Fiverr Community Forum

Ghost writer sent me filler / fluff

I paid for a ghost writer to add an improved introduction and conclusion to the rough draft of my eBook. This seller was new - only 4 reviews - but what I read sounded good. Because the seller claimed to have a lot of writing experience I was like, “Sure!” Seller’s profile says location in the US.

What I got was…fluff. I’m a teacher and I can recognize filler / fluff over actual content. There’s phrasing and word choices that doesn’t sound quite…right. The writing doesn’t make sense. It is essentially unusable.

I sent back the draft for a revision marked up like an essay from one of my college students. (I would’ve given the seller a 70%)

The questions I’m dealing with are: How much grace should I extend? Am I just getting what I paid for ($15)? Were my instructions unclear?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Here’s the instructions I provided:

“Attached is a 2K Word rough draft “Prompts for Creative Writing: Character Development” for students or English teachers. Please improve the introduction about creativity. Encourage writers to use the prompts as a starting place, not give up, etc. Polish/Clarify the prompts for clarity and add some additional prompts. Add a conclusion.”

I was a little confused by the use of the word “prompts” but understand what you mean I think. Yes it’s a tiny bit unclear to me. I would need to see what you sent in the draft to further decide how difficult or unclear it was.

You chose a new unproven seller and paid $15 meaning the seller will receive $12.
You expected a person who has an excellent ability to craft words into the perfect paragraphs and I have seen about 90% of the sellers who are writers here who are nowhere near that level. Many write with the ability of no more than a ten year old, or someone who struggles with basic English.

So it’s hit or miss. There are several excellent writers who post almost every day here on the forum who could deliver exactly what you hoped for.

So your instructions were a tiny bit unclear, combined with hiring a less than great writer who is a new unproven seller.
And $15 isn’t much money. So all these things combined to create a failure to get what you wanted. The writers on this forum would have delivered something like you were hoping for and some would do it for $15.

I see what you mean, misscrystal. I was pretty optimistic when I placed the order.

I don’t think I wrong to assume that a person who is (supposedly) located in the US is a native English speaker, but from I read, this person isn’t.

Am I justified wanting to reject the work? Should I move on? :frowning:

I’ll hire a more experienced / proven writer in the future.

The #1 rule when hiring anybody on Fiverr to do anything is to review their portfolio. If they don’t have a portfolio, or can’t show you any recent samples of their work, then you should go somewhere else.

As for this seller’s positive reviews, it’s hard to say where they came from. Their buyers may not have been native English speakers, so when the seller gave them fluff (possibly even spun fluff from a text generator), they wouldn’t know the difference between quality work and fluff. And, shame on me for being a cynic, but there are plenty of native English speakers who are actually crap at reading and writing.

Ehhh its shaky ground there. If you feel like you were mislead or they did not provide what they advertised, then I would talk to them about cancelling or a partial refund.

The worst thing for a seller (as you know) is a bad review so they might even prefer you cancelling instead of accepting it and giving a sub par (literally anything less than 5*) review.

I put my original text in a textbot and got similar results to what I received.

You paid $15 (of which your seller will get $12) and you have just sent back 2000 words for them to revise which you say you would have marked at >70% if the work was done by one of your college students. - Personally, I’d say that you need to be a little bit more realistic regarding your expectations.

Also, as an ebook author myself, I’m a little bewildered by the idea of anyone outsourcing the introduction and conclusion of a book to Fiverr. To me, that doesn’t make any logical sense. Also, (and sorry) but is it possible that your book itself is a bit crap?

That sounds harsh but I’ve had books which I’ve thought of as guaranteed bestsellers sitting on my desktop until after letting them rest for 6 months, I realize that they are a pile of garbage. This being the case, maybe your best course of action here would be to get your revision done, put away your ebook for a couple of months and then start editing it with a fresh pair of eyes.

In either case, I’d definitely steer clear of outsourcing to anyone else in future. As an author and someone who used to offer ebook formatting services of Fiverr, it will simply never be possible for someone else to share your books vision. Not unless your willing to pay for some 1 on 1 consulting and editing time with someone in the publishing industry.

I would say to move on. Select who you hire very carefully.

Good advice.