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Changes to author tiers from December 1st

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by tesAuthorTeam, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. tosh740

    tosh740 New commenter

    A problem with this is you won't know that you have 'lost' these users for several months. It doesn't make sense to take down resources from the site as a knee jerk reaction but it does make sense to focus on other platforms and spend time there adding new content. Likewise with social media links to resources. You don't 'help' or 'support' staff by making their 'terms and conditions' worse. As a company you actively encouraged authors to add lots of resources, with incentives if they did, the forums at the time warned of the problems this would cause. You now cite the very same problems and have changed the system, penalising people who worked hard to produce 100+ quality resources.

    You obviously know how many will drop from gold to silver next month and have calculated the likely loss in revenue if they stop updating resources against the hoped for increase from new- to bronze. You will have also looked at how active these new authors actually are by monitoring log ins. You will have also estimated the loss in traffic to the TES site in general from those same authors who also use it for news and jobs whilst they check their dashboard. I appreciate this is commercially sensitive but if the target is simply to not lose too many of those dropping next from gold to silver next month you may feel that it was a success but the reality will only become clear over the next 6 months.
     
  2. LikeAnExpert

    LikeAnExpert New commenter

    As a silver author, I would greatly welcome any support that would help get me to gold. What will this support look like?
     
    NumberLoving likes this.
  3. GalvaniseEDU

    GalvaniseEDU New commenter

    Looks like you need to have a word with the people whose job it is to deal with this. The vast majority of my rightful reports go inactioned and I very rarely hold back. I genuinely feel that it has contributed to lower earnings for myself and others who follow the rules as my high-quality resources (more interactive, full of non-copyrighted media, more engaging) have been forced to compete with resources that break the law and are cheaper as less effort has gone into them.

    You could blanket ban certain words or phrases that are copyrighted. Where money is at stake, people will ignore certain aspects of the author code.

    Could you please break down for me how much a silver author from the UK on a £3 resource would make come December, versus on a £2.50 resource. I may have to drop my prices to remain competitive, even though my resources are of a higher quality to their direct competitors.

    Furthermore, where did that 76% royalty rate go that we spoke about on the phone?
     
    labellaroma likes this.
  4. mathsmutt

    mathsmutt Star commenter

    I'm clearly disappointed in dropping from Gold to Bronze - but have to point out that this is not too dissimilar to the royalties offered by the big A.
    It would be useful if we were actually allowed to promote our TES resources on TES - which is currently against the T&C's - especially since sales depend on views. A separate page, like the one for Teachers Q&A would be useful.

    I have opened a poll at https://community.tes.com/threads/poll-how-will-you-be-affected.782743/#post-12653697 if anyone wants to play. (@tesAuthorTeam, the poll is purely for curiosity and is not meant as a criticism . )
     
    Brabanski likes this.
  5. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Hi

    No, I don’t think it is an issue at my side, I’ve tried all day today and it won’t load.
     
  6. Nik_Bernaz

    Nik_Bernaz New commenter

    From a different perspective, I worked hard to join the silver tier (I hope to get there in 2 weeks), only to be demoted back to bronze a fortnight later (1st Dec).
    While the cut in royalties is quite ridiculous, the fact that TES will now NEVER promote my resources is what making me wonder whether or not to continue on this platform. Let me explain.
    On the App Store for instance, from time to time you app gets 'pushed' to the front page. The happy day this happened to me, sales we multiplied tenfold.
    Now back to the TES. To get promoted, you need silver. To get silver you need sales. And to get sales, well you need to get promoted. People who started publishing recently will *never* get a chance to have their work featured, and I think this is wrong. What constitutes 'featured resources' is their superior quality, and not the fact that the person who produced them is a good seller. The two are unrelated.
    What about the 'TES pick" ? From what I saw, the TES pick happens when buyers leave feedback on resources. No feedback does not mean bad feedback. Feedback on Ebay is what it is, but at the very least, you have to comment on the transaction.
    So because my buyers do not leave feedback, I won't get the chance to get the TES pick badge on my resources either.
    I don't mind getting only 60% of the price of my resources, but if I do, I expect that the 40% that I surrender serves a purpose: resources rollover on the front page, more or better TES pick and why not google Adwords? Udemy is also taking a sizeable portion of the price, and is often forcing promotion on its publishers, but in return, they work very hard to bring in some sales (in my opinion).
    I will most probably never make 1000 GBP in sales, much less 6000, which means that I will never get a chance to have my work featured. The featured work will always be the same work from a few individuals, and visitors to the TES website will think that nothing ever gets updated, seeing the same work over and over again.
    Whereas I applaud your effort to promote quality, in reality it could well be that instead you ostracise your little sellers, whom I bet make the bulk of the sales on TES.
     
