As authors, we know how valuable time is. However, this non-renewable resource tends to slip between our fingers when it comes to accomplishing tasks we lack either the time or expertise to complete. Outsourcing tasks by using a freelance network platform like Fiverr can help save you time and money and prevent you from spinning your wheels while trying to get your book to market. You can learn the difference between cheap labor and work from a professional that’s of a great value and fits well within your budget.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is a global professional freelance marketplace that has been connecting sellers and buyers on a secure platform since 2010. Its name comes from the minimum starting price of five dollars initially set for services, or “gigs,”offered on the site. Through Fiverr, you can find professionals offering services at affordable prices for anything from ghostwriting, illustrations, and web design to contracts and marketing services. When outsourcing tasks to small businesses and freelance creators, it’s important to conduct extensive research and become as knowledgeable as possible about the process beforehand. This can help create an experience you can benefit from and revisit while navigating the publishing process. Fiverr’s encrypted, secure platform protects both parties from fraudulent transactions, so any business conducted directly on the platform with new sellers is ensured to be a safe and smooth exchange.Here are a few tips for setting proper expectations and preparing for the outsourcing process.

1. Get clear on what you want.

The first step for a successful experience on Fiverr is to plan. Spend some time thinking about why you’re seeking assistance on your project or the service or product you need.Next, get as clear as possible about what your desired outcome will look like. Would you like a targeted social media ad, a carefully curated lead magnet, or a show stopping book cover? What problem will your ideal product solve? What is your budget, and what timeframe works best for your needs? Knowing what you want will help you understand what to look for when selecting the best seller.

2. Use a detailed search.

The service headings on the Fiverr website are useful for finding the specific type of service you want. Take some time to navigate the wide range of services offered. If you don’t see the exact service you want, or you’re overwhelmed by the number of results, use short-tailed keywords to refine the results. For example, “education book reviewer” or“Historical Romance book reviewer” will provide more useful options than “book reviewer.”

Pro Tip: You can also favorite the profiles of sellers you are interested in by clicking on the heart icon in the upper right-hand corner of their profile. Visit your favorites list from time to time to check their availability for upcoming projects or to see if they’re running any promotions. By doing so, you may also receive email alerts for similar products and services.

3. Be mindful of the seller’s number of reviewers and average rating.

Gauging how many customers a seller has worked with and their average ratings helps paint a quick picture of the type of experience you can expect while working with them.Fiverr uses levels to categorize their sellers based on monthly performance, the timeliness of the project completion, and buyer satisfaction. A Level 1 seller with a fast response rate and an average rating above 4.5 is a viable option. A Level 2 seller on Fiverr has completed at least 50 orders on time, with an average rating of 4.7 or higher.

Pro Tip: You can save money by working with a New Seller. These freelancers are often seeking the criteria to reach a Level 1 Seller’s status and may be open to offering reasonable services to build their portfolio and favorable ratings. Be mindful that sellers must be active for at least sixty days and need to have met quantity and revenue criteria to be eligible for Level 1 Seller status. A quick look at a seller’s full profile will show you how long they have been a member, their last project delivery, and any customer review details.

4. Heed Fiverr’s recommendations.

After you’ve spent time on the site, Fiverr will provide a list in their recommendation tab based on your search history. Be sure to check this section regularly to ensure you’re weighing all of your options during your vetting process. The list often includes sellers with high customer rankings who have worked with several customers. If these things are important to you and time is of the essence, it may be a great option.

5. Converse with multiple sellers.

Reach out to sellers who meet your criteria to learn more about them. This can help you determine the best fit for your project. Ask specific questions to identify whether they possess your desired qualifications, have provided past results that match what you’re looking for, and can meet your deadline. Remember to request proof of results in your specific niche. For example, if you’re a self-help writer and they’ve only worked with Sci-Fi authors, determine whether they’ll be able to provide the results you’re looking for before moving forward.

6. Request the seller’s portfolio, and study similar customer reviews.

When looking into a seller, be sure to review the quality and results of their past projects. If they have a tangible service, they should have a portfolio listed on their profile. If not, they will likely have a list of deliverables on their profile that tells you what to expect while working with them. Ensure the language on their profile is thorough, concise, and error-free. One of the best ways to determine the level of quality a seller can provide is to study their customers’ experiences. Check the negative and positive reviews that pertain to your project. How did the customer say they were treated? Were their expectations met? Would they recommend the seller?

7. Understand what you’re paying for and what you’ll receive upfront

Depending on the type of service offered, sellers provide tiers of service for their customers ranging between basic, standard, and premium packages. Full payment for the service is required upfront. If the terms of your desired service aren’t included in the packages listed, you can contact the seller to request additional services. For example, if their standard graphic design package includes a 3-D mockup cover, but you don’t need one, you can message the seller and request a replacement item or a price adjustment. Also, you’ll want to negotiate the number of post-delivery revisions the seller is willing to make on the project before entering the agreement. Give yourself time to review and approve their work within three days of delivery. After that time period, Fiverr automatically marks projects as complete. After a project’s completion, it will be the seller’s decision whether to honor additional revision requests or to require a new project agreement for revisions or additional services.

Pro Tip: Payment options include credit card, PayPal or Apple Pay. Fiverr uses the real-time EUR/USD exchange rate to calculate total costs in US dollars at checkout.

8. Be responsive.

Your seller will likely be in touch with you throughout the process. It’s important to keep lines of communication open by being accessible to the seller in case they have questions about your project. Download the Fiverr app and turn on your notifications so that you’re instantly aware of any efforts the seller makes to get in touch with you. This is especially important post-project delivery when you’re in the three-day grace period.

Pro Tip: To help create a healthy working relationship for you and your seller, be cognizant of the seller’s time zone and remember that they must also honor project deadlines for other clients.

9. Overwhelmed? Create your own gig!

If you’re drowning in viable seller options, no matter how refined your search results, you always have the option to create your own gig for a base fee of five dollars. This allows you to set a project price within your budget while freelancers bid on the opportunity to work with you. Benefits of creating a gig include:

  • Being in control of the process
  • Getting as detailed as necessary regarding the project details and your expectations
  • Drawing serious inquiries only-Avoiding the need to negotiate on price
  • Setting a deadline that works for you

Just remember to provide necessary reference documents or websites, qualifications, and the appropriate timeline and process details to ensure a smooth transaction.

10. Mind your p’s and q’s.

If your project’s quality weren’t important to you, you wouldn’t be open to hiring a freelancer. Etiquette is key when partnering with others on creating a project that will represent you in the best way possible. Be kind to your seller and cultivate a relationship with them that can result in repeat business. Having a reliable professional who is willing and able to support your mission is a beautiful thing, so treat your seller well, and they’ll be happy to see your name in their inbox in the future.

Picture of Eryka Parker

Eryka Parker

Eryka Parker is a book coach, an award-winning developmental editor, and writing instructor. As a women's contemporary author under the pen name Zariah L. Banks, she creates emotional intimacy novels that prove that everyone deserves to feel seen, appreciated, and loved. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband and two children and is currently working on her third novel.

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