Fiverr Spotlight: Louise Wise

Here’s another shining star on Fiverr. Louise reminded me of one of those tell-it-like-it-is aunties. The self-proclaimed Indie Author Champion was super communicative and not afraid to give her opinion. She took it upon herself to help make my blurb a little smoother, even though that wasn’t part of the gig description (she has another gig for that). We had a great back-and-forth badminton messaging, swapping revised lines with what we each thought was a better way to convey them AND the mood of Chaos (un)Controlled, until we were completely on the same page in agreement. Five dollars got me her experienced blurb assistance, Twitter and Facebook posts, as well as a post on her blog here. A bonus attached to her tweets is that she’s part of Triberr, which means others in the tribe also tweet it as well! Definitely a high-value gig that makes you feel cared for.

https://www.fiverr.com/louise_wise/promote-your-book-on-my-blog-and-tweet?funnel=96b03bea-7f22-46c3-b6aa-c972f91a72fd

~Tael

Promo Pitfalls

Leave it to me to be your guinea pig for those affordable promos! Here’s some I’ve tried and will avoid using again in the future.

-eBooks Habit:

Took me awhile to even qualify to promote with them, as they require 5+ reviews on Amazon. The unforgivable mistake they made was not getting the book title correct in their tweets. But I gave it to you in the order. But you put the book on your site correctly. And you have the Amazon link to buy it. And it’s in the confirmation email you sent me. And I emailed them back letting them know they got it wrong. And I haven’t heard back so they likely don’t care. So I wasted my money on a blown promo. Not even going to make a big deal about it to them and demand a refund or corrected tweets. SCRATCHED.

-eBook Skill:

I actually used the free service option with no results. The problem is that they now email me exhibiting spammer behavior. I work in email marketing; I know the signs. I get emails from multiple From Names or From Emails, all with their same structure and branding. They send me offers for THE SECRET LIMITED EDITION AUTHOR REPORT THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND TAKE YOU TO THE TOP OF THE AMAZON RANKING THAT WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE TO THE FIRST 100 PEOPLE WHO CLICK NOW AND BUY, HURRY! They pepper my inbox with discounts and sales and new options, essentially begging me to use their upgraded promotion packages. Perhaps it’s just standard marketing technique, but I hate a hard sell. I have come to distrust promotion sites that constantly advertise for you to promote with them. They seem to have the least ROI.

-Books & The Bear:

This one doesn’t pop up on the lists of book promo sites you’ll find online like the others. I found them through a Google search, and while their page looks impressive, once again, terrible ROI despite their high claims. When perusing their social media, I noticed that only half their posts are author’s book promotions. The other half is literally them promoting…THEMSELVES. I can’t imagine too many actual readers would even want to follow them because of the constant barrage of their own advertisements, “AUTHORS, PROMOTE YOUR BOOK TO OVER 200,000 READERS,” or “INCREASE YOUR BOOK SALES NOW AND PUBLICIZE WITH US,” literally every HOUR. Definitely more business first, author promotion second.

Also find below one of the “Fiverr Gigs That Don’t Do A Damn Thing” that I encountered:

-psammie – Their “I Will professionally Promote Your Book on Social Media” gig lives up to none of its claims. They actually had the nerve to message me this: psammie

So you’re saying that, although I paid for a service, without a 5 star-rating, you won’t be very motivated to continue through it’s completion? I left them nothing.

Guinea-pig-ninja, OUT.

~Tael

Fiverr Spotlight: Andrea Coventry

Last honorable mention went to the great okomota! This time I’m highlighting an awesome gig any Indie Author utilizing Fiverr should purchase. You can check the gig below:

https://www.fiverr.com/andreacoventry/promote-your-young-adult-book?funnel=c2d56cf0-a435-447c-94d3-2c549725f9c5

Five dollars got me a spot on both her Young Adult Blog here and her other book blog here. (Be advised that she does note at the bottom of the page that the post was commissioned through Fiverr). On top of that, she tweeted my book numerous times, generating a great amount of likes and retweets, as well as a Facebook post with awesome engagement. She’s a wonderful example of a Fiverr NON-hustler that goes above and beyond. Great value! I would most certainly use again! 😀

~Tael

RAWR Moments: KDP

Indie Authors inevitably do a hell of a lot of bumbling. Choosing a platform to self-publish with is one of the many first steps. There are a slew of reasons to choose Amazon, including the fact that many online promotion sites exclusively use their affiliate links and their reach is massive. I’m already an avid Primer; I order everything off Amazon from jeans to birthday gifts to kitty litter. It’s my go-to site whenever I’m looking to purchase something online; I’ll even find it somewhere on the Internet first, then search the exact product title on Amazon to see if I can get it there. I have their credit card, so I try to rack up loyalty points. Why isn’t everything on their streaming service free to Primers damn it?? Anyway, it’s a great way to go for self-publishing, but with no one to hold your hand through the process, there can be some hair-tearing moments.

