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Author Consultation Follow-up 3: Royalty Levels

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by tesAuthorTeam, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    The purpose of this consultation is to work with the community and use your feedback and work with teachers like you to introduce ways to drive up resource quality, so that Tes can continue to be a trusted place for teachers to get their resources. For further detail and context please visit the original thread.

    As many of you have previously remarked, the current system for rewarding authors is set up to favour volume of resources over quality. The current royalty system offers rates that are based on volume of paid resources added to Tes, and doesn’t take resource quality into account. We would like to encourage further discussion around potential ways to develop the royalty system for authors, so as to make sure that we are rewarding authors in the right way, based on the hard work they put in and on the quality of the resources they create.

    This section of the author consultation is intended to prompt further discussion on the current model, as well as potential alternatives we may explore. It is important to clarify that whatever royalty system is in place must also:

    • Be simple and easy to understand

    • Be based on data that the community has confidence in

    • Ensure authors receive a fair reward for their efforts

    • Attract and retain authors working hard and creating high-quality resources

    A number of authors have expressed concern that any changes to the way royalty levels are calculated will have a negative impact on them. Please rest assured that this is not our intention, and that we will be making sure that any changes have as limited an impact as possible on the author community.

    Some relevant models, which would require clear and transparent frameworks underpinning the above criteria, might be:

    • Royalty rates linked to sales volumes - this could be:
      • At the author level, i.e. based on total author sales; or

      • At the product level, i.e. a royalty rate for each resource based on its sales volume (as suggested by @Kazg1 and @lcallard21)

    • A single royalty rate for all resources (as suggested by @mathsmutt and @wendylk)

    • A premium author membership fee with better royalty rates (as suggested by @lcallard21 and @wendylk)

    • Royalty rates linked to some quality score for the author/product, e.g. reviews, or some quality mark (as suggested @KS2History and @Thedigitalstationer)

    • A donation model (EDIT: this could be a system whereby a resource does not have a set price, but perhaps require a minimum contribution)
    Though not specifically related to royalty levels as such, but potentially of value for discussion here:

    • An option for teachers to sign-up for a monthly buyer fee for a set number of resources

    Tell us what you think and share your ideas here too.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  2. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Authors, on an additional note, if you have been misquoted or we've mentioned you in an incorrect context, please let us know and we'll fix it. Thanks
  3. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    If there's a move to a subscription service I'll be removing most of my resources as it would conflict with how they're purchased elsewhere.

    I don't know what a donation model is?

    A membership fee is fine but it would have to be better or equal to *** (and lead to better sales which seems unlikely at this stage).

    The other options appear to be based on other people's ideas of quality. This is good for those in favour. But alienating for those who aren't.

    Also to be blunt - when I look at the resources that appear to be selling the most... they quite often don't seem to be of particularly good quality. More likely they're the first things people find on a Sunday afternoon because they're already highly ranked in the search and so the numbers stack up. This isn't an effective way to promote or encourage 'quality'.

    In the end quality requires actual work - by all parties. There are no shortcuts.

    If and when the TES catlogue is tidied up and better organised and people can better search through what's on offer (and share it and discuss it in a positive light instead of the hostility often voiced) then royalties will then be linked to quality anyway via better sales.
  4. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    As I've said a few times, royalty based on individual products is a BAD idea as niche products (excellent resources, with a high conversion rate, but not much call for the subject) would massively suffer.

    Arts, drama etc would all have low royalty rates as not as many people need to purchase them in the first place. This would be VERY unfair.

    An overall rating for each author based on sales, reviews, conversion and how much they stick to copyright law would be much fairer.
    tosh740 and kibishipaul like this.
  5. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    I don't like the flat rate idea as I and so many others work mega hard every day for Tes and I would imagine that this could be bad news for authors currently on the top level.

    Besides it hardly encourages improvement of quality if you get the same rates no matter what. You'll end up with loads of wordsearches again.

    I do massively appreciate the way we are all invited to feedback on this though Tes, thanks.
    tesAuthorTeam likes this.
  6. FunkyPhonics

    FunkyPhonics New commenter

    I agree that niche products would suffer especially those with a smaller audience as with my resources as it's only really Key Stage 1 and reception mine are aimed at compared to authors who offer a whole subject range suitable for primary or secondary.

    I don't think the flat rate would work. I know may of us have worked and still are working to reach the gold level. Yes this has had an effect on quality as the levels are about the quantity and not quality. Those of us on gold who produce quality resources, I feel wouldn't be happy with getting the same rate as those who mass produce a hand drawn sheet or a mass of posters or wordsearches. While these do have there place and uses hardly inspire quality when they seem to be produced for the sake of moving up the royalty rate or other incentives.

