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In this episode, we are going to talk about how you as an author can use Fiverr (Affiliate Link) to sell more books and improve the quality of your books.

Show Notes

What is Fiverr?

  • A place where freelancers post jobs they can do for you, many of which are just $5.
  • Freelancers post gigs that they do with set prices, but you can also post a custom job and get custom gigs. It’s the pre-packaged gigs part that is so appealing to me about Fiverr.

Why listen to me?

  • I first purchased a Caricature on Fiverr six years ago.
  • Purchased over $400 worth of services on Fiverr.
  • Turning a book cover into a 3d book cover.
  • Video animation.
  • Photoshop retouching.
  • Voice overs
  • Transcriptions
  • Translations
  • SEO keyword research.

Why people post jobs on Fiverr.

  • To make quick money, work from home, get paid in US dollars and to fill in lolls in more lucrative freelancer work.

What authors Use Fiverr For

  • Editing
  • Book Covers
  • Back Cover Copy
  • Type Setting
  • Transcription

How to Use Fiverr

  • I realize spending money on fiverr can be intimidating.
  • Buy something fun first.
  • Be responsive and give as much information as possible. The fiverr person doesn’t know you and won’t likely do research. The more clear you are about what you want, the more likely you are to get it.
  • The cheapest people on fiverr are cheap for a reason. Sometimes, it is worth it to pay for quality.
  • Fivver creators with videos of their faces are more trustworthy and have a better command of english.
  • Beware of suspiciously beautiful female creators.
  • Read the reviews.
  • Be ok losing $5 here and there on projects that don’t work out.
  • Consider contacting the seller first.
  • Tip when you are happy, especially if you plan to come back.
  • You on Fiverr!

Novel Marketing is on YouTube!

Featured Patron

95 Tweets: Celebrating Martin Luther in the 21st Century    (Affiliate Link) by Peter DeHaan

95 Tweets explains each of Luther’s ninety-five concerns and then updates them, reframed as ninety-five tweets, complete with hashtags. 95 Tweets concludes with a present-day list of ninety-five concerns for the modern church.”


5 Year Plan to Become a Bestselling Author

This plan was crafted by Thomas & Jim to be step by step guide through the first five years of your writing career. Learn each quarter what to do to succeed and avoid the mistakes that hijack the success of most authors. Learn more at


Intro: [00:00:01] This is Novel Marketing, a show for novelists who aren’t necessarily fond of marketing but still want to become best selling authors.

Thomas: [00:00:09] Episode 154.

Jim: [00:00:11] I’m James L. Rubart. As always you can call me Jim.

Thomas: [00:00:14] I’m Thomas Umstattd Jr.

Jim: [00:00:16] And in this episode we’re going to talk to you guys about how you can use fiver to develop better books faster … while staying on a tight budget.

Thomas: [00:00:25] And the reason we’re doing this episode is because our Facebook group which is really fun if you haven’t checked out the novel marketing Facebook group you really should. People are asking great questions there and they’re posting their success stories and it’s really fun to celebrate along with you as you are making your websites better and selling more books and setting up lead magnets.

Thomas: [00:00:44] And everyone has been asking about fivver … so we’re finally like, “All right we’re going to have our definitive episode …” We answered it in a Patreon Q and A, but there’s more to it than what we could handle in a short Q and A. So we’re going to do an entire episode on it.

Thomas: [00:01:01] You might be wondering what is fiver. It’s a Web site and it’s Fiverr which is  slang for five bucks in the UK, and also, this is 2018 and why correctly spell something on the internet when you can spell it weird? So it’s Fiverr with two “r’s” And it is a marketplace that connects people like you ….. authors, who need work done with people who want to do work for you for as little as five dollars.

Jim: [00:01:30] So if you’re someone that’s saying, “Wow where do I get a book cover where do I get a voiceover done or where do I get artwork on or where can I get a video done …. all these questions … you’re going, “Where do I go to?” We’re suggesting the Fiver is an excellent place to start.

