Author royalty tier change Q&A

Check this comprehensive list of questions and answers that explains many aspects of the royalty change from 1 December 2018

Tes Author Team

Author royalty tier change Q&A

How can I find out what my new royalty tier will be?

Visit your author dashboard and scroll down. Your current tier rate and predicted tier rate for the next month will be shown here. The new rates will not come into effect until 1 December 2018. The new rates will apply on all sales from the date the changes are launched (1 December), and monthly thereafter. Your 12 month sales total will always be visible in your dashboard so you’ll know where you stand. If you need support in understanding your rates please contact

Is my royalty tier based on my total sales or my royalty earnings?

Your royalty tier will be calculated on the total value of items sold, ie: your total sales, at the author-published price. For example: 10 items sold at £5 equates to £50 of total sales. Your royalty tier will be determined by the previous 12 months of total sales. Your royalty earnings are a separate transaction that Tes pays you after VAT and other deductions. This is the figure that varies according to your royalty tier.

What if my sales move me into a lower or higher tier in the middle of a month?

For simplicity, the rate will be set on the 1st of each month, and last for the whole month.

Aren’t there big fluctuations in sales throughout the year?

Yes - the education market is very seasonal with peaks at the beginning of the school year and different terms, and troughs during holidays. That is why the calculation is based on 12-month rolling sales, to counteract the variability.

What if I sell in US dollars?

If you sell in US dollars, you’ll see the data in your author dashboard in US dollars. The tier levels will be based on the £GBP amounts converted to dollars at that day’s rate - but you’ll be able to see how many $USD you need to reach the next tier threshold at any time in your dashboard.

Why has quantity been rewarded on the marketplace up until now?

This was a good strategy when the commercial marketplace was in its infancy and paid-for material was scarce on Tes Resources. Incentivising quantity helped us to increase the number of paid-for resources quickly.

Why have you opted for total sales as a way to incentivise quality?

Total sales is a significantly better indicator of quality than quantity is. Our new royalty tiers shouldn’t be regarded as a form of ‘quality badge’, but they are an incentive for those who’d like to earn high royalty rates to focus on growing their sales rather than uploading lots of resources, sometimes at the cost of resource quality.

Does this announcement mean you think that current gold authors’ resources are not of high quality?

Many of our gold authors have worked extremely hard to ensure that every one of their 100+ resources is high quality, and the majority have succeeded. But the few who have not focused on the quality of their resources, are being rewarded more generously than other authors who have created fewer materials, but have achieved greater popularity among teachers. This will now end.

I produce resources for niche subjects. How can I sell as well as teachers of more popular subjects?

Our most successful authors tend to produce materials for more niche subjects and topics. There’s increasing opportunity to make sales and stand out from the crowd where there’s less competition. While it’s true that more popular subjects have larger audiences, there are also more resources available, meaning there’s more competition for sales.

Why are you setting the minimum price to £1?

We’d previously suggested setting the minimum price for paid resources to 60p but you said that would be too low. So, we’ll be setting the minimum price to £1. This will provide you with more flexibility to control your pricing, and offer value for money for smaller items, without undervaluing your work.

Will this change give those who create resources full-time an advantage over working teachers?

Our intention is the opposite - currently the only teacher authors who reach the Gold tier are those that have the time to create 100+ individual resources. It's a relatively small proportion of our author base because few practicing teachers have the time to do this. In contrast, some of ours authors who have had the biggest sales in the last year are practicing teachers who have uploaded a few of their own heavyweight schemes of work. We think teachers should be able to reach the higher rates with a single great resource or a handful, rather than 100+ and this change will allow that.


You can read the full author tier change announcement here. If you have any further questions please join the conversation in the Community forum or get in touch on