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.
For me, templates are usually approved within 24 hours. Usually faster during the week days.
Sometimes if you have elements that need to be further inspected, other templates will be moved through the process before yours (this has happened to me before).
I think most of the time when templates in the queue pass yours, it’s because yours has to be inspected more in detail while many of the other ones in the queue will be rejected.
As far as the e-commerce template, I don’t really know. I’d like to know that myself.
You need to think about the buyer when you’re building this stuff. Your design is nice and all but in all practicality, it can be replicated in 10-15 minutes.
You also need to create something that doesn’t have several sections that are just duplicates. For instance, in the footer the bullet point section looks like you just duplicated the first layer 3 more times and renamed stuff.
The body text is the same idea. 2nd paragraph a copy of first but renamed.
I’ve seen a few people asking this same question and it seems what they all have in common is over simplicity and the lack of unique substance.
Anyway, that’s my opinion on that matter. As far as scrapping it, I would make some changes. 1) Too text heavy, no company wants all text. Get some images in there. Maybe in place of the major promo one. Remove some bullets in the footer and ad sponsors or affiliates images or something.
I think you could get it accepted you just need to add more substance and value. Add more reason for someone to want to buy it.
I’m planning to wait and see how the PSD category does because on the flip side, if I sell my PSD a couple of times and an author uses that to sell a theme or template here, I could end up seeing that person rack up the sales while my PSD sits because it’s already been used here.
Umm… Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you said there but just to be clear, people can’t purchase a PSD template, code it into an HTML Template or Theme and then resell it here. ...right? If they can… that seems sketchy. That’s not allowed is it?