Core PrinciplesIn this review, I will be taking an in-depth look at a new e-Book design & publishing platform called Sqribble. According to Sqribble's homepage, it claims to be the “World's #1 EASY TO USE & POWERFUL eBook Creator Studio” and was created by Adeel Chowdhry.
I purchased Sqribble a few weeks ago and have been testing it out both personally and at my full-time job. I'll share my experiences throughout this review and try to provide some valuable insight for all of you reading this review.
We'll kick off with a quick review and then, if you're still interested in learning more about Sqribble, you can continue on to the in-depth portion. I'll talk about what I like, what I don't like, and who should consider purchasing Sqribble. Then I'll give a brief product overview, my experience with their customer support service, and an overview of pricing options. I'll finish up with my final verdict and some other ideas you may want to consider.
Affiliate Disclaimer: You will find a few links to Sqribble throughout this review. According to my Core Principles and in order to comply with FTC Compliance Standards, if the link is an affiliate link, meaning I’ll make a commission if you purchase the product, it will be followed by “(Aff)”. Don’t worry, I’m not taking advantage of you. I only affiliate myself and earn money from products I would recommend to my closest friends and family. In fact, most websites online are making money from you, they just aren’t disclosing it to you! This is what makes bringing these in-depth product reviews to you possible…and what keeps my wife happy!
Product Name: Sqribble
Overall Rank: 6.7/10
Price: One-time payment of $67 + Multiple Upsells
Owners: Adeel Chowdhry
Website: www.Sqribble.com (Aff)
During my use of Sqribble, I have found it to be fairly easy to use. I think it definitely has some limitations in terms of the breadth of design options available and has limited options for customization compared to other product like the Adobe suite or Canva.
All of that being said, if you're looking for a more affordable, relatively simple platform that you can use to quickly throw together a decent eBook, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you try Sqribble out.
What I Like
I'll start off by talking about the aspects of Sqribble that I like!
Pre-Designed eBook Formats
The fact that there are many pre-designed formats to choose from makes it pretty easy to get a good start on an e-book. There are a variety of color schemes and styles to choose from.
The pre-designed eBooks are based on different topics but they could all easily be used for any topic of eBook. I think it's more based on how the ebook will be used. For example, a pre-designed eBook based on presenting numerical data will be much different from an eBook focused on telling a children's story. There are pre-designed examples for these types and more.
Sqribble makes managing and working with your clients a breeze by providing a designated Client management area. This area allows you to create multiple clients and assign different eBook designs to each of them. You are able to capture contact information, pricing information, and notes for each client.
Perhaps the most useful part of the client management system is the ability to share your eBook with a client and give them the ability to make comments on what you've produced. These comments are then available for you to see within your design panel so you can easily make changes based on their feedback!
This commenting system could save you and your clients lots of time by eliminating the need for long phone calls or lengthy emails. Communication regarding the eBook you are creating can all be done right through the Sqribble dashboard.
Since Sqribble doesn't constantly save after every edit (more on this in the “What I Don't Like” section) it does provide regular prompts to save your work. I don't know for sure, but it seems like the prompt pops up every five minutes or so.
For people like me who can work for hours without remembering to save my work, these prompts help me to prevent a potential disaster. Of course, I'm not sure why it just doesn't save automatically like most online platforms I've worked with like Canva.
Pre-Set Color Palettes
Sqribble is marketed for those of us who want to be able to throw together a decent eBook without too much time and work put into it. On this note, they offer over twenty color palettes that you can easily apply to any eBook.
The only problem with this is that I haven't yet figured out how to create a custom color palette that you can save. I'll discuss this issue more in the next section.
Sqribble has fully integrated Google Fonts into its platform. Google Fonts are great because there are hundreds of them and there's most likely something you'd like and that would fit your brand.
Simple Customization Options
Overall, the customization options available withing Sqribble are simple. This is great for those of us who haven't learned or don't want to learn more advanced and expensive publishing software.
With a little practice, most people should be able to use Sqribble fairly effectively and be able to create a nice little eBook customized to your own brand or company.
In the first two weeks after purchasing Sqribble I had two different interactions with their customer service department. Both instances were resolved in a quick and professional manner.
The first instance had to do with the coupon code advertised on their sales page being expired and not applying the discount to the total. After I emailed them they gave me a new coupon code and refunded my original purchase.
The second instance had to do with my actual user experience while using Sqribble. I was having major issues with some important aspects of the design interface that were making it almost impossible to customize my eBook. I emailed their customer service and they were able to pinpoint the problem.
Unfortunately, the problem was a conflict with some plugins I had running on my Chrome browser, but I will discuss that more in the next section.
30-Day Moneyback Guarantee
This is always a must. If a product does not offer a reasonable moneyback guarantee, this should raise many red flags. Sqribble offers a 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee which is a good sign.
