Collis, Thanks so much for getting in on this discussion. Sorry it is scattered on the forums now, I thought the other threads were locked.
I’m very happy to hear there are revised legal agreements on their way. Thank you oh so much!
In regards to rates and pricing. I’m very sorry if I came off at all “attacking”, “harsh” or “rude”. I definitely do not intend to be that way in any way when talking about this subject (I always sound pessimistic when I talk about this stuff). I really like ThemeForest (evato as a whole really) and have great expectations for it.
I think my main problem with how the system is setup is that it takes so long to reach the 50% level with such a huge investment in work and a rather small percentage of return initially. I understand there is really no easy way around that though. Maybe a “full time exclusive author” program could be invented for people who want to build templates full time? Not quite sure how it would work but it’s an idea.
As Mark suggested, I will contact the support staff with the remainder of my thoughts/concerns/ideas.
Jeffrey, don’t hate me! haha I’m sure you feel like I’m a giant pain but I’m not trying to be on purpose. Thanks for your hard work!
When I email support, it’s private and it’s one guy that doesn’t like the system. That’s easy for the support staff to deal with.
If everyone on the forums reads my thoughts, it’s more likely I won’t be the lone ranger on this and with enough public support, envato will have to face the pressure of the publicity and higher numbers of people.
As mentioned here: http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/locked-themeforest-exclusive/8360 Jeffrey asked that we stay on topic. This is the thread we can discuss what we were going off topic on.
Jeffrey, I would like to know your calculations on the subject of the author exclusivity program and how it is someone has the potential to earn nearly $100,000 (that you mentioned FlashDen authors have achieved) from HTML Templates or CMS Themes within a reasonable amount of time (1-2 years).
Assuming the most popular template is $15, an author would have to get 13,333 and 1/3 sales over the course of 1 year. Obviously it won’t be on a single template. So lets assume a rockstar author has 20 of the most popular templates at $15 each. Each of those has to get 666 and 2/3 sales to reach that $100K mark in 1 year. AND that’s only assuming the author has already reached the 50% commission mark. Even spreading that over 2 years would be difficult, especially in your spare time.
Obviously no single author will manage to build the 20 most popular, highest selling templates. So it will come down to building 50 or more highly popular templates to even dream of $100K in a 1-2 year span. Each template (of the 50) would have to sell 22.22 times per month consistently to reach $100K in 1 year.
I think it can be argued that an HTML Template can take as much time as a flash template but is priced 1/2 or even 1/3 as much as most flash templates. So obviously it’s more lucrative to build flash templates in relation to the time it takes to build them.
I think it’s important for the envato team to remember that just because a commission program on one site worked well, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work just as well with everything else.
Maybe I’m the only one that feels this way so I don’t want to sound like a broken record. If I’m alone on this subject, I’ll quietly retreat into my hole…
Lastly, I want to make sure Jeffrey that you don’t feel like I’m attacking you. I’m not trying to attack anyone. I really like the idea of ThemeForest but many many people who build websites (better than I do) that I tried referred to envato, laughed at 50% only after earning $30K. People think it’s a joke and a rip off. I know I’m making your job difficult by discussing this stuff and I’m sorry, but I feel it should be discussed (to death again).
It kind of looks like a mistake to me at first glance. On the left there is space but on the right there isn’t, it just flows past.
But if I was looking at it from a visitors perspective, I would likely assume at first it was a mistake but click the next button to see what else is there. Then once you click the next button and “Ohh, it makes perfect sense” and “Ahh, that’s pretty neat/cool”.
I think it should have been approved but that’s just my opinion. Jeffrey (likely the reviewer) has valid reasons for approving/rejecting templates so I’m sure if you explained your reasoning he would reconsider.
I was waiting for you to chime in on this. Sooner than I expected, lol.
I think it’s dangerous to just say “simply lawyer jargon”. Having had to deal with my share of “lawyer jargon” I’m well aware that it’s easy for a company to say, “Oh, it’s just legal stuff ya know, no big deal.” but when it comes down to a legal dispute, that jargon will make a world of difference. In this situation, it works to the advantage of ThemeForest at the expense of the author (not to say ThemeForest is purposefully attempting to take advantage of authors).
The exclusive author agreement contract mentions on several occasions obtaining written consent. So with many of these situations, it’s as simple as requesting and obtaining consent to promote your own work to protect yourself legally. Although I have seen in many situations where consent has to be given from senior management (I assume this is Jeffrey) or even the company owner him/her self. So what happens is the site manager (in this case Jeffrey) gives consent but when/if a legal dispute occurs, the company can argue that the site manager did not have adequate authority to grant such consent. I would assume this is obviously not the case Jeffrey but I feel like it’s worth me asking the question to be sure (no offense intended).
