Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Selling on TPT 101: Flattening and Securing

Selling on TPT 101: Flattening and Securing Your Work | Apples to Applique

Welcome to TPT 101: Part 7! (Click on these links to find Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6).

Today we're going to talk briefly about the need to flatten and secure the products you've created before listing them for sale. Flattening and securing protects your work and the work of any other creators, such as clip artists, whose work you've included in your product; it prevents anything from being lifted or copied from your resource.

There are a few different ways you can do this, but first, let's address a common misconception: Merely saving as a pdf does NOT flatten or secure your product! Many people are unaware of this and assume that once they hit that "save as pdf" option, they are good to go. Unfortunately, it is more complicated than that, but it is an important step that can't be overlooked. In fact, if you use commercial clip art, it is nearly always part of the artist's terms of use that their art must be flattened.

Here are the top 3 ways to flatten:

1. Save each of your pages/slides as an image, and then compile the images together in a new file. This takes time, but prevents you having to purchase any additional software. If you are using PowerPoint to create, make sure you Google how to change the dpi of your output so your images don't end up blurry.

2. Flatten with Adobe Pro. (This is my preferred method). You can flatten your images and text, password protect your file, and add certain security features. For instance, on my preview files, I change the settings so that printing is not allowed. Again, do some Google searches or watch some tutorials on how to flatten with Adobe. I suggest doing a couple of trial runs and then testing to see whether you can copy and paste from the file, just to make sure you have done it correctly. It's not difficult, but it will take a few times to memorize the steps and settings.

3. Buy a software specifically designed for flattening. Many TPT sellers use a product called Flatpack and swear by it. I haven't personally used it since I haven't seen the need with having AdobePro, but it is an option for you to look into.

Whichever option you choose, the important thing is that you take the time to complete this step with every resource.

Stay tuned for Part 8, where we will talk about creating previews for your product.

Until then, keep teaching with heart and passion!