Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Envato Market: The documentation is a little lacking

The title phrase will haunt me for a long time. And here's why...

I managed to finish my Facebook Photo Gallery app that I wanted to publish on CodeCanyon. It took me a bit more time than expected, but still I was quite proud of it. However, it turned out that they required you to upload numerous resources along with your code: a thumbnail, an inline preview image, screenshots in specific dimensions, promotional materials, documentation, etc. Slightly discouraged that my work was not yet complete, I set out to prepare the missing artifacts. They weren't easy to produce, because I'm not a professional designer nor copywriter, but eventually I was able to achieve results that satisfied me. I gathered the code and all the new materials, and I finally hit the upload button.

Happy to see my app in the store, I was disappointed that it wasn't there immediately. I had to wait - I thought, and so I did. A day passed, then a second one, and a third one. On the fourth day I got the following email:

You're nearly there!

Hi Bartosz Wesolowski,

Thanks for your submission.

‘Facebook Photo Gallery’ isn’t quite ready for CodeCanyon. But don’t fret, we’d love to see you resubmit after making the changes outlined by the reviewer below. When you’re ready, you can upload your changes here.

Here is the comment from your Envato Quality team reviewer:

The documentation is a little lacking.

Most importantly, remember that buyers may not be technically inclined. They may just be looking for an item to drop into their existing code base. Also keep in mind that a typical user won't really know about all the features your system brings to the table. With them in mind, you should also look into providing a quick start guide of some sort. It need not be long: a short one will do.

You can use a premade template or the Documenter tool for your documentation, both linked below:

We look forward to reviewing your submission once you’ve made the changes!

Envato Market Team

Still have questions? Check out our Help Center.

P.S. The team have invested considerable time in reviewing and providing feedback on your submission. If we feel that you have not invested enough time in making the required changes before re-submitting, this may be considered misuse of the review process. Where continued misuse of the review process is identified, your submission rights may be restricted or suspended.

My first thought was that it was nothing serious and that I would fix my documentation quickly and re-submit. But wait, what was there to fix? They actually didn't say it! To make things worse, after browsing Envato Forums I found out that the message I got was just a generic template they were sending to many people.

Out of my frustration, I created my own thread on the forum and I filed a ticket to Envato Market Help. In return, I got some help from my thread (but not much), and the following response from Envato Market Help:

Hi Bartosz,

Thank you for contacting Envato Help, my name's Katherine and I am more than glad to assist you today.

Rejection could happen to all of us and no one really likes it when one of the created files gets rejected on the Marketplaces. I hope that you won't be discouraged.

Given the sharp rise in submissions of all quality levels, staff can no longer afford to take longer to elaborate reasons and deploy custom messages for hard rejecting submissions where several or important aspects of a composition, arrangement and/or production are deemed insufficient for acceptance.

The reviewers have thousands of submissions to listen to. The reality is that our marketplaces are stocks and we are not yet able to afford to provide tutorial services for authors, so it’s simply not practical for business purposes to allot significant additional time to explain to thousands of individuals how to specifically improve the composition, arrangement, mixing or mastering for an item that misses the mark by too wide a margin. My apologies.

You may also want to read the following public Help articles:
Rejected Items
Common Rejection Reasons for Envato Market

Please let me know if you need further assistance.

Warm regards,

Katherine S.

Right now, I honestly don't know what to do. I answered all threads on the forum related to the lacking documentation, asking for help. Some people claim there that sometimes it's enough to re-submit without any changes or after reordering some fragments. I'm afraid to try it without at least making an effort to get to know what's wrong.

I don't agree with what Envato answered me. If they were giving at least a hint of what should be corrected, they would spare people lots of frustration, and they wouldn't have to review the same submissions again and again. In fact, they probably spent more time responding to my help request than they would pointing me to the right direction.

So, unfortunately, I can't give you a link to the store yet but just a little sneak peak of the app. Hopefully, someone will help me or I'll succeed in re-submitting a slightly corrected documentation soon. In the meantime, if you feel that you can give me any advice, please do.

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