Thomas: [00:01:48] That’s right. Fiver is not the highest quality.

Jim: [00:01:51] Yep yep that’s a big caveat. Yep.

Thomas: [00:01:53] Although it can be high quality. So with fiver you have a range of professionals and the higher quality people are more expensive. So you get what you pay for but often you get a lot more than what you pay for depending on what you get. So what kind of things can you get on fiver? The most common thing that people buy is probably either a book cover or animation. You can get book covers on fiverr for as little as 20 dollars you can get Photoshop retouching or voiceovers. I buy voiceovers on Fiverr. I’ve launched a third podcast. I don’t think I’ve announced it here yet. I have a third podcast on politics and culture called Liberty Buzzard. In our intro I wanted a guy with a deep gravelly voice which isn’t Jim he’s got a beautiful smooth voice.

Thomas: [00:02:45] And so I went on Fiverr and I think I spent ten dollars on our intro from that guy and I was very very happy.

Jim: [00:02:56] Think of Fiverr almost like a garage sale wouldn’t you say, Thomas where a lot of the stuff is like it’s OK but every now and then you come across something that’s really high quality and you pay pennies for it, so that might be an analogy that works for you but there are a lot of people out there who have special skills that you might not have, that you can access that way.

Thomas: [00:03:17] That’s right and you’d be shocked at the number of things you can get on Fiverr. One is translation’s … so when we wanted to get my book table translated into other languages, I hired people on fiverr and for twenty bucks twenty five dollars they translated The plug in.

Thomas: [00:03:31] If you’re building your website and you want to do search engine optimization analysis, one of the big services that does a review would cost you two or three hundred dollars a year and you’re like, “Well gosh, I only need one report,” you can go on Fiverr and somebody who owns that software will generate the report for you for five bucks. It doesn’t cost them hardly any time to do it and you get a great report. You can do this as well with typesetting, with interior design, with getting your books set up on Kindle. The publishing area on Fiverr is very robust and there are lots of people there who will help you out. You may be wondering why are these people offering these services for five bucks? How is it that they’re making money? And the answer is, one it’s very easy money it’s the sort of thing you can do from home and it fits around your schedule so somebody may be needing a little extra bucks for an additional bill they had this month and they use Fiverr to supplement their income. Sometimes it’s freelancers who are making lots of money doing other things but they need work in the meantime. So it’s feast or famine. Fiverr helps them make the famine’s. Five bucks is better than nothing which is what they might be getting otherwise. And there are a lot of people on Fiverr from other countries where the U.S. dollar is very powerful. So while five bucks in America will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks five bucks in Indonesia will buy you a day’s worth of food, actually a whole meal maybe. So them for them they’re willing to do a lot more work for the same five dollars because the exchange rate is so strong.

Thomas: [00:05:08] So for those of you listening in the future the exchange rate may be very weak. The U.S. dollar goes up and goes down. But right now the US dollar is soaring with the Eagles.

Thomas: [00:05:17] Everyone wants U.S. dollars. It’s even strong against the euro and against the pound. The U.S. dollar is doing great. If you’re buying … if you’re wanting to sell, the U.S. dollar is the worst. No one wants to buy anything from Americans right now because of the dollar but for more about economics and trade, listen to Liberty buzzard my other podcast.

Jim: [00:05:39] It is brilliant. I am loving the podcast and that’s not just because I love Thomas. It really is an interesting show show so please check it out.

Thomas: [00:05:48] So for authors, let’s talk about what authors can use on fiverr. Editing. If you’re wanting some quick edits or want beta readers, you can hire people to be beta readers you can even hire people to be beta listeners to your podcast. So we’ve hired people to listen to Novel Marketing and give us their feedback on ways to improve the show. So if you’ve noticed the show quality getting better some of that has been based off of feedback that we got from beta listeners on Fiver. Back cover copy. Typesetting. Transcription. All of that you can do. Let me zoom in real quick on transcription. Let’s say you’re wanting to write a book but you want to transcribe it and you don’t want to figure out Dragon and you don’t want to have to turn that transcription into something useful. You can hire somebody on Fiver who will do it for 25 cents a minute, 50 cents a minute, a dollar a minute depending on who you hire who will turn your audio into really clean text for you. That’s even better than a than using software.

