The Five Buck Deal at Fiverr

Sunday, March 22, 2015
So you want a quick critique of a short story, or you’re fed up with the latest round of rejections on your essay. But your critique group’s out of commission or your favorite go-to writer friend/critiquer-extrordinaire is tied up with other business. What you need is a fast and objective critique, but how do you find one?

You could try Fiverr. That’s what the folks there are all about: a five-dollar, let-us-help-you-fast deal.

You’ll have to sign up for Fiverr (it’s free and easy) before you can take a look around. But once you’re in, you’ll find all kinds of writers willing to give you a five-dollar critique on anything from picture books to adult fiction, from fantasy to romance, from a poem to a college paper.

You might find an editor or an agent, a publisher or a multi-published author, all of them willing to share their writing services. And as long as you keep your expectations reasonable—after all, you’re only paying five dollars—you’ll find a bargain as well as good feedback.

Fiverr has a system that makes it easy to find that bargain, too. When a person signs up to offer services, he or she gives credentials. Plus, you can look for high ratings and read a seller’s reviews when you’re just starting out in order to get a sure bang for your buck. Later, you can try newer sellers who might not have built up ratings yet but are just as serviceable for a basic gig.

And there are other services besides critique that a writer might find beneficial at Fiverr. Maybe you’re looking for a new website banner, a professional press release, or a crowdfunding campaign. Or maybe you’re like me and don’t realize you need something until you come across a clever posting that grabs your eye. (A frog puppet? That sings? Awesome!)

I mean, it’s only five dollars, right?

On the flip side, you might want to look into offering your services on Fiverr. Do you have excellent editing skills? A keen eye for finding what’s missing in a pitch? Can you whip up graphics, draw a cartoon? If you have a skill, chances are good that someone out there wants it—and will pay five bucks for it.

My only caution to you is that you need to be fast. I don’t mean with your turnaround of services (though that’s recommended if you want good ratings) but with your ability to provide the service. For example, if you’re spending an hour to critique 1,000 words for five dollars, then that’s not a deal for you. But if you can dash off a relatively insightful critique in fifteen minutes or so, then it might be worth your investment of time and effort.

I haven’t had a chance to use Fiverr yet; I researched the site, then found myself swamped with work. But I know a couple excellent writers who offer their services and enjoy the payout. (Note: Fiverr makes a commission from each gig so you don’t make five dollars. But you will be paid promptly.)

So how about you? Have you tried Fiverr—or do you think it’s a gig you’d like to try? A penny for your thoughts!

~Cathy C. Hall


Sioux Roslawski said...

I have not used this service, and since I have such a wonderful critique group (they're honest AND supportive), I don't think I have need to. However, for those who are in need of some feedback, it sounds like a great service.

A penny? Why didn't you offer five bucks for our thoughts?

Rae Lori said...

I love Fiverr! I found my go-to beta reader on there, a backup beta, an awesome formatter and some great voice artists. Their services usually include a certain amount of time or words per five dollars so I budget out accordingly and have been very pleased with the services provided.

I've been thinking about offering my own services, but still am a bit shy to put my foot in the waters. I may do day! :-)

Thanks for posting about this great site, Cathy!

Margo Dill said...

I didn't know this existed! Thanks, Cathy!

Renee Roberson said...

It does sound interesting! I'll definitely have to check it out, especially as I start seeking out beta readers soon. Thanks for sharing, Cathy :-)

sally said...

Ah Fiverr. I love Fiverr. I offer critiques there and I am not fast. Unfortunately. I have found that I'm spending 45 minutes to make four dollars (because fiverr takes a buck). But... here is why I keep doing it. Because I have many repeat customers who paid me the four bucks for the first 45 minutes but who now have me do five pages for 20 dollars (to me) or ten pages for forty dollars (to me). Now I can do do those jobs and make some money because I only have to do one overall letter for the ten pages instead of having to do a whole crit letter for each page. So when someone orders 10 pages for 40 bucks. I can do that in an hour and a half. Now I'm making 26 bucks an hour. I can live with that. :)

So you start out making very little, but it builds. This is the way I look at it. I have a couple of gigs a week come in. So I just do them on my breaks from my regular work. I spend an hour cleaning my fiverr work off my calendar and I make a few bucks. I've been on it four months and I've made several hundred dollars. So...enough to pay for my internet connection each month. And it's cost me only an hour here and an hour there. Not a bad deal at all.

And as far as buying services? I'm going to buy my book covers there if I ever finish my nonfiction books I want to publish. You can't beat the prices on the book covers on fiverr. I love that site.

Tina Cho said...

Yes, I've used this site for a critique on a pb ms from a writer in the 12x12 community. I was pleased with the turn around time, the critique, and only spending $5!

Cathy C. Hall said...

Thanks, all y'all, for chiming in with your experiences! Seems most people have positive things to say so good luck if you choose to work with Fiverr!

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