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Changes to author tiers from December 1st

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

  1. labellaroma

    labellaroma Occasional commenter

    What is the big 'A'? Sorry to hear that you are leaving and off to pastures new. I fear many more may be leaving Tes and following you. It's a sad time for many of us... :(:(:(
     
  2. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for this @Mrsmumbles - and sorry it's been proving frustrating. We're chasing up with the tech team, who will try to impersonate your account to see if it's something specific to it or a bug that's not visible in the accounts we use to test the site is fully functional.
     
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  3. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Yes, I have. I can only access my actual shop through the actual URL but not through the link on my dashboard. Try and see if you can do that. tes.com/teaching-resources/shop/yourshopname
    I don't however have any problems accessing my resources through the dashboard my going into resource-management.:cool:

    The other day, when you first wrote about this I tried my shop link on the dashboard and realised I have the same problem. I thought I'd wait to see what TES suggest before writing to the help line. I will now write in too.;)
    :)
     
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  4. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Hello @heelis - we'd be really sorry to see you go, so hope you'll reconsider.

    We definitely did not want to insinuate that those in the bronze tier "aren't good enough". The royalty tiers are a reflection of royalty - which reflects popularity, which is a better proxy for quality than the quantity of uploads. But they are not in of themselves a quality badge. The previous tier levels should absolutely not have been treated as a quality badge either, although some authors chose to promote them as if it were.

    Some of our best premium authors will be Bronze authors in the new system, just as some are now. Many of our best authors will be Bronze because they upload entirely for free - which we genuinely support.

    Where we have highlighted authors before it has been for the quality of individual resources; not simply because of which bracket you're in. We intend a tidy-up of Tes picks to remove ones that do not meet the higher standards we now have, but we'll be keeping the ones that do. So we would expect that you would maintain your status as a "Tes Recommended" author.

    Tes Author Team [Michael]
     
  5. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    As you say fair rewards for fair work and time. The basic commission rate of 60% is in line with the basic commission rate to publish yourself on Amazon, so even at the basic level authors are getting the same reward in line with standards in other businesses. I know *** is different but that is a completely different business model and audience set and if you think your resources will get the same exposure to market you are aiming for then go for that.

    However, if your resources are aimed more towards the UK market then TES is the best platform and they are willing to pay you better than traditional publishers (they pay around 15%) and the same as Amazon.

    Why should somebody who is creating great, original content that people want to buy not be rewarded with a bonus on top of the basic rate? It incentives them to create more resources and if they have a talent for creating resources people are wanting to buy it is only beneficial to customers, TES and yes, that author. It makes absolutely no business sense to continue to reward people who constantly upload resources that are not popular. No shop would stock its shelves with produce that nobody wants and expect to stay in business.

    Rewards are traditionally only given for individuals who have done something above and beyond the standard and uploading 100 resources is no longer deemed to be exceptional. £6000 may seem high but I know people who are still active teachers and full time heads of department who are making that from a few resources which sell incredibly well. Why do you feel that they should not be rewarded?
     
  6. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    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.

    I'm afraid the technical issues are going from bad to worse. I have been unable to create a bundle since Friday afternoon. Now, I cannot even enter my shop to change the banner. On top of all that, since I became silver on Wednesday, my views have dropped from 20 per day to around 5 (both on average). There is a problem with my shop. I have spoken 3 times to online chat who say the tech team are working hard to fix it, but they don't seem to be getting anywhere with it. Meanwhile: I can't do a thing about it and on the busiest day of the sales week (at least from my perspective) I am 'invisible' and 'locked out'. It really is not good enough - though I fully appreciate it is not your personal fault.[/QUOTE]
     
  7. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for the comments @Nik_Bernaz. Hopefully we can reassure you that your material has more chance of visibility than you think.

    Firstly, an author's tier status actually does not have an impact on how highly a resource appears in our search algorithm. Nor does it affect the likelihood of a resource appearing in the automated recommendations alongside another resource. Nor does it affect the likelihood of getting a Tes pick.

    There are bronze authors now whose material ranks highly in certain searches, and appears as automatically recommended, and has Tes picks. That's part of the reason why some authors are moving up a tier.

    We find value in picking out resources for blogs and certain newsletters. But sometimes we think authors overestimate the impact that has. A resource's real chance of success is about it meeting the needs of a teacher looking for a specific resource via a search engine such as Google (or the search on Tes). If you find the gap in a lesson teachers need filling, they will find you on Tes.

    There is always a challenge in online marketplaces to ensure other sellers gain visibility when there are some who are extremely popular. We are already running a range of tests (including around our search algorithm) to ensure that happens. On a site that is growing at the rate Tes is, there is plentiful room.

    Tes Author Team [Michael]
     
    MosaiK and nwilkin like this.
  8. tosh740

    tosh740 New commenter

    Thanks for clarifying - my mistake.
     