Thomas: [00:06:45] What I’ve found is people who are good and cheap are slow and the people who are good and fast are expensive. So we’re not able to use Fiverr transcriptions for our podcast partly because it’s outside of our budget to get it done quickly. The people who are good are too slow for our current workflow. But otherwise I’d totally be using Fiverr to create the transcripts for each episode.

Thomas: [00:07:10] So let’s talk a little bit about how to use Fiverr. How do you not get ripped off? So I realize spending money on Fiverr can be intimidating, a lot of people in the Facebook group are like, oh my gosh you know I don’t know hiring somebody … what if I don’t like it? So here’s what I recommend. Buy something fun first. I went back researching this episode and found I’ve spent I think, four hundred dollars on Fiverr and also looked into what was the first thing I bought on Fiver. It was a caricature. Somebody did a caricature of my face. I sent them the photo and they drew a caricature for five dollars and it was fun … it wasn’t a great caricature. But you know what? Caricature’s are never great …. they always accentuate something that you don’t want to accentuate.

Thomas: [00:07:49] They gave me a huge neck. I didn’t care for it but it was still fun. I sent it to my family. I posted it to Facebook. There’s a whole category on Fiverr of just fun projects and that helps you get through the process and kind of learn how Fiverr works without it being like, Oh my gosh this is my book cover for my short story … it’s got to be perfect.

Jim: [00:08:09] I have a friend … this is an example of something fun that you could do … you’ll go to Fiverr, if you’ve never been there, and go, “What? Somebody’s willing to do that?” And a friend of mine who has a sub shop here in town, he hired a guy that dives into a swimming pool and writes underwater, the name of his sub shop and turns it around for the camera to see … five bucks to do that. I mean it’s just fun. It’s goofy and he used it for promotion obviously but it’s that kind of thing where you can just go you know what? I’m just going to sample … for 5 bucks I’m going to sample what could be done, and like Thomas says you’ll get used to the process. You’ll understand how it works and you’re not putting it out there for something critical.

Thomas: [00:08:51] Now that’s really good. And another thing, another tip on how to use Fiverr is you want to be responsive and give as much information to the person as possible. And so if you’re wanting let’s say a book trailer for your book, you want to tell them as much as possible about your book and help them out as much as possible. Don’t expect them for five dollars to read your whole book because they’re not going to do it. But if you give them the work on a silver platter, maybe the script on a silver platter, they’re able to take that and put it into a video because they know video really well. Don’t assume that the Fiverr person knows you and is going to do research. You want to do the research for them. You know yourself and your book far better than they are going to which is actually a good rule of thumb for all freelancers. So be very clear about what you want and you’re more likely to get it. So another thing is that the cheapest people on Fiverr are cheap for a reason. Now that reason isn’t necessarily that they are bad at what they’re doing. It may be that they are new to fiverr. Sometimes the best deals on Fiverr … if you’re really on a tight budget … a great deal on Fiverr is somebody who’s new to Fiverr and they’re they’re very experienced in what they’re doing but because they’re new to Fiverr they don’t have a good reputation on Fiverr because Fiverr will show you how many projects they’ve done and what the ratings of previous customers and all that. And if they don’t have that, they’re going to have to price themselves low until they build up that reputation. If you’re willing to take a risk on a new person, you may be able to get a really good deal. On the flip side sometimes people aren’t any good and they don’t know that they’re not any good, and they’re not any good. So it’s a riskier to go with the newer Fiverr creator. But that’s where you can get really good deals. The other reason why people are cheap is because either take shortcuts or they don’t do very good work.