  7. tosh740

    tosh740 New commenter

    Dear TES

    Presumably a silver author wanting to progress to gold will have to sell 10% more than someone who is already a gold member due to TES taking 10% more in commission. The move from bronze to silver faces the same hurdle. Can you explain how this was considered fair or supportive when this was realised during the planning stage?
     
  8. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    Hi Tosh - It's on the value of the sale, not what you earn from it, so on this one it won't make a difference. The only thing is, if you sell your resources cheaper than the recommendation by TES (like I do) trying to offer great value, 'then' you'll lose out. Views = sales... since I became old-school silver 5 days ago, I've had the same number of views in total as I had nearly every day as a bronze member. Not sure what to make of that, if I'm honest.
     
    tosh740 likes this.
  9. teachercellar

    teachercellar Occasional commenter

    I must also say how disappointed I am to be dropped from a Gold author, shortlisted for the Bev Evans award in 2017 to now a silver author. surely if we have been placed as gold authors we should remain as such! UI have had over 54000 views and a great deal of purchases, have enjoyed the fact that buyers see me as a gold author to be suddenly demoted to silver is beyond belief!£6000 is a ridiculous figure to achieve where on earth did Tes come up with this amount ? As for searches thses are ridiculous, Christmas christmas christmas, halloween hallowen halloween etc let us organise our shops in categories, in alphabetical order etc at the moment anything goes I have even seen valentine's day resources when I go online and this is November!!!
     
  10. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    Hi everyone. My royalty level isn't changing and I'm not here to talk about that - but I just wanted to say that the cases of bronze authors moving to gold are not just anecdotal - there really are a fair few of them. They are not likely however to come on here and talk about it because they feel bad about other authors who have just missed out.
    Also, Tes staff can't say this - but one of the main reasons why this has been changed is because of a lot of complaints from other authors about the way the old system was being abused. I am not joking when I say that people were uploading their holiday snaps, large images of the numbers 1-10 and A-Z (each counting as an upload each) and - I kid you not - hand drawn images of animal faeces to get their gold author status. Imagine that times thousands over the years - that's what was happening to the Tes site for the foreseeable future had they not made these changes. These poor resources were being noticed, talked about on social media and the site's reputation was being tarnished.
    It was us, the authors who originally pushed for something to be done about this, so the site would stay healthy. It wasn't the active authors like us lot, who speak on the forums that were doing this, it was chancers who weren't invested in the long term.
    I admit the levels seem a bit steep but lots of authors will get to gold still by promoting, promoting and promoting more and taking up the space of the holiday snap uploaders who now are less likely to bother :)
     
  11. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    I hear you, EC. I didn't know about the holiday snaps, numbers and animal faeces, etc but I am well aware of - and have voiced my concern to TES about - the sort of resource that was 'a word search for 2 quid'. I have also told the TES author team that tackling that is what I support. However, I am one of those quality-first authors who feels that these changes will be detrimental to my earnings. I really, truly begrudge dropping 15% from where I am now as I know for an absolute fact as a Head of Department that what I sell is quality. The truth of the matter is this: anyone can become an author on TES: you, I, ... a 13 year old kid with a grudge against teachers... and most importantly - people who wish to give the TES a bad name (competitor sites). It is well known that dating sites get flooded with fake profiles from competitors in a bid to sabotage the competition. It would not surprise me one iota to discover that the same thing has been happening to TES. Assuming that you are serious (and in 'the know') about the sort of thing that people have uploaded to get gold status, then there is no way that a credible teacher wanting to sell resources would do that. Reputations would be shot to pieces and no one would buy from them - and they would know that. So - they are 'fake authors'. Yet, now we are all paying the penalty. All it needed was a review of all new resources before they were approved. That is literally all it needed to stop everything you said was happening. Furthermore, if those who were making 80% of their hand-drawn animal faeces now only earn 60%... I don't think they'll care, they'll still do it. TES will still need to review new resources to stop that from happening. That means, they don't need to change the royalty system, just review resources. They'll say of course that they are doing both. Bottom line? I'm worth more than 60% and I'm a good author - an excellent one, in fact - who will be putting more effort in elsewhere. It's sad, but this has been poorly handled - and there are major issues with the technical side of the platform as I type that have been ongoing since yesterday. I. give. up.
     
  12. heelis

    heelis New commenter

    I agree. I will be
    the “majority of TES authors” referred to doesn’t seem to include most on this forum. We worked hard to get our 80% and I’m sorry but the extra 10p won’t affect me as most of my resources are more than £3.
     
    labellaroma likes this.
  13. extra golden-time

    extra golden-time New commenter

    Don't worry, Michael will soon reassure you that TES are working hard to make sure all sales are increasing. It's hard to argue with that, because what's not to like? Relax - it's all in hand. Following this logic, if they start working even harder to boost our sales, they can take even more commission. And please don't counter that with the idea that we will all be heading towards gold through these increased sales. Most of us are teachers and £6000 per year is plain stoopid. I'd have to triple my sales, and making resources already eats into my precious time outside of work - I'll never achieve this.