What I Don't Like
I'll start to talk about the elements of Sqribble I don't really like. Many of these are based on my personal preferences and experiences using more advanced design software, so take them will a grain of salt. I know this section is much longer than the things I like but I'm not necessarily trying to bash the software (on most points). I'm just pointing out the things I don't like and/or think could be improved on.
Feels Like a Sales Tool
This point may be controversial and, to counter my previous paragraph, is my biggest issue with Sqribble. Yes, the creators of Sqribble have created a rather nice eBook creation tool, but it feels like they've done it simply as a way to make money. Let me explain further.
Their sales pages do a great job of demonstrating how Sqribble is a great tool for all of us wanting to create eBooks. Nowhere on the sales page to they state that you will only have access to some features and you'll have to buy access to more features, tools, and designs.
Once you actually purchase the product, the messaging changes from “Here is a great tool for you” to “You need to buy all these upgrades to really make this tool useful.”
For example, on the homepage of your Sqribble dashboard, you have access to two out of six of the features. The other four are blocked out and require a further purchase, including some that are monthly subscriptions. Also, most of the homepage is dedicated to a video of Sqribble's creator trying to convince you to purchase the upgrades.
In my mind, if a product was really customer focused, their homepage would be dedicated to helping you create the best eBook possible, not immediately trying to get you to purchase upgrades before you've even tried it out.
The sales pitches don't stop on the dashboard homepage either. Once you start your design there are certain elements, tools, and designs, you have to upgrade to have access to.
No Automatic Saving
This seems like such a minor point, but I just don't understand why they wouldn't save your work constantly. Maybe there's some technical reason they can't do it but, in my mind, they should figure it out. Firstly, it's kind of annoying to constantly be reminded to save my work. Why not just do that for me instead of popping up a save button?
Secondly, I can't think of an online platform I've used that doesn't automatically save your work.
No Ability to Undo
There's no undo button. I don't think I need to do much more explaining than that. Just like no automatic saving, this should just be a standard element of any design program and for it not to exist just doesn't make any sense to me.
I've gotten into a couple situations where I would've normally just pushed the undo button but, since it doesn't exist, I haven't actually been able to get back to where I was before because I didn't remember exactly what the element was before the change.
Buggy with Chrome Plugins and Extensions
When I first started using Sqribble through my Chrome browser I was having a ton of problems. At first, I thought Sqribble was just buggy beyond belief but decided to email customer service to see if there was a way to fix my problems.
Their response solved the problem but it didn't make things easier for me. Their solution was to turn off any plugins or apps running in my browser, especially Grammarly or other things like that. Unfortunately, I love Grammarly and have a few other apps I use regularly as well.
So, in order to use Sqribble I either have to delete all the apps and plugins from my Chrome browser or use a different browser like Internet Explorer. My solution was to just use Internet Explorer as that would be easier than changing how I have my Chrome browser set up.
I'm also afraid that if you're unaware of these potential conflicts with plugins you'll just assume Sqribble is buggy and hard to use. So, if you're experiencing problems be sure to email customer support and see if they can help you out before you give up on the software altogether.
Limited Design Options
There are limited design options available within Sqribble, especially if you just have the basic product. They do have upgrades and subscriptions that give you access to more designs and elements on a monthly basis but, again, you have to spend more money to get them.
In terms of actually editing elements on a page, you only have a few options for each part of the element. For example, if you want to put a drop shadow on an element, you only have three options to choose from: light shadow, full shadow, and dark shadow. You have no ability to edit or manipulate this shadow beyond those three options.
There are many other instances like this but I'm not going to point them all out here. Just know that if you're used to having a lot of control of every part of your design, you will find Sqribble lacking.
Counter Intuitive Editing Options
Another aspect of Sqribble that I found difficult was their counter intuitive editing options. This may be a consequence of my years of Photoshop and other advanced software, but to get into the advanced editing of elements you need to click on an icon that pops up a side bar with drop down menus and scroll bars. This is where you do all of your editing of elements within the eBook.
To me, it's weird to move a scroll bar around to change the position of something in the eBook instead of actually manipulating that element itself. Again, like the previous section, I won't point out all of these, but just know they exist.
Inability to Create Custom Color Palettes
There are over twenty pre-created color palettes, but as far as I can tell, you can't create your own color palettes. This is actually pretty frustrating if you have a client that has a brand and specific colors they'd like on their eBooks, especially if you're going to be making more than one eBook for them.
Instead of being able to create a custom color palette once, save it, and apply it to every future creation, you'll have to manipulate the colors for every eBook you do for them.
Can't Upload Custom Fonts
While you do have access to the full library of Google Fonts, some companies have had their own fonts created specifically for their brand. If you end up making an eBook for someone who has a custom font, you won't be able to use Sqribble to do it since you have no ability to upload a custom font into the software.
