Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Saving $ with

Today I want to speak about
I had this cover changed ...

It is a great resource for writers on a budget.

If you are not familiar with this site, it is where you go when you need work done, whether that be formatting a manuscript for Kindle or CreateSpace, need an ebook cover made, or you want to hire someone to record a video for you, or even to sing a jingle. You can get it all done there ... for $5. Theoretically.

I was in heaven when I found fiverr. I'm a writer surviving by working at Home Depot, and that means buying new shoes is difficult. Fiverr allowed me to make changes to several of my books already on Kindle, bringing them up to a professional level.

... to this for $5 on fiverr
But I quickly learned the good and the bad about fiverr.  The bad is that the service is so inexpensive workers often refuse to make draft changes unless you tip them. There are good designers and formatters here, but it takes time and patience to find them. You have to suffer through many who do business like an emotional 15 year-old.

Here are my tips for working with designers on Fiverr:

1.  Hire only someone who is in your country.  Send them a note and carefully read their response. You want a native speaker of the language you are working in. Details are monumentally important and you don't want any lost due to poor language skills.

2.  Also for cultural reasons, hire a native of your country. There are huge cultural differences in how other countries do business. "Go with what you know."

3.  At the beginning ask your prospective worker if they communicate with clients during the work. You don't want to be left waiting for days without a word, only to find your worker has forgotten about you.  It happens.

4.  Workers here depend on written ratings.  So, if there is a dispute, if you get a 15 year-old who refuses to make changes and offers to cancel the 'gig,' (fiverr lingo for a job), don't do it. Once you mutually agree to cancel you can not rate their service. Cancelling works to their advantage.

5.  I have found fiverr customer service to be prompt and fair.

6.  Although a gig costs $5 on fiverr, several jobs cost more.  Take formatting, for example. I either spend a couple of days doing it myself, with a 300 page novel, or I pay $90 to have it professionally done at Polgarus Studios.

At fiverr I have found sargo2000 to be a reliable and professional worker. He formatted a fifty page automotive book for me, complete with twenty-two images, created a hyperlink table of contents, for five gigs or $25.  I was so happy with the product I tipped him $5.

7.  The less expensive gigs tend to take lower priority. I believe the reason for that is that the designer has to do so many that a few slip through the cracks.  Also, I believe that many of the 'designers' are students with limited skill, working on a lap top.

I have had good ones that I have worked with repeatedly suddenly flake out and stop communicating. So read ratings from other clients and send them a note prior to hiring them for your gig.  You want to hire one who has ratings and comments posted from clients mentioning the specific work you are interested in.

Let me know your experiences.  Kevin