From authors to authors: advice for new uploaders p2

Over the years we have asked some of our more experienced resource sharers on Tes to provide guidance for new authors. Here, you can find their top tips.

Tes Author Team

One resource author gifting another author with their Tes resource related knowledge

Are you a new Tes author who’s seeking some further support on how to thrive on the platform? Below you can take a look at the tips provided by our experienced resource sharers which may help you get started on your journey!  


What would your advice be for new Tes authors? 


Don’t worry about having to do too much extra work in producing these resources, you have already tried, tested and enjoyed using them within your own classroom and perhaps made a few amendments along the way – voila! You’re over half way there without even trying. If you’ve enjoyed teaching your lesson, by uploading it you can guarantee that others will, too! 

When I first read that I would need to reference all the images I used in my resources, I nearly deleted the email – I thought it sounded far too complicated and would take up an 

awful lot of time. Thankfully, I came to my senses and decided to look at what was involved; it turned out to be so simple that I can now sit in front of the telly of an evening while simultaneously referencing images. 

Lastly, I would say to have fun with it – remember that for each resource you upload, there will be a multitude of teachers thanking you for saving their Sunday night and that lesson…

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If you are just starting to share your materials, be patient and believe in your resources. I think it is a good idea to ask yourself why you create the resource and make sure that is 

reflected in a thorough description. That way, your customers know exactly what they are purchasing.

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I would say, “Go for it!” It took me a long time to make up my mind to sell my resources. I don’t teach in the US or the UK so I thought nobody would be interested in the kind of lessons I make. I was wrong. 

By doing some research on the different education systems in both countries, I was able to adapt my resources to make them useful outside of the ESL field. I get it wrong sometimes, but I always try to learn from my mistakes. 

This is why I really appreciate feedback from the people who buy my resources. Value the teachers who take the time to give you an honest review. They are worth more than any amount of money you could make from your resources!

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· Think about structure There are so many directions in which you could take a resource, but it is important to consider the flow of a one-hour classroom session and what, realistically, can be covered. 

· Keep colour to a minimum Whilst it may look attractive, the reality is a teacher may face standing in line for the photocopier and as budgets get stricter on colour printing, often plain old black and white would suffice. 

· Try new things Although sharing resources about your main subject is great, don’t be afraid to try mixing it up a bit.

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Decide how you want your resources to be displayed and accessed. If you are happy for teachers to edit your work, publish them in an editable format. If not, save them as a PDF and publish that instead. 

Always check whether you have permission to use images, especially if you find them using a search engine. You'll need parental consent if you're using photos of students. If you're not sure, search among Creative Commons sites for images with an appropriate licence, or invest in a graphics package. I tend to use my own photos and draw my own graphics.

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Do it! If you make resources for your classroom already then why not? It is a great way to help other teachers across the world that may be struggling with teaching that particular area of the curriculum, or for those that just want to download a resource that would be beneficial for their class. I believe it enthuses the teacher in the classroom as well. 

Sharing my products and making sure that they are of a good quality has increased my desire to make lessons fun for the kids. Using your creativity and educational knowledge will give you the opportunity to help the teaching community, and I am very thankful that other educators are investing their money into my resources and hopefully using them in their classes. That’s a great feeling!

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The best advice that I read when I was considering becoming an author went something like this; “If you want to be successful, think about these two things: what are you good at and what do you like to do. That’s your niche. Stick with it.” 

It’s true! There is nothing I like to do more than crafting. How great that I get to share that love with students around the world. That is my idea of success!

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If you‘ve spent time and effort creating materials that have helped you, your students and their families, they can help others too. 

Well-informed and well-produced materials are invaluable; they can change attitudes and make a real difference. 

Whether these are paid-for items or free, seeing your work out there and being used by others is tremendously rewarding and can inspire others to create things too.

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My only tip for teachers would be to make sure you have trialled your resources with your class. 

Your students will provide you with the best feedback. You'll get some ideas on how to improve your material, as well as information on anything that is not clear to the student. 

Personally, I don’t chase the trends. I only produce resources that I know work for me and my students. If the resources work in my classroom, then there will surely be someone else out there interested in using them too.

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· Chart a new course; write on a subject that not many have delved into. 

· Write with both teachers and students in mind. 

· Be clear and unambiguous about your topic and subject. 

· Write consistently, because the more you write, the better you’ll become. 

· Use feedbacks or review of your resources to improve and get better.

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Look for a gap in the market. Some subjects are overloaded with quality resources, but there are still a lot of areas that could do with a wider variety of teaching materials. If there are any lessons you’ve taught that you’ve had to plan from scratch, this probably means there were not enough helpful materials on Tes – so upload yours! 

It also helps to work in a pair or team. We all have strengths in different areas, so try working with family, friends or colleagues to make some really high quality resources.

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For anyone interested in sharing their resources on Tes, I’d suggest some initial research into what’s already out there; what’s unique about what you’re offering and is it really worth paying for? I also think content is more important than style; I don’t think PowerPoints and worksheets need to be hyperactive carnivals of animation and clipart – time is better spent thinking about sequences of learning and creating a scheme of work accordingly. Finally, I would really like to see a greater variety of texts taught across schools, so if you’ve got something on a text that doesn’t get taught often and you’ve had success with, share it and inspire others to get out of the teaching rut we all get stuck in from time to time.

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