    Most of us don't have time to write these fully realised schemes you mention. I bet many of the primary school highest earners are piggy backing on national initiatives e.g. creating resources for the White Rose maths scheme. (White Rose - a scheme that many think is mastery, but which is planned in a block structure that works against the very idea of mastery. That gravy train may be coming to an end.)

    But wait, I digress, we are still to hear from the £6000 gold run lottery winners.

    A few years ago TES were paying us all to write more resources. What's that horrible American expression used to describe a person who gives a "gift" and later wants it back?
     
    vcurrie19, Brabanski, heelis and 5 others like this.
  14. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    Thanks TES. I think the new system is much fairer and rewards those that have resources that sell well. I want to be part of a platform that rewards authors who are selling well as it shows their resources are popular and are therefor most likely to be of a high quality. I have never agreed with rewarding authors just because they have uploaded lots, if their stuff is not selling there are probably good reason and their stuff is not something many teachers want. It may be a quality issue, it may be poor descriptions or it may be that they are not creating anything that is useful, innovative or even (in many cases I have seen) educational. I think this is a clear move towards rewarding quality and not the "pile it high, sell them cheap" mentality of the past. Authors used to be rewarded for uploading resources with no focus on if they were uploading resources that are any good. I have seen authors complaining they have been demoted to bronze from gold but looking at their store they have several hundred similar resources but if they have made less than £1000 in the year they can not have sold many of them and yet they still continued to upload the same stuff knowing it was not what customers want. The figures show if you have 200 £3 resources and are now going to be bronze that means you sell each of them only once or twice a year! That does not imply that those resources are the type of resources that teachers wanting to buy. It is cluttering up the site making it harder for teachers to find the quality and at the same time damaging the reputation of TES. It certainly does not make the creator of those 200 resources a better author it only makes them one who does not learn from their mistakes. I am moving up to gold from silver and I am in a niche subject. I have 83 premium resources and if any of them only sold a couple of times a year I would be looking at them and wondering what is wrong with them and either change them or delete them. In reality, those authors with 200 resources who are going to be bronze probably have lots of resources that never sell and yet they leave them on the site and complain that nobody is buying their self-proclaimed "high quality" resources without ever looking objectively at them and wondering why they just don't sell. If they are not selling it is up to the creator to see what they can do about it and not up to TES. I have seem authors saying "I don't bother promoting anymore" and in the same paragraph state "my resources just are not selling" and yet they then leap to the conclusion it is somehow everybody else's fault. I have also seen many say "I know mine is high-qulality as it sells well on another (American) site" but they must realise that the American and UK markets are very different so there is no comparison. If it is not selling on TES it is up to the authors to work out why and not be selfish by cluttering up the site with things they know are not selling as it only makes the TES site look bad to potential customers. I have been with TES for years but have never felt the urge to fill it with resources that don't sell well, why would I? I think TES are moving in the right direction and understand it may be hard for those who have had a knock to their confidence with the realisation that their resources are not as popular as they thought but this is a good move. It does promote quality over quantity and is something we should be supporting. Many auhtors I know are also moving up bands, a couple from bronze to gold, but are not going to come on a "discussion forum" where the discussion from most members seems to target those who are creating resources that customers want and to be accused of somehow cheating when they are not. I know emotions are high but the one sided arguments from a small minority (there are thousands of TES authors and it seems to be the same 50 or so vocal people complaining because they are no longer at the top) are only putting forward one side. I know those same few authors are going to complain about this post, but as I say it is a small minority of a much larger picture and most authors will benefit as the transaction fee is reduced and the other new initiatives TES are brining in. I say once again thank you to TES for the changes as I believe they will benefit the majority of the authors and make the site better.
     
  15. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for the query. As @rainynightmusic rightly pointed out - that won't be the case. The tier levels are due to be based on total sales value, rather than royalties. So an author on bronze, silver or gold who sell the same amount at the same price will see the same increase to their total sales measure.

