Publish And Distribute, A Composers Guide

Self-publishing is becoming a popular market amongst the independent professional community. Print-on-demand (POD) and aggregator websites have become vast over this past decade. Self-publishing has its advantages over obtaining publishing deals the traditional way. As visited before, to get a publishing deal the traditional way, a query letter needs to be created to obtain an agent. Once the agent is attained, a press kit must be created to showcase your identity as an artist, something like a resume. This will allow an agent to shop your works to a publisher, in hopes of getting a publishing deal. As for Self-publishing, it is possible to publish works without the involvement of an established third-party. Self-publishing forwards the author responsibility and control over the entire publishing process. This process includes design, file formats, price, distribution channels, marketing and public relations. The author can either do it all themselves, or outsource the process to companies that offer these services.

Self-publishing through outsourcing to a POD or an aggregator website, really only has two requirements and that is having the material ready at an industry professional level. Likewise, the material must adhere to copyright guidelines, which requires that you own or have obtained all rights to any content you wish to publish. When it comes to print on demand and aggregator websites that strictly pertains to music, there are many digital businesses worth mentioning. Businesses such as CDBaby, Tunecore, Createspace, Mondotunes, and that are just to name a few. However, for this discussion our focus will pertain solely to publishing and distribution through

CDBaby has various levels to the services they offer such as single, single pro, album and album pro. These options are as follows; album sign-up is for $49 per album and offers you CD, Vinyl and download sales on, with worldwide digital and physical distribution. Upgrading to the pro album sign-up for $99 per album, offers the same benefits of the album sign-up. However, this option includes song/songwriter registration and global royalty collection, which relieves the stress of dealing with a PRO. Single song sign-up for $12.95 per single offers download sales on and worldwide digital distribution. This option however does not offer physical sales; it does offer a UPC bar code for an additional $5 for those that need it. Pro single song sign-up for $39 per single offers the same benefits of the single song sign-up, but with the inclusion of song/songwriter registration and global royalty collection.

Want to know how much does CDBaby keep in revenue and what do you keep in revenue. Well, when selling CD or Vinyl, CDBaby keeps $4 per unit sold. So for example, if you sell your album for $13, you get paid $9 per album sold. CDBaby downloads works like this; CDBaby keeps only 9% of each sale, while you keep 91%. However, Digital distribution sales from CDBaby partners such as iTunes, Amazon MP3, Facebook music store, Google play, Spotify, etc., entitles CDBaby to keep 9% of the net income, while you keep the other 91%. CDBaby offers many other services such as disc manufacturing, which for various price tiers grant you a set amount of CD’s in Jackets with shrink wrap. Additionally, you can also buy HostBaby web hosting, which is web hosting for musicians, a site-design Wizard, unlimited bandwidth, email, and a mailing list manager. This will grant you to have all you will need to begin a full-fledged website to promote and keep fans updated on your works.

Sync Licensing is a feature that CDBaby offers catered to those artists who prefer to compose for television and film. This incredible feature allows your songs to be available for placement in Hollywood films, TV shows, and video game productions. On top of this, if your music is used you will get paid. In addition to placements, Ad revenue can be made when your music is used in videos on YouTube, it does not matter who uploads your music it will be recognized and money will be made from it. This will also forward you the opportunity to license your tracks to content creators for usage as background music in online videos, presentations, and photo slide shows. With all that being said about the Sync Licensing feature, you keep 100% ownership of your compositions and recordings, with the option to cancel and opt out at anytime you see fit.  According to (, 2013) “CD Baby delivers to more retailers and offers more options than any other music distributor, and unlike other services, we'll never charge an annual fee.” (P, 1) is a sweet deal for any novice artists who wants to self-publish their own works.


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