I'm sure that every teacher has at some point produced something that they have felt has commercial potential, but trying to earn money from your work through a publisher can be a slow, time consuming and ultimately frustrating experience because:
- Most publishers know what they want to produce and select the people they want to produce it.
- It is very unusual for a writer to approach the publisher with a project and get it taken on.
- Many teachers only have time to produce small amounts of material rather than complete books.
These are what I see as the obstacles:
- Credibility - In order for people to part with their money and credit card information online, they need to be very sure that you are going to deliver a good quality product and that their credit card information is gong to be secure.
- International payments - Much of the potential market for educational resources is in developing countries and many of the people in these countries don't have access to international hard currency accounts.
- Copyright protection - Once you have sold your work online how do you stop people from making multiple copies of it and giving it away or even reselling it all over the world?
Giving it a try
If you look at these obstacles and decide that you would still like to give it a try, Tagito might be a possible way of testing the waters and seeing if your idea has the potential to earn you a living.
To use Tagito you will need to have a PayPal account and Tagito will take 10% of any money you make, but apart from that it looks quite easy and straight forward. You just sign up and upload your files (You need to create your PayPal account first).
Tagito then guides you through the process of creating a widget / icon which you can add to your site or blog in order to sell your file. You visitor just needs to click on the file image and they are taken to PayPal to enter their account details.
Tagito supports a good wide range of file types so you aren't restricted to single text documents.
You can see a nice widget on the Tagito site FAQ page that tells you about the average earnings of its users, so this could give you some idea of how much you are likely to make, so be sure to have a look at that and the FAQs before you begin.
If you don't sell anything then you don't have to pay anything, so the financial risks are pretty small. There's a more detailed review of Tagito on MakeUseOf if you want to investigate further.
If you do decide to start selling your worksheets and lesson plans on your blog or site here are a few recommendations:
- Don't over price -Try for larger numbers of sales. The world is your market place so selling large numbers for small amounts could get you a much quicker profit than trying to convince people to part with large amounts of money online (where most people expect to find materials for free)
- Don't under price - If you make you materials too low it might not seem worth the hassle of going through the payment process
- Give free samples for download - But make sure these are consistent with the quality of the materials you try to sell.
- Make sure that the materials you sell are completely your own work - Don't include other people's images, texts etc even if they are Creative Commons licensed as a CC license doesn't usually extend to commercial use.
- Make sure the materials you sell are of themselves complete - There's nothing worse than buying something that is unusable unless you to buy something else.
- Don't give up the day job too soon - It can take a long time before you make any serious amount this way (as the Tagito average earnings chart shows) and sales could suddenly drop off.
How about you?
- Have you tried to sell you work through Tagito or through a similar service?
- What success / problems have you had?
- What other services have you tried?
- How did you decide on pricing?
- Do you think teachers should be selling their work / buying each other's work?
Please leave a comment or question.