Jim: [00:10:39] Let’s clarify something real quick for you guys. You’ve probably figured this out, but not everything on Fiverr is going to cost five bucks. When Thomas is talking about, Oh this cost me 25 bucks this cost 30 whatever. Five dollars is the entry point. So somebody might do something very quick for you. I’m going to do one character drawing for you, Thomas … five bucks I’ll do that, and Thomas goes, Oh can we go back in and touch that up? Yeah we can sure do that but that’s going to cost you extra money. So just to be clear not everything costs 5 bucks because of the extent of what they’re doing for you.

Thomas: [00:11:13] That’s right. And when you’re done with a Fiverr project you review the fiverr creator and then it asks you if you want to tip them which is another interesting thing … a lot of Fiverr people are working really hard to thrill you so they get tips because that’s where at least some of them make a lot of their money. I just want to say five creators with videos of their faces … exploring what they do … explaining it, they’re more trustworthy. And they typically have a better command of English. So if somebody is willing to film themselves on Fiverr it’s more likely that they’re a real person with their reputation. There are people on Fiverr who will put up stock photos of somebody. I was on Fiverr and there was this woman who was suspiciously beautiful and I was like, Hmm this person really doing translations on fiverr? I did a reverse image search on the photo and it turned out some Ukrainian model.

Jim: [00:12:13] You don’t think it was really her?

Thomas: [00:12:15] I don’t think it was really her though it wasn’t her.

Thomas: [00:12:17] Some guy in India was using a photo of Ukrainian model to be his photo so to speak to try to suck people in.

Thomas: [00:12:25] The reputable folks typically don’t do that. They typically have a video and I’m willing to spend more money on a Fiverr creator who has a video explaining their typesetting or explaining their book covers. That way I know it’s a real person and not somebody who’s got a dozen different Fiverr accounts in there. Another way to know that you’re getting a good fit is to read the reviews and look at their last projects. Good Fiverr creators will have done hundreds or thousands of past projects and they have very high reviews and you really are getting what you’re paying for. And another thing is being OK losing five or five bucks here and there on projects that don’t work out. So sometimes I’ll hire four or five people for 5 bucks to do the same project. I need a photo retouched and I’m willing to spend 20 dollars to hire four people to all retouch the photo and then I’ll end up using the photo from the one who did the best job and maybe I’ll use them in the future. But I still pay the five bucks out to everybody else. Because it’s twenty dollars. Still not a lot of money. And then tip when you’re happy especially if you plan to come back. I found Fiverr to be a really beneficial asset to my business not just as an author. Here’s a good example: I’ve got a book cover. I need it made into a 3D book cover. If you don’t know how to do that, that’s really complicated to learn … you got to buy 60 dollars worth of software, 100 hundreds of dollars of software but if you already have that software and the know how, it only takes you two or three minutes to make a 3-D book cover and you’re very happy to take someone’s book cover and make a 3-D version of it on fiverr for five bucks. So if you need your book to be made into a 3-D book, go on fiverr, you can get somebody to do it for you.

Thomas: [00:14:30] That said, if you want to try Fiverr they have an affiliate program which I signed up for. If you use the link, you’ll save 20 percent on your first purchase. And I will get a little something something for sending you there.

Thomas: [00:14:45] So it’s just credit for my next Fiverr project which quite frankly is probably going to be another podcast review for Novel Marketing so we can improve the quality a little bit so help us by helping yourself. Click the link that we have in the show notes for Fiverr so we can buy more podcasts reviews and get feedback.

Jim: [00:15:06] And then finally if some of you guys are out there going, “Wait a minute, I have a skill. I’ve got a really good singing voice and I could do, you know, singing happy birthday. Or maybe you have another skill that we don’t know about. Try it. Go to Fiverr and sign up and experience it from that side and see what it’s like. You might find out you really enjoy it. It might be an extra income stream for you.

