Oct 08

An Introduction to the Marketplaces for Authors

Mon, 10/08/2012 - 09:00 — julie

Before you can become an author on the Envato Marketplaces, there are a few things you need to know. Please read this article to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the authoring process.

This article is reposted from the Envato Knowledgebase, which contains information on all the Envato sites, and is a helpful resource for authors, buyers and users.

How the Envato Marketplaces Work

Note: 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?

As an author, you upload files—taking care to prepare your items according to the upload instructions. Once uploaded, your item is inspected by our review team to ensure that it is well made and suitable for the Marketplaces. If your item is approved, the reviewer inspecting your item will give it a price and the item will appear for sale.

There are two types of rejection. If an item is soft-rejected, the reviewer will provide an explanation as to what improvements need to be made. If an item is hard-rejected, the reviewer will provide an explation as to why it is not appropriate for sale.

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?

You will receive a percentage of every sale you make. If you sell items exclusive to the Envato Marketplaces, the amount you earn begins at 50% and rises incrementally to 70% as you make more sales. If you sell the same items on both the Envato Marketplaces and elsewhere, you are a non-exclusive author and will receive 33% of each sale. You can find out more about percentages on the Payment Rates page.

How is Payment Made?

When you sell an item, earnings will be deposited into your account balance. Your earnings can be used in the following ways:

  1. To purchase files on any of the Envato Marketplaces.
  2. Once your balance has reached $50, you may request a payout to a PayPal or Moneybookers account that you specify via your Account page.
  3. Once your balance has reached $500, you may request a payout by bank transfer. Payment by bank transfer often incurs bank fees and charges.

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 Australian public holiday, payment will be made the next business day.

Technical Requirements

For an item to be accepted on the Envato Marketplaces it needs to follow the upload instructions and meet our quality standards. Refer to the Upload Instructions section of the Knowledgebase for guides on how to prepare and upload your files.

Quality Requirements

When the review staff inspect your items, they will be considering these criteria:

  • How useful the item is.
  • Whether the item contains any potentially offensive content (Eg. Violence, sexual content, offensive language content).
  • The aesthetic value of the item.
  • The standard of the item’s construction.
  • The item’s level of customizability.
  • In the case of tutorials, we will be considering: production values, depth of coverage, quality of the techniques used and the final result, quality of teaching, depth and length, and whether the tutorial adds something new to the subject.

Other Reasons Items Might Not Be Approved

Occasionally, items will be rejected for other reasons. These reasons include:

  • If similar items are already in the library. Check our Files We Do And Don’t Need articles to find out about saturated item types for your Marketplace. 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 they carry a virus.
  • If the item is difficult to use or implement.
  • If the item does not meet marketplace quality or aesthetic standards.
  • In the case of tutorials common rejection reasons are: lack of quality in what is being taught, insufficient depth, lack of complexity, poor production values, and lack of quality in teaching.

Annual Review of Files

Every year, items on the Envato Marketplaces 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.

Legal Requirements

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 Envato 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 support to answer any questions you have.

Envato takes copyright violation very seriously. If we discover that a work has violated copyright we will ban the author from the Envato Marketplaces, freeze any funds made from the sale of that work and in some cases the injured party will take legal action against you – ensure you are aware of 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.

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. To use an asset such as a photo, music loop or code snippet in an item you want to sell on the Envato Marketplaces, you require a license that allows the asset’s use in items for resale and redistribution

Read this article to review what assets can be used in items for sale, and steps to take to allow them to be included.

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. In this situation you must contact the original copyright holder and get written permission.

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

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 contact Envato Support 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 an Envato 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 Envato Marketplaces do not allow tutorial recreations. If you are submitting a tutorial to the Tuts+ Marketplace, the tutorial must not be based in whole or in part on another tutorial, or based around another person’s work (such as a tutorial showing you how to recreate someone else’s work, i.e. an artwork). 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
    3. Downloaded from the Envato Asset Library (a free resource we provide)

    You can find out more about acceptable assets in this article.

  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 Envato Marketplaces 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 Envato sites. Please do not upload them.

From time to time Envato 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.

Learn more about the licenses sold on the Envato Marketplaces.


The cost of purchase of each item is decided during the review process, according to factors including quality, complexity and demand. For more information on our pricing structures, view this article.

Take the Quiz

Before you can upload and sell your work, you must take a short multiple choice quiz to demonstrate your understanding of this article.


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