Limited Storage Capacity
Sqribble has a limited amount of data it can store on your behalf. Once you fill up your allotted space I'm not sure what you would have to do…just delete the work you've already created?
Just to put this into perspective, I've created one ebook with about 15 pictures in it and I've already used up 5% of my storage space. That means I can only have 20 or fewer eBooks at any given time stored with Sqribble. It today's day and age, it seems like they should be able to offer much more cloud storage that they do.
In the few of weeks I've been trying out Sqribble for this review, there are a couple of issues I've had regarding their user-interface. To be clear, many of my issues were cleared up after I contacted their customer service; however, there are still a few.
If you have small elements nested inside of each other, it becomes very difficult to select and edit the smaller element. It's hard to explain, but it makes it almost impossible to edit the smaller element. It's taken me a couple minutes at times to be able to click on what I wanted to click on. It's like there one single pixel you have to hit with your cursor for the options you want to show. Extremely frustrating!
Sometimes changes you make in the advanced settings don't always apply to the elements they're supposed to be changing. This is also extremely frustrating because if you can't change the color of some elements it becomes very difficult to create a nice looking eBook.
Who Should Buy
After all of that, I think Sqribble would be a great purchase for specific people. They are as follows:
- People who need to create eBooks quickly and easily
- People who don't want or need lots of design options
- People who don't know how to use more advanced editing/publishing programs
- People on a budget who can't afford more advanced editing/publishing programs
If you fall into one of those groups you can check out Sqribble here.
If you don't fall into one of those categories, I would recommend you use other programs such as Canva to create eBooks.
In essence, Sqribble is an online platform that allows you to create eBooks in PDF format. It offers various pre-designed eBooks you can customize to your own clients, products, or brands.
The actual editing platform is sort of drag-and-drop but not quite. You are able to place text, image, and other elements on the pages and you have basic editing and customization options for them.
You are able to save your eBooks as PDF files or send them to clients directly through the online platform.
In my experience interacting with Sqribble's customer support team they've always been polite, helpful, and relatively quick to respond to my inquiries. They gave me a partial refund when their coupon code didn't work and they were quick to help me pinpoint the source of the problem I was having within the editing platform.
The base price for Sqribble, including a commercial license and agency website, is $67.00. However, every time I've been on their sales page they've been offering a coupon code for $20.00 off.
Once you purchase the basic package, you'll encounter many upsells. They are as follows:
- Sqribble Professional 2018 – $97.00
- Explanation from Sqribble: “Turbocharge Sqribble to unlock more templates, designs, content, and powerful features.”
- Scribble Prime Monthly – $47.00 per month
- Explanation from Sqribble: “Get 15 new limited edition eBook templates every month. Exclusively for Prime Members.”
- Sqribble Fantasia 3D – $77.00
- Explanation from Sqribble: “Create amazing 3D eCovers and interactive flip books with new technology.”
- Auto Job Finder – $197.00
- Explanation from Sqribble: “Automated tool finds you profitable jobs on multiple freelance sites instantly.”
To be clear, I haven't purchased any of these upsells, so I can't vouch for them one way or the other.
Overall, if you were to purchase the basic Sqribble package as well as all the upgrades and premium features you'd have to spend $485.00.
After all of that, where do I stand regarding Sqribble?
Well, my standard is always: “Would I recommend this product to my closest friends and family with a clear conscience?”
I think, in the case of Sqribble, I would recommend it to certain people and not to others. If you fall into the categories of people who should buy Sqribble I mentioned earlier, then I would be able to recommend it. However, if you don't fall into those categories I would not recommend this product to you.
My Personal Advice and Recommendation
I'm guessing that if you made it this far into this review a couple things are probably true. First, you probably have some sort of online presence, are looking to increase your online presence, or you want to start developing an online presence. Secondly, you're probably looking for ways to make money from that online presence.
If this does describe you, I'd encourage you to continue to be constantly looking for tools and communities that can help you to succeed in your online endeavors. I was in this place and, quite frankly, still am. I've found modest success online which you can see by my income reports. I've done this by constantly learning and perfecting my craft.
A majority of what I've learned and a majority of the resources I use have all come from my involvement in an online community called Wealthy Affiliate. I have a very in-depth review of everything this community has to offer and I'd encourage you to check it out: In-Depth Wealthy Affiliate Review.
Sqribble is just one element that can be applied to what you will learn at Wealthy Affiliate as you build your online brand and presence.
Questions? Comments? Thoughts?
If you have any questions or comments regarding Sqribble and my experience using it, please don't hesitate to leave me your thoughts, questions, or comments below! I look forward to hearing from all my readers and I'd love to help you out in any way possible.
Dustin “Kirby” Garness
Sqribble Review - Great For Beginners But Not Everyone | Kirby's Marketing