Posted by: nancyisanders | June 11, 2021

Reality Show: KidLit Writer on Teachers Pay Teachers

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Every KidLit writer needs to have a store on the website Teachers Pay Teachers.

Why? Because if you write for children, one of the biggest buying market for our books is…teachers! And teachers hang out on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT for short). And teachers BUY on TpT.

Okay, you may be saying…you aren’t really interested in selling products. You just want to sell your books. I hear you! But you don’t have to sell anything on TpT! You can just put freebies on there that will help sell your books. For starters, the very first product you put in your story is required to be a freebie.

You can put free coloring sheets that go with your book. You can put free bookmarks to download and print out for kids to use while they read your books. You can put free educator’s guides to use along with your book. Who is going to want these? Teachers! And librarians! And homeschooling mamas!

And they all hang out on Teachers Pay Teachers!

When I started on TpT, I first e-mailed them and asked if I could have a store on there because I’m not a teacher. I explained to them, though, that I write resources for teachers that go along with my books. And they said, “Sure! Join in the fun!” So even if you’re not a teacher, you can open a store.

When I started my store on TpT, I joined for the free option. I didn’t pay for paid membership until I sold enough products to earn enough to pay for my membership…and I’ve never looked back.

When I started my store on TpT, I first just put up a number of reader’s theater scripts for sale for $3 each. That’s because I only knew how to create a pdf from a word file, so that’s what I created. I just made things to put in my store that I already knew how to work techie-wise.

But then I set out on a journey to learn how to illustrate wonderful pdfs and teacher resources. I learned that most people buy clipart and copy the art into powerpoint and create pdfs that way. Others use CANVA. But I wanted to make my own art, to I learned how to use Inkscape. It’s a free art drawing program. (I’ll share more about that later.) It took me months and a year or two until I felt comfortable on it, but now I love it and use it every day to draw my own art and create my own digital teacher resources.

As you can see at the top of this post, one of my resources is 42 ANIMAL HABITAT MINI-BOOKS. It’s the #2 bestseller in my store. I don’t earn a ton of money on TpT. Right now I earn between $20-$100 a month. But that’s okay. I’m still in my growing stages.

The important thing to me is that I’m connecting with teachers as a KidLit author and offering free teacher’s guides to most of my books on there (which hopefully translates to sales of my books). CLICK HERE to visit my store on TpT to see what I have up there as a KidLit author.

How about you? Do you have a store on TpT? If so, let us know in the comments. Follow my TpT store at Teacher + Writer and I’ll follow you back!


  1. You convinced me!

    Do you ever include the same stuff on your site as in your TPT store? I already have a handful of free printables on my site. I’d like to do more.

    • Absolutely! You could put those free printables in a TpT store today. Some folks who like to sell their own products and not pay TpT a portion of the sales ALSO sell the same things on their own website. Have fun!!!!

  2. This is great advice—thank you! I’m looking forward to starting my store! If you’re not comfortable sharing, no worries, but can you recommend a good source to buy clip art? I wish I could do my own drawing, but that is definitely not in my skill set!

    • I’d be happy to share, but I’ve not yet bought clip art. Here’s what I recommend…search around for a free product that looks like clipart you’d want to use. Then read download and read through that product. It should say on there where they purchased the clipart…they usually are required to say that because of copyright. Good luck!

  3. This is so great, Nancy! Thank you so much for sharing these practical ideas and great first steps toward reaching more teachers. I have seen that site before, but it didn’t occur to me to put the Reader’s Theater scripts I’ve already created up for sale, not to mention the coloring sheets. I’m excited to check this idea out further this summer! Thank you again for this wonderfully helpful blog you’ve created.

    • Oh yay, I’m so glad you’re going to try this out! Let me know when you get your store up and I’ll follow you!

      • Thanks, Nancy! Will do!

  4. Such great advice, Nancy. I have a store on TpT ( I already follow your store. You have so many wonderful items in yours. Most of what I have in my store are my educational puzzle books that have been discontinued by my publishers. I’m pretty discouraged about my store this year. The first half of last year, I did better in sales than I had previously and I was so hopeful that things might finally be taking off. My sales were pretty much in the range you mentioned. But this year I seem to be selling very little.

    • I’m so glad you have your store up and running! And so sorry to hear your sales were down this year. I wonder if it was a reflection of 2020 economics. Hopefully they’ll pick up soon!

  5. Thank you for sharing Nancy! Terrific advice.

  6. Thank you, Nancy for all the good ideas here about TpT. I have a store account,but haven’t quite known what to do with it, so your post has been helpful.

    • So glad you already have a store. Let me know your link or store name and I’ll follow it.

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