One thing I am concerned about is the commission related to the exclusive author program. I have expressed concerns before and many people disagree with me on this… but…
ThemeForest markets themselves as a marketplace for premium templates, themes and now web designs. Obviously ThemeForest wants to bring the highest quality products to the market as possible and it will take some time to develop an extensive library of truly premium products (it’s off to a fantastic start though!).
So, if this is the direction ThemeForest is trying to go, how do you expect authors to dedicate quality time to build quality products with the current options for compensation.
For instance, $30,500 in total revenue must be earned before reaching the 50% per sale level. That means an author will earn $13,725 during the time it takes to earn the $30K. To reach that level within a 1 year span you would have to have an average of 203 and 1/3 sales each month averaging $12.50 each (HTML templates).
I think the best ThemeForest can hope for is authors trying to expand their portfolio and learn (which won’t be the cream of the crop here) and authors who are freelancers that sell their work that clients didn’t want to buy, here on TF. In either case, it’s going to be much harder to be a place with premium products.
Maybe my expectations are too high and maybe wanting to build templates for a living is not a realistic job. I’ve read on these forums that freelance gigs can come from more attention from your TF portfolio. Read the exclusive author contract carefully and you’ll see that if someone should contact you via the TF website asking for freelance work, you could be breaching the contract. So freelance work coming from TF is also a fine line.
Ok, I’m going to stop here although I have other concerns, etc. This post is much larger than I anticipated, my apologies! I’m also not bashing TF, I would just like to see a way that people who are interested in doing this kind of thing as more of an income can earn more than just pocket change.
Actually, you should read the “contract” you “sign” when you enter into agreement in the exclusivity program. There is more there that you might want to know about before considering becoming a part of the program.
“Not engage, directly or indirectly, without the written consent of the Distributor, in the sale, licensing, sublicensing, promotion, advertising or distribution of any other computer program or similar Product which has a functionality the same as or similar to the Supplier’s Product;”
In other words, no, you cannot use it in your portfolio or any other ways of “promotion or advertising” without written consent of the Distributor (ThemeForest).
You should read the whole of the “Supplier’s Obligation” (#6) as it basically covers what you can and cannot do.
Personally after reading the whole agreement, I am not happy at all. I obviously didn’t read it thoroughly enough the first time through (I was in a hurry, bad idea). It prevents me from using my submitted and approved work on ThemeForest for any promotion, advertising or even potential freelance clients. Yet exclusive authors only make 35% to start. If I can’t use my templates again, I want more than 35%. ThemeForest is making a killing on this deal.
I think exclusive authors should at least be able to use their approved work for promotional and advertisement purposes AND resell works derived from such approved work to others.
I will be contacting Jeffrey (or just the evato support staff) regarding this subject. If they aren’t willing to flex on some of this stuff, I most definitely won’t be building “premium templates and themes” to be sold here. It’s a total rip for the authors.
In my opinion, you need to correct the “power struggle” before anything else.
1) The left side over powers the right side far too much and disrupts proper eye flow (should be in a z-ish pattern).
2) The logo, rss, about, works, and feedback icons are all fighting for attention. I would reduce the size of the about, works and feedback icons by at least 50%. Even though they are smaller doesn’t mean they won’t be effective. The extra space and reduced size will be more conducive to eye flow of the page and reading each paragraph. I would also reduce the space between paragraphs vertically because your eye has to travel a ways before looking at new content. You could also increase line spacing a tad too.
3) Why is there a giant blank space to the right of the rss paragraph? It’s not only confusing from a reading standpoint but also hinders good eye flow. If there is going to be a picture there, that’s a bad spot. Readers will look at photos first. You want them to read left to right (at least here in the US). Put the photo on the left (maybe with a nice frame to match page style), then reduce the size of the rss icon and use it as a paragraph intro. Readers will look at the photo first, then scan to the right (above the paragraph) to look at the rss icon, then begin reading the news paragraph leaving their eyes on the right of the page. They will then scan to the left and begin reading “Services”.
4) Your logo is creative but the split color text with thin lettering makes it awkward to read. There is a joke among designers, “Make the logo bigger!”. It’s something a lot of clients ask for quite often and can really disrupt a beautiful design. In your design, the rss icon news section in the header is most prominent. But because the logo is orange/yellow and so large, it struggles with the rss icon and will do that even if it is smaller with a photo. I suggest removing the split color text, reducing the size to about 50%, lowering it’s position (so it doesn’t go outside the page border) and centering it in the given space.
I know it is important but stick to the golden rule, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid <—I’m not calling you stupid, that’s literally what I learned).
Anyway, I hope that helps. You have a good start, you just need to tie everything together.