I know this post is going to be controversial, but starting a dialog is part of having debate. My goal is to start discussions on topics that can have an impact on a small business that is in the startup phase. Some of you may not know anything about Fiverr.com and for those of you let me give you a little primer on what this website is all about. Individual vendors will perform tasks for $5.00, that’s it. There is no haggling, there is no bidding, and the controversial part about this particular website, that seems to upset many, especially in the publishing world, is the fact that most of these vendors are offshore in countries where they can provide services that would cost infinitely more money if they were contracted in the United States.
Ebook Cover—Fast and Good
My first job with Fiverr.com was back in April of 2013 when I needed a book cover designed for the Ebook that I was uploading for an Amazon Kindle download. When I happened to mention this in a chat forum on LinkedIn, I was lambasted for not using a domestic designer. My response to that is, “Well Excuse Me!” My information is timely and I’m not waiting for an indeterminate amount of time until I can afford to get the cover designed and pay $400 to $600 dollars when I can get it done for $5.00. People in the publishing world have to realize that we are now living in a global economy that is heavily interconnected and has broken down the walls of geo-political borders. Someone in the Philippines can provide a file just as easily as someone in Arkansas. If the quality of the work were poor, I would not even be writing this blogpost. The quality is not poor and in some respects the turnaround is faster and more efficient than if the work we’re done domestically.
The Book Kahuna Logo
Since this initial work on Fiverr I have gotten my logo designed for $5.00. Now I am not putting my logo out there for discussion because I personally think my logo is great. I told the graphic person through Fiverr exactly what I was looking for and they delivered to a level that I am very proud of; I have now put this logo onto my business cards and letterhead as well. When I was working at McGraw-Hill back in the 1990s, the company decided that they needed a new branding initiative. Instead of having a contest internally to design the new logo for the company they outsourced the work and it ended up costing them a couple of million dollars to get the new logo designed and completed. The reaction of the employees at the time was one of stark amazement because the lack of originality and the cost behind this logo did not match-up in the final product. Everyone thought the same thing: “Why were no internal designers used to come up with this new logo?”
Money Doesn’t Always Equate to Quality
My reasoning for bringing up the McGraw-Hill story was to show that paying an exorbitant amount of money does not necessarily mean that you’re going to get a quality product. Once I had my logo completed for The Book Kahuna, I took the next step and went back onto Fiverr and had my logo animated and turned into an MPEG-4 file. Every video that I produce and upload to YouTube now has my animated logo in the beginning and also at the end. Not bad for five bucks, huh?
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The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing: History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle
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We need to compete in this global economy. We don’t need to be protectionist, we need to innovate and invent and be the leaders in the tech world for the rest of the globe to follow. I would much rather work with domestic craftsmen, but if my ROI is in doubt, I, as well as many other people, have to take the path that will keep the most money in my wallet.
The $400 to $600 would have a much smaller impact on the life of the domestic designer, then that $5 might have on a designer in Thailand, or The Philippines or Nicaragua.
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