political novel and more like a romance and the addition of "and other stories" (he offered to tweak the cover twice for no additional cost, which is always nice) and look what I got below:

Pretty nice, huh?

Ebook Cover Designer #2 for $5 (plus some other options for extra gigs - I paid $10 total for my cover) freestyle25, aka Emily Lam, will create:
Customized to fit your needs! Get your ebook within 24 hours with just one gig extra! For every order, the standard is 625x1000 (yes, it is compatible with Kindle), but I will use a different size if requested, such as for Smashwords, CreateSpace or any other platform. Each order comes with two revisions and a photoshop file if requested.
And, what did I get in return?

So, what do you think? I think I got a winner! This is amazing - perfect for my purposes.

Proofreading, Editing, and Critique for $5 debra_l will proofread, edit, and offer:
For five dollars, I will edit your short story of any genre, including erotica, for typos, spelling and grammar errors, consistency, and flow. In addition, I will provide a short (1/2- to 1-page) critique on your story's strengths and weaknesses and suggest ways to improve your story and your writing in general. 
Great, simple, gig for editing and proofreading purposes. In fact, the simplicity is her best feature. She doesn't hang around giving lots of endless advice and suggestions, she just hunkers down and makes your writing right. Which, seeing the problem I have with way too many commas and a love of run-on sentences (in truth, I blame my years dealing with Latin - in Latin, there are no such things as run-on sentences... no sentences, really, if you look at it, just the end of a thought and the beginning of another), not to mention, a love of conjunctions, is a wonderful help to be had.

Professional Edit for $5 missthumbdrivel (I love this tag, by the way!) will proofread and offer additional suggestions:
I'll proofread any 4000 words of your fiction using Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, and then provide an additional set of extensive notes on plot, characterization, theme, dialogue, and more. 
She was wonderful - offered both punctuation and grammar help as well as found quite a number holes in my writing. She asked good questions and made good points. In fact, I'm pretty sure she even took the extra step and researched some into my story to make sure I was keeping true to the facts. So thorough, it took me a few days to read the entire report. Well worth the price and then some.

Beta Reader for $5 daniellereads will read and comment on 10,000 words of romance or erotica fiction and offers:
What does $5 get you?
  1. I will tell you which part of your story is weakest.
  2. I will tell you which part of your story is strongest.
  3. I will offer you at least one quality suggestion on how to improve your story.
  4. I will point out any major spelling/grammar errors.
  5. I will answer any question of your choosing, about anything related to your manuscript or self-publishing in general.
She may be my absolute favorite person on Fiverr at this time. In 48 hours, she read my stories and offered kind, yet solid, sincere, and honest advice on my writing. She was able to identify my weakest story elements and offer help for fixing those areas as well as some excellent advice regarding the limit of conjunctions as sentence starters. She also offered me some very welcome advice on the best order of my stories - which, I have to say, I was myself questioning. I came to the same conclusion she did. Here is just a piece of her advice to me, overall:

"So that probably seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s really not. Compared to most of the works that I’ve beta-read in the last few years, yours is way up on the ‘marketable’ side of the spectrum. I can tell from the way you write and your attention to detail that you aren’t someone who’s just dabbling in writing, and I definitely think that you have what it takes to be successful in the industry." 
If you need someone to beta read your own piece of erotica or romance, I can't suggest daniellereads enough!

So, am I impressed... well, yes, yes I am. I can't believe the awesome deals I found on this site and look forward to finding even greater and greater sellers. I strongly suggest to anyone looking to get started in the writing business and/or self-publishing business to take a look how Fiverr can help you!