Thomas: [00:15:29] Yeah. If you’re trying to have some income to cover your writing there are lots of people who are looking for writers on Fiverr and the fact that you’re a native English speaker … we have an international listenership to this podcast … but many of you listening are native English speakers, your command of English is going to be really good compared to a lot of people on Fiverr who are around the world, and so you have a competitive advantage you don’t have to charge 5 dollars, people will pay you 20 bucks or 40 bucks to write a blog post on a topic. I hired a lot of bloggers in one of my jobs. We were using blog posts and we would hire on sites like Fiverr all kinds of bloggers to write  blog blogs on all kinds of different topics and you can actually be paid to write this week.

Thomas: [00:16:12] So if you’re like, “Man, my wife or my husband keeps getting after me that my writing has not brought in any money, I need to start showing some income or need to be able to show the IRS that I’m making some income,” sign up for Fiverr you can get paid this week. It really can be that fast. And as you browse you’ll say, Oh I can do that. Then you look at the quality of the people, and say, “I can do that better. Wow, they’re charging fifty dollars for this. I’d be happy to do it for 40. And suddenly you’ve added a revenue model.” I haven’t sold anything on fiber but I know Jim you’ve looked into doing voiceover work on Fiverr.

Jim: [00:16:48] I have and it’s something I signed up for and I’m getting a lot of voice work these days just coming to me so I didn’t go ahead and pull the trigger on that. But if you have something you’d like to try out it is a great place to get that started.

Thomas: [00:17:03] That’s right. And there’s one last example there’s a guy who has podcasts review podcast … and in the podcasts that he does, he gets people to pay him five dollars to feature his podcasts so he has them pay to do his research for him, so there’s a lot of creative ways to use Fiverr. So we do hope you check it out. We hope this episode has been helpful. If you have used fiverr and you’ve had good experiences or bad experiences or you’re making money on Fiverr, go to the novel marketing Facebook group and let us know. We have an official discussion thread of every episode. And real quick exciting announcement, we now have a Youtube channel. Thanks to this amazing service called repurposed dot IO, which is a Web site that I’m like, Where have you been all my life. I love you so much. It is now going to automatically post all of our episodes as a video like an animated video to YouTube. So for those of you who don’t have a podcast app and you’ve been listening on the website you can now subscribe to novel marketing on YouTube and we have links to our YouTube page on novel marketing dot com. There’s nothing extra in the YouTube video, there’s nothing that you don’t get now, so if you’re listening and Apple podcasts this doesn’t apply to you. But I’m very excited to be a YouTube now even if it’s just my voice

Jim: [00:18:25] So our featured patron this week is the book, 95 tweets celebrating Martin Luther in the 21st century and this is a book by Peter DeHaan and Peter has done something really creative here. Essentially ninety five tweets explains each of Luther’s 95 concerns that he nailed to the Wittenburg Door (even though he didn’t actually do that) and then updates them, as if they came out today. So they’re reframed as ninety five tweets complete with hashtags … 95 tweeting concludes with a present day list of ninety five concerns for the modern church and if you’d like to pick up a copy of that book, easy to do we’ve got a link in the show notes. Check it out.

Thomas: [00:19:07] And this episode is brought to you by the Novel Marketing five year plan for becoming a best selling author.

Jim: [00:19:15] Becoming an overnight best selling author …

Thomas: [00:19:18] Yes, five years to become an overnight bestselling author. I am getting the most amazing feedback on this course. People are going through it. Some people are already on year one or two. Some people skip the first year and have gone on to later years. But we take you quarter by quarter on how to build a writing career and the most common piece of feedback we get is that they can’t believe how cheap it is. So it’s still 10 percent of the price that it should have been and we have raised the price and raised the price and it’s still too cheap. I’m giving you a heads up we are going to be raising the prices soon. So if you want to get the five year plan to becoming a bestselling author now is the time.

Thomas: [00:19:57] So probably around the end of the year, beginning of the year, we’re gonna raise the price again on this course. And with all of our courses our patrons save 50 percent. So you can find out more about the course at Novel Marketing dot com forward slash dot courses …  and if you wanna learn about how to become a patron of the novel marketing podcasts you can find that also at novel marketing dot com.

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