First, with the advent of ebooks, KDP is largely focused on just that. Paperbacks take a backseat in this day and age even though some of us diehards who prefer to feel those pages still exist. Amazon has two options for printing paperbacks: CreateSpace and KDP. The problem is that even though they’re both under the Amazon umbrella, they’re still separate. KDP is the newer “beta” printing version that lists your stats alongside your ebook stats all on one page together. Nifty concept, but KDP has glitches that give CreateSpace the bigger fanbase. Only thing is, when you’re setting up the whole KDP thing initially, there isn’t a big “CLICK HERE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN KDP OR CREATESPACE FOR YOUR PRINT VERSION” button. You go with what’s there because it’s a print option available on the same platform as your ebook. I didn’t immediately find it clear that there was another option I could have chosen during setup, or that there was a clear reason to look into the other option, for that matter. That may be the trap for those who chose to self-publish after KDP printing was rolled out last year. You assume they’re all melded together somehow, but once you choose KDP, apparently you cannot switch over to CreateSpace. You’re now locked in.

Some people hate that you can’t order free/discounted author copies with KDP, but I don’t mind paying for my own book. But a lot of formatters don’t know how to work with KDP, only CreateSpace, and apparently formatting between the two varies to a high degree for whatever reason. Then there’s the glitchy uploading process. Loading the Print Previewer takes fooooooorrrrrreeeeeeverrrrrrr and often times out. If it’s still attempting to load after 10 minutes, I cancel and try to restart because I know it’s stalled. Then, once it does load, it can be veeeeerrryyyyy finicky. It may throw up an error that your image isn’t 300 DPI when it is. It may show you an older version of your manuscript even though if you open the file on your desktop, it’s already revised. It might tell you that your cover image doesn’t meet the trim requirements, then NOT throw that error if you re-upload the exact same file. Sometimes it just drops your cover altogether even if you didn’t touch it, and you have to re-upload it all over again, and then the cover upload stalls because it just wants to misbehave right now and you should try back in a few hours, even though IT WAS JUST WORKING.

Their rather antiquated beta templates for your trim sizes seem to be the best headache-free way to go, unless you hand over your manuscript to an editor for revisions and they screw over your margins and gutter formatting. I’m currently uploading a Word Document, because I like the freedom of being able to jump in and make a quick correction if pointed out to me, and then re-upload. I also prefer Eccentric Simplicity.

But the fact is, the print uploader for KDP can make the whole process a head-banging challenge (and no, not the party hard rock music kind). Even just little changes or quick revisions can become a nightmare. For days I’ve been trying to get my manuscript updated because I thought it would be cute to have chapter headers at the top of each page. I enlisted the aid of Fiverr and was met by hustlers. “Oh you want the headers CENTERED? That’ll be an extra gig because you didn’t say that originally and it will take more time.” Even with unlinked chapters, I centered them in 10 minutes. :/ “Oh, I moved the blank page before the Table of Contents and didn’t charge extra for that.” Well, I wouldn’t have expected you to anyway for moving a page over, but thanks for informing me of your overflowing generosity. I moved the project to another Fiverr who did a much better job, for a much higher price, but resulted in the template formatting being lost (he specializes in CreateSpace formatting). :/ He did give me options for revising the Kindle version though so it wasn’t a complete loss.

After stress-eating chocolate cake all morning and driving my nails into my temples, my boss offered to help and completed the header formatting the Fiverr’s could not complete to my liking in the past 2 days in 20 minutes. She is Dumbledore. And now I solemnly swear that I will not make any more changes so I don’t have to go through this again. No more trying to be cute. I’ll stick with Eccentric Simplicity. Lord knows I’m super-picky when it comes to EVERYTHING. I don’t need my self-publishing platform to be like me. -.-‘

~Tael

When Promotion is Shameless

Every author needs to promote their work somehow. But unless we have some degree of fame or an established platform, we enlist the aid of someone with experience in that field because we’re mere writers. Indie authors generally aren’t shelling out big bucks for savvy promoters, or tossing spare Benjamins to BookBub. We try to tackle as many low-cost promotion sites that we can, the majority of which are for free or discounted books.

And then there’s Fiverr.

Now Lincolns, we can spare more easily. Of course, you look at a gig and question how this person can have a reach of “millions.” You know 200 Facebook groups you can promote to? You have access to the largest, legitimately purchased mailing list and you’ve never gotten a single spam complaint? Hmmm…I work in email marketing so I know that’s about as attainable as beating a Water Temple from the Zelda series on the first swing without using an FAQ.

Still, you try out a few whose descriptions seem less scammy, and they email you proofs of their work. You check the first few images and think, okay, posting on book-related pages…doing good. Then you start to see groups like “Music Promoting Only,” “Make Money Online,” “House Music All Night Long,” and “Cape Town Finest Hip-Hop.”

Okay…I see where you’re going with this. Mass blast everywhere and hope it hits some randos, right? Until I saw this one.blogevidence

Never mind the Baby Swap shop…did you just post my book in a group called Mothers Who Have Lost a Child?

This is where promotion becomes shameless. This is where “Let’s mass blast this to EVERYONE in hopes that numbers increase bites” fails. If I could offer an apology to everyone in that group who had to read that post, I would.

I still highly support Fiverr, of course; as an indie author and New Yorker, I’m always willing to try out the smaller businesses and indies in the same situation as I. I will just be a little more cautious in the future by analyzing the gig description with a finer-toothed comb than I already have, and pray the provider has some damn tact. It’s like CraigsList. You can absolutely find a lot gems if you know how to avoid the shadies.

~Tael (I’ve landed 4 jobs off CraigsList.)