Author Tutorial

Thank you for choosing to become an author! Before we get started there are a few things you need to know in order to sell items on the Marketplace. It won’t take long to learn, and very soon you can start uploading and selling your items!

The Marketplace is a venue for the sale of your content. Anyone can become an author and sell their items on the site.

It is important to realize that as a venue for item sales, transactions are between you and the purchaser. This has the legal implication that if you are doing something wrong such as breaching copyright, you are responsible and liable. The consequences of unlawful action can be severe, so please take care.


How does Authoring work?

The authoring process is relatively simple. As an author, you complete an upload form, taking care to prepare your items properly according to the upload instructions. Once uploaded, the items are inspected by our review team to ensure the items work and are a good fit for the library. If your item is approved, the reviewer inspecting your item will give it an appropriate price and the item will then appear in the library.

If an item is not approved, the reviewer will provide some explanation on whether the item needs a small improvement to be accepted, or is not appropriate for sale here. In both approval and rejection cases, you will receive an email to let you know the outcome of your upload.


How Do Authors Make Money?

If your item is approved for sale, you will receive a percentage of every sale into your account earnings. As an author you will receive 70% of each sale. You can find out more about percentages on the Payment Rates page.


How is Payment Made?

Each sale of one of your items will result in an increased earnings balance in your account. Your earnings can be used in the following ways:

  1. At any time you may choose to use your earnings to purchase files on any of the Marketplace.
  2. Once your balance has reached $50, you may request a payout to your PayPal account that you specify via your Account page.

All payment requests are processed at the start of each new month and paid out on the 15th of that month. For example, if you request a payout on the 20th of March, payment will be made on the 15th of April. If the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or public holiday, payment will be made the next business day.

In order for an item to be accepted on the Marketplace it needs to follow the upload instructions and fulfill our quality standards. Each item type has its own upload instructions and file preparation guidelines.

As a general guide, all items require:

  • A Thumbnail: A small thumbnail image to represent the item in search and browse listings.
  • A Preview: This might be a graphic, a flash swf, an flv video, or an HTML demo depending on what item type you are uploading.
  • A Download File: A main downloadable ZIP complete with help instructions and files for buyer download.
  • Extras: Some item types require extra uploads for added preview systems, or other usage. Some items may require help files. Check the upload instructions for details.
  • Titles: Item titles should be grammatically correct and capitalize the first letter of each word. (e.g., “30 Fabric Textures”) Titles should be descriptive but avoid subjective language (“beautiful” “awesome” etc).
  • Tags: Provide helpful tags to help buyers find your file using search.

One of the main technical requirements is that the downloadable ZIP contains files that are as customizable as possible. This may mean keeping all layers in a Photoshop file intact, or providing extensive help documentation for a Flash file, or preparing multiple versions of a video loop. By making files customizable you increase their value to the customer.

By keeping the Marketplace packed with high quality content, we ensure that buyers are more likely to come here to find items they need. This increases sales, and profits everyone. When the review staff inspect your items, they will be considering these criteria:

  • How useful is the item to buyers?
  • Does the item contain any potentially offensive content?
  • Is the item aesthetically of a high standard?
  • Is the item well constructed?
  • Is the item customizable?

If for some reason an item does not meet one or more of these requirements, the reviewer will outline the reason the item has not been approved and describe any specific improvements that need to be made.


Other Reasons Items Might Not Be Approved

Occasionally items will be rejected for other reasons. Some of these reasons might be:

  • If a series of very similar items are already in the library. Please only submit an item from these categories if it is exceptionally well done or provides a unique take on a familiar item.
  • If the files are corrupted or we suspect it carries a virus.
  • If the item is difficult to use or implement.
  • If the item does not meet marketplace quality or aesthetic standards.


Annual Review of Files

Every year items on the Marketplace are reviewed to ensure the library remains up to date with current software and trends. If your item does not pass review, you will receive email notification and your item will become inactive after 30 days.

As an author you have the responsibility to only sell things that belong to you. By selling an item, you are making an agreement not only with the marketplace but with anyone who buys your item that you own full copyright to that item, and have appropriately licensed any auxiliary content that it makes use of.

There are very serious consequences for doing the wrong thing when it comes to copyright so make sure you read this section very carefully and avoid misusing another person’s work. If after reading this section you are still unclear you should contact us to answer any questions you have.

The Marketplace takes copyright violation very seriously. If we discover that a work has violated copyright we will ban the author from the Marketplace, freeze any funds made from the sale of that work and in some cases the injured party will take legal action against you – so make sure you know the rules!


What is Copyright?

You can find a full definition of copyright on the U.S. Copyright office website. The following is a very short description.

Copyright is a legal concept that gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it. The copyright holder has the right to choose if anyone else can use, adapt or resell their work and have the right to be credited for that work.