    Tes Author Team [Michael]
     
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    No it is not my computer's issue; have logged in via ipad, desktop and phone. I log onto the Resources site and discover all these changes. Then my thread reply to another angry poster's gets locked as there's already a massive pre-existing fuming forum. So I try to edit my shop. I'm locked out of that. I cannot get into my shop.Or the romotions section. I get an IRRITATING message saying 'please wait' - I do what I', told, I do keep the page open and it's still telling me to 'wait' several hours later! There are obviously site bugs and they are badly affecting my shop and access to all the pages or the commands to get pages to upload. Right at the end of half term when I could have sold stuff, great timing! So I have now emailed TES authors help twice and posted on the author forum. Apparently it's my computer's fault. No it isn't. I am not enjoying the new author treatment at TES at all. It literally isn't working for me. And the TES author help team, who used to be very helpful and super-fast, don't think there's a problem. They haven't fixed it at the end of last week, so we are now looking at 4 days plus of potential lost sales.
    Can someone please fix the bugs in my shop?
    How strange that, suddenly, I cannot access my 100-plus resources to edit them now, even if I wanted to....
    Anyone else having this issue with accessing their shops on the site?
     
  17. heelis

    heelis New commenter

    Well today I start the laborious task of moving all of my resources from TES to “the site that shall not be named” and the big “A”. This will include my many free “TES Pick” resources that have thousands and thousands of downloads each month(in fact I may well start with these). I would like thank the TES for the insinuation that authors moving from gold to bronze are simply not good enough and therefore need penalising. I suppose I could have earned more over the years by offering less free resources for colleagues and charging more for my resources, but hey-ho.
     
    labellaroma likes this.
  18. heelis

    heelis New commenter

    Well that’s me told.
     
    labellaroma likes this.
  19. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    We really want you to stick with us @rainynightmusic - and apologies for any technical problems you've encountered. If you have any extra details on those, please email help@tes.com and they'll get them straight to the tech team.

    On the issue of whether we should check and approve every piece of content, we can entirely understand why people might wonder if we should do that. Both legally and in reality, though, we are a platform, not a publisher (like many much larger websites, not just in the education space). The responsibility for ensuring if an individual piece of content contains problems with copyright sits with the uploader - but we have a responsibility to respond if alerted, which we do. The scale of sharing that takes place globally on Tes - both on the paid and free side - with many thousands of new resources uploaded each week, would simply not be possible if we had to investigate every aspect of every resource uploaded. And even if it were possible for us to switch to being a traditional publisher, the royalty rates for authors would also end up being as low as they are from traditional publishers.

    There is also the issue that like Amazon or other sites we are reliant on user feedback. And there are differing opinions between teachers on what constitutes good pedagogy.

    But, as mentioned earlier in this thread, we are growing more proactive and using different systems to get earlier feedback, especially on material by new authors.
     
    rainynightmusic and MosaiK like this.
  20. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Thank you @nwilkin for taking the time and effort to inject your point of view and feelings 'from the other side of the argument'. I and several other posters, I have no doubt, appreciate your input.
    However I feel that you may be missing the point that certainly I was making. We're not in it for the income, just for fair rewards for our work and time. The reason why we are all doing this should not matter as much as the fact that we are all doing the same thing - sharing our own resources.

    Of course I am upset because I am being demoted and because in order to get back to Gold status I am expected to put in a lot more hours which in effect are going to benefit TES and not me for a long time, before I can reap regular awards myself. Time which I physically do not have! :(
    Contrary to you and possibly several of the other top sellers, I (and again I assume several of my colleagues here) am not trying to sell resources for a living. I do this as 'freelance' work, not as a ltd company and yes, I declare my income in my tax-return too. I started selling resources not only because I enjoy writing but more so because I wanted to share them and the thought of getting some extra money was attractive to me - I joke that it pays my water bill, but in truth I spend it on the grandchildren ;) The enjoyment of writing does not however mean that I want to be writing all the time, similarly to chocolate which I enjoy but still I appreciate that there is other enjoyable food to eat too! :cool:

    All I ask, is to be rewarded in a fair way for my hard work. I invest quite a bit of time and also a little money into re-working my teaching resources to make them fit copyright, audience and in part the new GCSE. I believe that for that hard work I should be compensated in the same satisfying way as anybody else or any company who creates and uploads their resources and regardless of how much money I am making for the platform. TES seemed to think that a couple of my resources at least are good, or they wouldn't have been picked for TES promotion... right? So how am I supposed to feel now that I am being asked to contribute financially to the 'quality-driven' development of this platform?
    What will I get in return for the extra 20% I will soon have to surrender to TES? Will this extra-income go towards 'helping me become a better seller'? Or will this go towards resolving the technical and visual problems on the website? o_O

    TES say they are a platform and not a publisher, so can they really afford to remunerate their top-sellers differently than their 'low-sellers'? :confused:
    In my experience most teachers who are looking for a worksheet are unlikely to spend a lot of time searching, because that is time they could spend writing it themselves... they are most likely to see what comes up at the top and choose from perhaps the first page of suggestions.
    It may be about quality, but judging quality by its sales and therefore promoting only those goods, actually excludes other or better quality products from getting to the buyers.
    :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    tosh740 and labellaroma like this.

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