    I like Emily's idea of an overall rating though with the present situation with reviews with very few ppl leaving them or unable to leave them as well as the number of resources which kept their reviews from being converted from free to paid. I feel that using reviews as a criteria at the present time will not be benifical
    EC_Resources likes this.
  7. TeachElite

    TeachElite New commenter

    Please no flat rate. We have worked very hard and put all efforts into Tes because of the incentives that you had to offer. Varied royalty rate was one of these. I sincerely hope the changes will not be detrimental to the many authors who have worked hard to get the higher royalty rate.
  8. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    @thinky - The subscription things means we pay it not the downloaders/buyers. It's the same on ***. It would put off scammers which isn't a bad thing!

    I don't know what a donation model is either.
  9. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    EC_Resources likes this.
  10. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    I was meaning this bit:

    I'm not entirely against the above but it would mean I'd only make certain types of resources available on TES (though in fairness I'm doing that already).

    As for a *** type subscription, I'm in favour - except that:
    • on *** I see consistent growth
    • *** is a clear marketplace with a clear purpose (TES is jobs, subscriptions, TES's own resources, external adverts etc. etc.)
    • *** is clear that people go there to buy and sell
    I can't see what TES would be offering in return that would make it worthwhile or good value in comparison?
    kibishipaul likes this.
  11. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    I missed that bit. No I don't like that idea either. I don't think many people would sign up for it. People like the 'pick and mix' element of Tes and most people drop by for free stuff and happen to purchase whilst they're here.
    thinky likes this.
  12. wendylk

    wendylk New commenter

    I really do not want to see royalty rates based on sales volume (or a quality mark based on sales and reviews) - this will only benefit top sellers and those who are continually promoted. Royalty rates have to be based on an equitable system for everyone. I prefer to see a level playing field. How can small stores with quality resources, but few sales or reviews ever hope to compete?
  13. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    @wendylk Perhaps conversion rates would be a fairer idea?
    Resource_Creator likes this.
  14. mrajlong

    mrajlong Senior commenter

    A annual subscription for better royalties and the scrapping of the 30p transaction fee would be a welcome idea for me (like *** as others have mentioned). It would pay for itself and mean I could add £2 (or less, please) resources again.

    However, if authors were paying a subscription fee, would they get more promotion than those who don't - could be quite divisive - as could one subscription-paying author getting greater promotion than an other.

    Weighting resources royalties by popularity...meh, not sure about that. I think I am one of the top sellers, but I am certainly not one of the top-promoted sellers and surely these authors would have an unfair advantage. And please, do not weight them by stars/reviews. There's too many bogus/when-they-were-free reviews for this to be done fairly (and it would encourage more unethical practices).

    I would also like to see a total and immediate end to the "new buyer" promotions. It is open to abuse and penalises loyal and regular buyers. The occasional site-wide sale at poignant times of the year is great.
    Alice K, EC_Resources and thinky like this.
  15. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    Personally, I don't think royalty rates should be based either on sales volume or conversion. Would it be the conversion rate for a particular resource or overall conversion rates? Neither do I think that it should be based on the quantity of an author's resources as it currently stands. I would prefer to pay a membership fee (as in ***) to access the higher royalty levels, however, I would not like to see any reduction in the loyalty levels I am currently getting. I agree with many of the points made by mrrajlong ie an annual subscription and abolition of the 30p transaction fee, I would also like to see an end to the new buyer promotions and prefer occasional site- wide sales.
    Alice K, kibishipaul and mrajlong like this.
  16. wendylk

    wendylk New commenter

    I was hoping to edit my post because I forgot a bit - lol - but can't see how to. :) I wanted to add - I am not particularly for or against a flat royalty rate until I know what the terms would be and could hear a reasoned discussion for and against.

    Thing is - I know what I don't want, but have little clue what the answer is. If anything I probably prefer the membership model, but without details on all the options it is hard to have an informed opinion.

    I also wanted to ask - is the premium service in trouble? Are there too many problems to overcome? What does the future look like? With general complaints of sales being down overall, it would be great to have some assurance that our hard work won't be in vain. I am a total fan of tes and would hate to see this platform disappear......but there appears to be such a negative vibe overall at the moment - I find this quite worrying....
    mrajlong likes this.
  17. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    A membership fee in return for the abolishment of the 30p charge and a higher royalty would be welcome.

    A membership fee in return for what we already get... is not.

    Subject to the cost of course.
    EC_Resources, Krazikas and mrajlong like this.
  18. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    A membership fee could fund the review incentives!
  19. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    I think with a donation model resources are essentially 'free' and is up to the downloader whether they make a donation for the resource or not ...usually they don't and if they do it is usually for an insignificant amount ...:eek:
    MosaiK likes this.
  20. ResourcesandCourses

    ResourcesandCourses New commenter

    • At the product level, i.e. a royalty rate for each resource based on its sales volume (assuggested by @Kazg1 and @lcallard21)
    I don’t think it should be on sales volume as this is dependent on how much exposure it gets etc . I just think that no matter how many resources you have, as long as they’re good quality, you should get the highest amount of royalty possible.
    nwilkin, mathsmutt and Krazikas like this.

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