Now that you have set up your Teachers Pay Teachers seller account and you’ve made your first product, here’s how to make it look professional.

Here are a few things you must include in all finished products:

  • Cover Page
  • Copyright information
  • Teacher Notes
  • Credits

Cover Page

Have a quick search on TpT for any product and you’ll notice that the most popular selling items all have one thing in common: square cover pages. The good news is, it’s super easy to make a square cover page. Here are the steps:

  1. Open a new PowerPoint or Pages (or any other program that you know how to use)
  2. Set your page size as 8x8inches (20x20cm) (you can change the size if you want, just make sure it’s a square)
  3. Design your cover
    • You can use fancy fonts, digital papers, borders, clip art – whatever your imagination comes up with
  4. Save your cover, save it again as a .pdf, and save it a third time as a .png or .jpg (yup, I totally just told you to save it THREE times, and it’s not because I’m paranoid that you’ll lose your work during the inevitable computer/hard drive crash)
  5. That’s it (for now)!

Copyright Information

These simple steps can protect your work in the future. Remember in my last post, I said learn about copyright law and follow copyright law? Well now it’s time to protect your work from unscrupulous people who may try to claim it as there own (sad, I know).

  • Include your copyright statement on every page of your resource
    • Keep it simple – (c) 2018 Jennifer Douglas (make sure you use your name, not mine!)
    • Use a small font – no bigger than size 10
    • Make sure the font is an easy to read font (print, no cursive)
    • Depending on your resource, you can change the color of it so that it blends into the page better

Teacher Notes

You need to imagine that a brand new teacher has just stepped into your classroom. It’s their first day on the job, they’ve never taught before. They need instructions to use your resource, and they need the instructions to be succinct. Add a new page to your resource with this information. You could include:

  • Brief overview of what the resource is
  • How the resource fits into the curriculum
  • Instructions of what needs to be done with the resource before giving it to students (eg, do teachers need to print it, how many copies do they need, do they need to cut or laminate anything)
  • A list of materials that are needed to complete the lesson (eg, will students be cutting or pasting, will they need pencils, markers, or any special equipment)
  • Tips for using the resource in the classroom
  • If you have some photos of the resource “in action”, include these!

Credits

If you have purchased clip art or fonts (or even if you’ve got some free ones that you’ve used), then the Credits page is essential! This is where you fulfill your obligations in regards to the clip art and fonts that you’ve used. Most clip artists state in their terms of use that a link must be included. This is where you include that link!

Now you’re going to be an amazing TpT seller, so make a template Credits page that you can easily modify to include in all of your future resources. Here’s a few things you could include:

  • A statement thanking your customers
  • Links to all of your social media platforms (don’t have any? Get them now!)
  • Links to other relevant resources in your store (yep, you can include a small amount of advertising here. Don’t overdo it though, one or two resources is enough)
  • A reminder for your customer to head back to your TpT to leave feedback on your amazing resource
  • A statement detailing YOUR terms of use
    • You might state here that the item is for personal use only and can not be shared in any format
    • You could also refer your customers back to TpT to purchase additional licenses if they wish to share your resource with a colleague
  • Finish with an invitation for customers to contact you via email

Putting it all together

Now that you’ve made your resource, cover page, and credits page, it’s time to put it all together and make sure your file is secure. You will need Adobe Acrobat Pro or a similar program to do this (sorry, that’s going to cost you some $$). Now this step is quite important (and most likely a necessary part of the clip artists’ terms of use), so I’ll go through it all in a bit more detail.

You may have a few different files for the same resource. When I make a new resource, I have the following as separate files:

  1. Cover Page
  2. The resource
  3. Credits Page

You don’t have to have them all as separate files, this is just how I do it as I find this way easier. Save all of your files in the same folder (I use the resource name as the folder name). Select all of the files and right click, then choose the option to “Combine Files in Acrobat”. Next, you’ll have the option to re-order the files – make sure your cover page is at the top of the list, and your credits page is at the bottom (there are little arrow down the bottom to move the files up and down on the list). Now click “Combine Files”. This can take some time, especially for larger products. Once your files are combined, have a quick scroll through to make sure you don’t have any blank pages, duplicate pages, etc. If everything looks super awesome, click File –> Properties. You should have a window pop up with tabs across the top. Click on Security. Then click on the Security Method drop down menu, and select Password Security. You’ll get a new pop up window that looks like this:

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At the very top it says “Document Open” – leave this alone! You do not want to add a password that people need to open your document. This will lead to some very irate customers who can’t even open the amazing resource that you’ve sold them!