    MosaiK likes this.
  9. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your long reply. I understand and appreciate that there are clearly several points where we will have to agree to disagree. Just a few brief comments from me in reply to your post.
    Firstly I do not suggest that good selling should not be rewarded, I feel however that it should not be rewarded at the demotion of others.
    My materials are indeed aimed at the UK market, because the UK curriculum these days is what I know best. Though I can tell you that in 7 months of selling my resources on ***, I have sold more and therefore earned as much as in 12 months selling on TES. I also have a lower views to sales ratio on ***. Clearly I must be doing something right then. Also, in a world of global online selling, it cannot even be said that TES sell to the UK market and *** to the US market anymore!
    My experience with publishers has been one where we had pre-agreed payment for authoring in the first instance, with an also pre-agreed %age of royalties to follow per sale. On top of this of course I receive separate royalties paid by institutions for photocopying etc and collected for me through the ALCS.
    As for higher prices and/or more sales constituting better quality, all I can say is compare well-known supermarkets with cheaper ones or watch any consumer programme and they will tell you otherwise. In any case, TES have also confirmed that being demoted from Gold to Bronze is in no way a reflection on poorer quality on the part of the (soon-to-be) Bronze author. :)
     
    mathsmutt, heelis and nicadez like this.
  10. extra golden-time

    extra golden-time New commenter

    @nwilkin it is interesting that you equate popularity with quality. My most popular resource is a collection of games. I make them all the time, so I added a second collection. It's better than the first as my understanding of creating these games has improved. By your logic, the second resource is inferior as it has barely sold. It is clogging up the shelves. In reality, it is better, but it appears many pages below its popular predecessor when it is searched. I am sure there are wonderful resources that have never sold. I've also had games up for years that have received no interest and then all of a sudden they have become popular. They didn't suddenly become a better resource.
     
  11. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    It is also interesting that you equate uploading lots of resources that nobody is buying with quality. I guess our opinions of what makes a happy customers varies greatly. TES is attempting to make the platform better for its customers by providing teachers with resources they actually want to download (free and paid for).
     
  12. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Thanks. What a portal palarver!
     
    MosaiK likes this.
  13. a_teachers_idea

    a_teachers_idea New commenter

    Wow
     
    Extrabreaktime likes this.
  14. Nik_Bernaz

    Nik_Bernaz New commenter

    I am genuinely sorry to hear this.

    At this time and age, we as a community need to stick together, because if heelis goes, we are all losing out. Her great resources attract people who might get mine, and vice-versa.

    More people uploading more resources is the way to make the site better, not the other way round.

    Nobody buys poor resources, and if they do, there should be an easy way to get refunded. You can't get away with mediocrity. Teachers buy on TES because they want to reward the hard work of those who published their work here.

    This is no ordinary marketplace.
    Don't kill it.
     
  15. rainynightmusic

    rainynightmusic New commenter

    In fairness, nwilkin, that is not what Golden Time said at all - they did not equate quality with quantity. Also, it is notable that you are coming from 'years' of being established and having 225k+ views. I think actually that your posts confirm what many think: the more established, longer-selling authors are going to rise to dominance and the people who are just starting out will fall into obscurity. I uploaded resources 4 weeks ago that have had 2 views. Two. Now promoting is all well and good when you have the funds to put into it, but not many people do.
     
    mathsmutt, MosaiK and nicadez like this.
  16. Nik_Bernaz

    Nik_Bernaz New commenter

    You can't buy what you can't see.
     
    LivelyLearning and Elsasupport like this.
  17. a_teachers_idea

    a_teachers_idea New commenter

    This was the modus operandi of the old TES and we all know it. I'm very understanding and supportive of the idea of change and I am happy for you and others who are going to be justly rewarded. What I am unhappy with is the belief that I was rewarded for uploads that "are not popular". As we all know, the popularity of a resource depends on many factors, including time, promotion and marketing, demand etc. I believe that TES needs to make the new ladder a little more realistic. Even if I decided to spend all my spare time promoting and fulfilling demands with high quality resources I envision that it will take forever to reach the next level.
     
    mathsmutt, MosaiK and heelis like this.
  18. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    Sorry I thought they were ones of the few (very vocal) on here who were claiming they should have gold status and be on a higher commission rate because they uploaded lots of resources in the past, my mistake.

    I have been with TES for years and uploaded lots of free resources that teachers like which is why I have so many views and downloads. However if my resources were not any good they would not have got the views in the first place.

    I would never dream of creating the sorts of resources I see far too much of on TES. I am talking the the word searches or other easy to create resources that seem to plague the platform every day. I am not saying all authors do this ( I am sure enough of you will tell me in a moment just how you would never do that yourself ) but there are enough of them for it to be a real problem. On other forums, where teachers discuss teaching resources, they are often talking about the low quality of resources they have downloaded from TES and that only damages the reputation and makes it so much harder for real quality to thrive. I think the teachers who are complain about the quality on TES would be horrified that some of the main perpetrators are getting a higher commission rate as a reward for uploading more and more.

