Author Boot Camp: start selling resources in 6 steps

By Emily Schickli

Scratching your head on how to start selling resources on TES? Follow these steps to get your first uploads out and noticed in the marketplace. With our 100% royalty program, you’ll earn every dollar that buyers in the US spend on your resources.

This six-step boot camp will walk you through uploading, selling, and marketing your resources to potential buyers:



Step 1: Identify your most compelling teaching resources

Step 2: Have buyers fall in love at first sight with your resources

Step 3: Optimize your content to sell resources

Step 4: Customize your shop to showcase and sell more resources

Step 5: Promote your resources

Step 6: Analyze your sales


If you'd prefer, you can download this guide as a PDF.


Step 1: Identify your most compelling teaching resources

When choosing which resources you want to upload first, you’ll want to pick those that you’ve had a lot of success with in the classroom and that can be adapted to other learning environments. The last part is perhaps even more important than the first; other educators will be looking for resources from experienced authors which they can adapt to their particular needs.


Ask yourself these questions to help choose your first resources to sell:

  • In what ways would other educators find your resource helpful in their own classrooms?

  • How does your resource need to be adapted (i.e. edited, expanded, or condensed) for other educators to be able to implement it in their classrooms?

  • What does someone completely unfamiliar with your resource, teaching style, and classroom environment need to know in order to use your resource?

  • How does your resource impact student learning outcomes and your own class objectives?

  • How did your students respond to the activity, lesson, unit, etc.? What were their take-aways? What were yours?

Once you’ve selected that first resource, use the answers to these questions to guide your edits so that your resource is entirely self-sufficient. That’s to say, educators who purchase and download your resource should be able to use it as you intended without needing any further clarification from you. Your edits can be as simple as including a brief introduction that outlines how educators can implement it, where it could fit into a curriculum, what supplies are needed, what the expected learning outcomes are, and anything else you think educators should know in order to be successful.


Read more tips on creating compelling resources.


Step 2: Have buyers fall in love at first sight with your resources


After you’ve chosen your first resource to upload and made any necessary edits to it (including writing an introduction), you’ll want to tackle how your resource will actually look in the marketplace. Prospective buyers will see two things - a cover page and title - without having to click on your resource, so plan to maximize their impact.

Cover page

Just like how we all can’t help judging books by their covers, prospective buyers choose to click on resources that have eye-catching and informative cover pages more often than those that have hard-to-read text or a lot of white space.

When making your cover page:

  • Create a landscape (horizontal layout) graphic. We recommend using PowerPoint or Keynote because it’s easy to move around images, lay text over them, and save your file as a landscape .png, .jpg, or .gif.

  • Include a label that describes the kind of resource it is (e.g., a unit on the Romantic poets, a spelling worksheet), any applicable State Standards it targets, your author logo if you have one, and an informative graphic (e.g., geometric shapes for geometry, a picture or illustration of the novel for a unit on literature).

Read more detailed instructions and see examples of enticing cover pages.


Aside from your cover page, prospective buyers decide whether to take a closer look at your resource based on its title. To grab their attention, think about what makes your resource unique and compelling for educators and showcase that in the title.

When writing your title, make sure to:

  • Mention the subject and grade level that your resource targets.

  • Keep in mind that educators will be looking for resources that will impact learning outcomes and that can be easily implemented in their classrooms. For example, if you publish a unit on The Picture of Dorian Grey, you also may want to describe your resource further as project-based with differentiation options for AP English Literature students. 

  • With Common Core State Standards resources in high demand, you can further entice buyers by including a phrase like “CCSS aligned” or the actual standard that your resource targets in the title.


Step 3: Optimize your content to sell resources

Tips for when you go to add your:


  • Cover page: When you upload your resource, make sure that all the hard work you put into your cover page pays off. Upload this file first to ensure that it shows up as your resource thumbnail in the marketplace.

  • Description: Write a description that clearly outlines who your target audience is (e.g., teachers who want help staying organized when grading or 7th grade students learning about Mendel’s pea plants), how your resource can be used in the classroom, any applicable CCSS or NGSS, all the files included in your resource (and how they should be used), and any expected learning outcomes. You can also include hyperlinks to your other resources if you wish.

  • Grade level and subjects: Any grade level, subject, topic, or subtopic you select will be included as links on your resource page. These grade level and subject “tags” will also help prospective buyers find your resource when they’re searching the marketplace; they can use them to filter their search results. As a result, you’ll want to tag the appropriate subject(s), topic(s), and subtopic(s).

  • Price: When you go to select a price for your resource, think about how complex it is; is your resource an entire unit or a single worksheet? Think like your audience: how much would you be willing to pay for that resource? If you’re completely stuck on how to price your resource, you can search the marketplace for similar resources to get an idea of what other authors are selling their resources for (and perhaps get a leg up on your competition).

  • Creative Commons License: If you decide to share your resource for free, you must select one of three Creative Commons licenses, the most popular of which is the ShareALike license. You can also choose the Attribution license or the NoDerivatives license.  


Read more tips on presenting and formatting your resources.


Watch our how-to-upload video for step-by-step instructions:


That’s it! Now rinse and repeat. You’ll increase your chances of success by becoming familiar to and trusted by buyers. Upload more quality resources and follow the next few steps to build your business.


Step 4: Customize your shop to showcase and sell more resources

Help educators trust your resources and buy into your brand by customizing your shop. Think of your shop as your window display; it’s another chance to impress buyers with your expertise and show them that your resources are exactly what they need.

  • Create and maintain a compelling and consistent voice and brand throughout your shop and resources.

  • Write a fun, approachable bio. TES members want to know your experience level and how your expertise can help them.

  • Add a cover photo that would attract the kind of teacher who would benefit from your resources and that showcases your brand.

  • Include links to your social media accounts or blog, so educators can learn even more about you.

  • Have at least one free resource, so members can get a better sense of your style before purchasing a premium one.

  • Upload more resources; once you have 12, you can turn on featured resources and select three to highlight in your shop.


Customize your shop now.


Step 5: Promote your resources

Your snazzy shop and quality resources make your sales possible, but you also need to help prospective buyers find them in the first place. Use these 5 tips to grow your buyer base and influence as a TES author.


  • Post, Tweet, Instagram, and Pin your resources. Just make sure that your activity on social media links back to your shop, so educators can discover your other resources too.

  • Are there TES authors you admire? Reach out to them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and/or Tumblr to get ideas and support.

  • If you purchase or download resources, make sure to rate and review them. You’ll establish rapport with other TES authors and build your own rep!

  • Write a blog post and send it to us. We may feature it in our teachers' lounge, which would drive more traffic to your resources.

  • Go global and sell a resource to UK teachers (and beyond); just make sure to adapt your resource to the UK education system.


Learn more ways to market your resources by watching this recorded webinar with Richard Byrne.


Step 6: Analyze your sales

You have the power to change the market! Use your dashboard to understand and increase your sales.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Which resources are selling the most and how much are you selling them for? How much are competitors selling their resources for? Should you change your prices?

  • For your most in-demand resources, do you think the type, subject matter, presentation, or style is the most popular? Can you upload more resources with those characteristics?

  • How are your resources rated? What types of comments are you getting? Are there any key suggestions you can act on?


Analyze your resources now.


Need inspiration? Check out other authors’ resources. Visit the homepage for new collections, recommended resources, and the featured author. Happy uploading! 

Learn more tips by visiting our authors’ hub and subscribing to our monthly author email. If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to our content team at