Only the copyright holder of a work may do the following:

  • Make copies of the work and distribute them.
  • Create derivative works or alter the work in any way.
  • Sell the work in either it’s original version or in an altered form.
  • Grant or sell licenses to use the work.

Remember the creator of a work retains copyright to it even if they don’t expressly tell you so.


Licenses and Using Other People’s Work

The author is responsible for all copyright use or potential copyright violations in his or her files. For you to make use of another person’s work you need an express license to do so. So for example if you purchase a stock photo you are not buying the photo, you are actually purchasing the license to use that stock photo in a certain way.

Different licenses allow you to do different things. You need to look carefully at licenses to see what they permit and what they do not. Specifically to use an asset like a photo, music loop or code snippet in an item you want to sell on the Marketplace, you need a license that allows the asset’s use in items for resale and redistribution.

In plain English, the license has to say that you can use it in something you’re selling and distributing. If you don’t have such a license you may be unlawfully profiting from another person’s work!


What happens if there doesn’t appear to be a license?

Oftentimes you will find something that you wish to use which doesn’t appear to be licensed. For example you may have followed a tutorial which didn’t expressly permit or forbid its use in an item for resale and redistribution. In this situation you must contact the original copyright holder and get written permission.

The penalties for breaching copyright can be severe. The Marketplace takes copyright violations very seriously and will not tolerate copyright violation on Marketplace.


What is a Copyright Infringement?

A copyright infringement or violation is the unauthorized use of work that is covered by copyright. If you use, alter or sell another person or company’s work without a license or their written permission then you are violating their copyright and are breaking the law.

If you suspect another file has infringed on the copyright of your work or others, you should us to report it.

Here are some requirements to comply with copyright violations:

  1. The item must NOT include any brand names, logos or trademarks. – For example you cannot use an Apple or McDonalds logo, even if you have recreated it, photographed it, or altered it. You cannot use a photo of a watch if the brand name of the watch is legible.
  2. The item must NOT be based on any other item. – For example you cannot submit a website template that is based on an established website. Similarly you cannot submit an item which is too similar to another item for sale on the Marketplace or another website.
  3. The item must NOT be based on a tutorial. – For example you cannot submit an item that you created by following a tutorial, in whole or in part. Even if the tutorial writer has granted a license for use you should keep in mind that on principle the Marketplace do not allow tutorial recreations. You cannot reproduce any elements of another tutorial or another person’s work, unless you have the license to do so.
  4. You must NOT upload items that have been decompiled or otherwise reconstructed from another item (even if that item is your own). – For example you cannot decompile a Flash file and resell it, even if you alter it significantly.
  5. You must NOT upload an item that uses free or purchased components from any other source UNLESS you have an express license to do so. – For example you cannot download a file then use part or all of it in a file for sale unless it specifically states that it is usable in items for resale.
  6. You must NOT upload an item that uses government or military property – For example you cannot submit an item that contains a presidential seal or military insignia.
  7. You must NOT purchase or download any item then resell it – You cannot submit an item that you have purchased or downloaded from another site.
  8. You must NOT purchase or download any item, alter it, then resell it – You cannot submit an item that you have purchased or downloaded from another site and then altered.
  9. You must NOT use photos, videos or sounds in your files UNLESS you have a license to resell them. – The only photographs/videos/sounds allowed in files are those that are:
    1. Created by the author
    2. Purchased or acquired under an appropriate license that allows use in an item for sale
  10. You must NOT upload an item that includes a recognizable human feature UNLESS you have a signed model release. A model release is a legal document that must be signed by the model granting permission to use their face or recognizable feature.
  11. You must NOT upload an item that includes a recognizable private location UNLESS you have a signed location release. A location release is a legal document that must be signed by an authorized person granting permission to use an image of the location.

When you sell an item on the Marketplace you are granting purchasers a license to use the item. There is a regular license that ALL items must be sold with. This regular license allows the use of your item in a purchasers projects for either personal or commercial use without the payment of any further fees or charges after the initial download cost. If you do not want to or cannot grant these rights, they cannot be sold on the Marketplace. Please do not upload them.

From time to time The Marketplace adds other license types which you as an author can opt-in to sell. These extended licenses are more expensive than the regular license but grant extra rights. For example they may allow the purchaser to incorporate the item into something which they then sell. So they might buy an illustration and then make a T-shirt design out of it which they then sell.

The cost of purchase of each item is decided during the review process, based on a number of factors. Reviewers price items to create a consistent pricing system on the Marketplace as well as to maximize income for all parties concerned. If an author disagrees with the cost of purchase of an approved item, they may contact us.  Support will then reevaluate the item, and if the item is under or overpriced we will change the cost of purchase accordingly.

Prices may be reevaluated and/or changed solely at the discretion of The Marketplace staff.