    The low quality resources are often uploaded and as all new resources appear near the top of the list to start with (especially when using the browse buttons rather than typing in a key word in the search bar) they make the whole site look poor and teachers just stop looking. However, thankfully the resources that nobody is bothering to click on quickly sink through the rankings into oblivion as very few teachers are clicking on them. Words searches, one page crosswords etc, teachers can create for themselves using the many web pages set up to do just that so they just don't bother wasting their money on buying them from TES just because it has a picture on it. I am sure a few are sold but not many and certainly not in the numbers that justify such a huge presence on the TES website.

    I would never dream of uploading a £1.50 wordsearch and cluttering up the website with something that has such little educational value. I know you may think this is harsh but creating those types of resource is just lazy and is certainly not something that makes that author "high-quality". I have just had a look through the platform and it is saddening to see so many low quality, educationally light, unoriginal and poorly put together resources. They do not deserve to stay at the top of the search results. They should never be allowed to be uploaded in the first place but if we all had to go through a clearing process to be able to upload things there would soon be a backlog and our "Christmas" lessons would not be uploaded until Easter. So we have a system where anyone can upload anything. A system that used to reward too many teachers for uploading resources that never sold. A system that needed to make a gargantuan shift, away from rewarding that type of behavior and reward people for other skills.

    It is incredibly difficult to quantify what "quality" is. It is a gut instinct for many of us that a search engine has no real hope of replicating efficiently but it must make an approximation. It must try to work out which resource should be staying at the top of the list and which should be allowed to sink. That is the challenge TES have been trying to tackle. Create a search engine that can automatically pick out quality over the rest. A search engine that will be able to make that decision without understanding the context. The resources that most customers want at the top will be the ones that others think are worthy of another look, the ones that get clicked on to find out more, the ones that, hopefully, are purchased and the ones that have a good rating. Customers want confidence that what they are spending their money on is not going to be a "dud" and will be something they can use in their classroom and most customers would do that based on how others have reacted. Yes this means that some resources will always be near the top but as TES have said several times the search also includes new resources. They give them a chance to shine and in fact old resources have to work even harder to stay at the top as new resources can make them shift down, especially when a bright shining new resource pops up that is of genuine quality and teachers go mad for . Rightly so as well.

    As another author said in an earlier post there are far too many poor quality resources. Just because somebody has spent time on it does not mean it is quality. It is incredibly difficult to look at your own work objectively and not think "That's high quality as I spent 2 hours on it". However, I really think many authors should be doing that a lot more. I also see some horrific titles that will never help a resource get found and description that tell me nothing about the resource.

    There are lots of tools you can use to help tell the positional customers about your resource, cover images that are not just filled up with tiny text which people will simply scroll past in the listings or images that don't tell me anything . If you want to sell your resources then you have to make them appealing. Use brilliant titles, beautiful cover images, preview images which don't have "PREVIEW" written all over them in an unfriendly manner, use videos to talk about your larger resources and write descriptions that will tell people about why they should buy your resource.

    The report button is not just be about copyright infringements it also lets us report the rubbish that some teachers are uploading. We are on the site, probably more often then the customers are, so we should be helping police the rubbish that is on there.

    I think it would be great if there was a simple thumbs up and thumbs down button we can use like on YouTube, sure there may be a few people who may misuse it but there are plenty of teachers who will use it to give easy feedback without having to laboriously fill in the form. It will help other customers genuinely see if the resource if worth a further look.

    It is difficult to think about why your resource is not selling and at the moment we have to wait for reviews which teachers seem reluctant to give which is why we now have a situation where so many authors are questioning for the first time if their resources are actually any good.

    Instead of complaining about why your stuff never sells go out and create great quality (not word searches) and then tell customers what makes them great. Sermon over :)
     
    a_teachers_idea likes this.
  19. blowswind

    blowswind Occasional commenter

    Something consistent with authors on TES is that those who brag about how successful they are can invariably be found complaining a few months later that their sales have declined.

    A year ago it became clear the 'marketplace' on TES had shifted from being a market to become an avenue for TES to promote its own products along with certain 'authors' it had promoted heavily.

    TES does not compare with ***. *** is a market for sellers and buyers. TES is not. TES is using the idea of a market to develop an audience through which it can sell what it chooses to promote. This is not an equitable relationship and it isn't intended to be.

    The argument that some authors were unaware their resources had copyright breaching material hidden due to a desperate attempt to upload 100 resources is disingenuous. Anybody can do a search for almost anything and readily find cover images that breach copyright. This has never changed.

    That mess along with the constant changes to how resources are displayed would make me question what is on offer for most authors. Not a great deal it would seem.
     
    Nik_Bernaz, heelis and MosaiK like this.
  20. heelis

    heelis New commenter

    AQA through Teachit.
     
    labellaroma likes this.

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