Look at the next option that says “Permissions”. This is where you can enter your password to restrict editing of the document. Where it says “Printing Allowed”, select “High Resolution”. You want your customers to be able to print this amazingly awesome resource, and you want it to look amazing when they do! Next it says “Changes Allowed” – leave this as “none”. Make sure the box that says “Enable copying of text, images, and other content” is not ticked. The next box is up to you, it says “Enable text access for screen reader devices for the visually impaired”. Finally, you need to add your password in the “Change Permissions Password” box. Make sure it is a password that you will remember, but don’t make it your name or store name! As with all passwords, make it difficult for people to be able to figure out, and keep it secure. Once you’ve entered your password, you’ll be prompted to enter it again. Then click “OK”. Finally, save your file. If you’ve followed the steps above, your file will now say “SECURED” at the top next to the file name. Adding the password means other people can not simply copy your work into their own document in an attempt to pass it of as their own. The password also helps to protect any clip art and fonts that you may have used and the password security if most likely in the clip artist’s terms of use.

Before you upload your amazing resource to TpT, you need to check the Terms of Use for the clip art and fonts that you have used. Some artists will require you to “Flatten” their work in your file. You can do this in Adobe before you secure the file. Artists will ask you to do this as an extra step in securing their work. They don’t want other people to be able to lift their clip art from your work, so if they have this in their terms of use, then please make sure you take the time to do it.

Now that your file is complete (yay, how exciting!), it’s time to upload it to TpT. Just kidding, there’s a few more things you need to do first (sorry, I know you’re excited!).

Create Thumbnails

Thumbnails are an image of your resource. It could be a photo of the resource in action, or it could be a screenshot of a page in your resource. The choice is your, but make it look good because the thumbnails will help your customers see if the resource is what they need. TpT will allow you to add up to four thumbnails, make the first one the cover page (remember when I said to save your cover page as a .png or .jpg?).

Product Preview

This is an important step, do not skip it! Your preview is another marketing opportunity. Make it look good, but don’t just slap the word “preview” over the top of every page! Open a new PowerPoint and insert photos of your product. Make notes next to the photos that explicitly state what is so good about your resource and why your customers need to buy it. Include photos of how to prepare the resource, what it looks like when it’s finished, and anything else you think is relevant to make sure your customers know exactly what they are buying. When you’ve finished, convert it to a .pdf and add the same security as you added to your resource except do not allow printing (your customers don’t need to print your preview).

Item Description

You need to write a clear description explaining exactly what your resource is. This is your sales pitch, you need to sell your resource to your customers, and they need to know exactly what they are buying before they hand over their hard earned dollars.

  • How will your resource help a teacher (and why can’t they just make it themselves)
  • What will students learn (link to curriculum if you want) – be very specific! Don’t just say they will learn math or money, make it clear that they will learn to count coins up to $1.00
  • Include a list of everything that is in your resource (for example, teacher notes, student manipulatives, worksheets, etc)
  • Link to other relevant resources in your TpT store
  • You can also add an invitation for customers to contact you if they have any questions, a reminder to leave feedback (they will earn TpT credits if they leave feedback for paid resources), and thank them for taking the time to look at your super awesome amazing resource that they simply NEED to have in their classroom.

Now you’re ready to upload your resource to your TpT store. TpT have made this process super simple! Just follow the prompts and tick the boxes that are relevant to your product. Upload your resource, your preview, and your four thumbnails.

What would you like to know next? Leave a comment below to let me know!

*Be mindful of using photos that you have taken in your classroom. Some schools do not allow such photos to be uploaded due to student confidentiality issues; this can include photos of student work (without students). Some schools also forbid photos taken on the premises from being uploaded for commercial use. You will need to check that you have permission from your school/district. If you do not have permission, you can create photos at home using a simple background, some lighting, some props, and the camera on your phone.

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