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Topic: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

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  1. #1

    Question Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    A lot of really good musicians don't have CDs for sale because it's just too much money up front, and no guarantee of recouping the costs let alone making a profit. This is especially true for those of you with families. I want to do something about this, as I'm hearing a lot of good music. I think people would buy your CDs if you had some for sale.

    We have small quantity duplication equipment for full color printed CDs, color laser printers for jewel case liners, an ecommerce store that's been up for years accepting all major credit cards, and now a radio station to promote with. It occurred to me that I could put this to work for you in a way that would let you sell CDs without having to spend any money.

    Basically, you send me a CD's worth of ready to go .wav files. We add it to the online store (and of course we promote it on the air). We create and ship the CDs one at a time as they're ordered. Once a month, we cut you a check for your orders. Since it doesn't cost me anything to keep it in inventory, I can offer as many CDs as you can create good material, and once you send it in, you're done. When orders come in, you make money. When they don't, there are zero expenses.

    Now let's be real here - I don't think you're going to make enough from CD sales to retire. But hey, it's another potential source of income that you won't have to do anything to generate other than sending me the wav files.

    Because of shipping costs and hassles when taking orders and paying people internationally, in the beginning I'm only going to be able to do this for composers and customers who are in the US or Canada. Apologies to those of you in other areas, but I need to see if this is going to work before I get ungulfed in international paperwork. If it turns out that I can make you local guys some money, I promise I'll look into taking care of the rest of you next. One step at a time, and all that.

    Anyway, that's the idea. I'm looking for ways to promote your music and to help you make a buck wherever possible. This is a start. What I want to know at this point is how many of you would be interested in my selling CDs for you if all you have to do is send me good quality music. I'll have a fair bit of up front work to do in creating label templates, jewel case liner designs, yada, yada, so I'd like to know if there's enough interest here to make the preparations worth doing. If there is, I'll give it everything I've got to help you.

    Who's in?
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Thumbs up Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    [QUOTE=Christopher Duncan]A lot of really good musicians don't have CDs for sale

    Duncan gets my vote for entrepreneur of the year award.

    WHAT A DYNAMITE IDEA.....coupled with the radio station
    its a full circle of creativity and could launch someones career.

    THREE CHEERS CHRISTOPHER.

    Paul O
    Houston
    Windows XP-pro SP2, Pentium 4
    3.4 GHz, 2GB RAM
    GPO & Finale 2005b.r1
    ________________________________________________

    Music is moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness and a gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, true and beautiful. -- Plato


  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    Hi, Christopher - -

    As you know, I have my own “shop” site for selling (at last count) eight CDs of my music (everything from dance, to ambient to my cinematic and classical stuff) here .

    However, I’d be happy to have a “Composers Channel Sampler Collection” which draws from some of my existing material and covers 79 minutes (or so) of the music which I have made available for play on TCC (as well as additional material to be added in the near future). How does that sound?

    Technical question: Besides printing on the custom CD are you sending CDs out with full jewel case and front cover and back cover? Because I’m such a control freak (duh!) I would like to supply you with the artwork for those 4 components (CD label, front cover/inside cover and back case) if possible.

    In my experience, there is always room for more outlets!

    Terrific entrepreneurial spirit going on here, mate!

    KevinKauai

  4. #4

    Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Duncan
    A lot of really good musicians don't have CDs for sale [...]
    I have one on sale, and whenever the next order will be made through my website, the sales will skyrocket up a 100%! From zero to one! Yay!


    Count me in! Where shall I send my CD to?

    Peter
    Greetings from Vienna!
    Peter
    My website: Above the staff.net

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    Nice.
    Styxx

  6. #6
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    Smile Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    This sounds great Christopher. I guess the only thing I'm wondering is what it is that you want from it. And if you dont want anything, you should. I mean, were all trying to be successful here so I wouldnt think that you'd leave yourself out right. Maybe you could give us an idea of what you would want for a cut. The obvious thing to me is that you are using your own time and resources to make this happen (and maybe that of others) so you are most definitely entitled to something. Thanks again. I've been trying to put my first CD together for a long time now and this will give me a little bit of an inspirational push. Cant wait for TCC to take off.

    Eric

  7. #7

    Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    Quote Originally Posted by EricWatkins
    This sounds great Christopher. I guess the only thing I'm wondering is what it is that you want from it. And if you dont want anything, you should.
    Hey, Eric.

    Thanks for thinking of me, man, I appreciate the spirit. The honest answer is yeah, I should probably make a little as well, but I haven't sat down yet to crunch the numbers on physical product cost, credit card processing expenses, etc. to determine a figure - I just solidified my thinking on this last night. Then I went to bed.

    My gut feeling is this - above and beyond the expenses involved in selling one, it wouldn't hurt me to make a couple of bucks to offset bandwidth costs, etc. as the station grows. However, the lion's share of the money has just got to go to the composers. You probably wouldn't understand why I feel so strongly about that without knowing all the stuff I went through when I was a young, broke musician. Some stories are probably best left for telling in smoky bars. Suffice to say I think musicians are traditionally and massively underpaid, and that just ain't right.

    Anyway, I'll get details up soon, but basically, I'll set a reasonable price for the consumer and it'll be the same price for everyone's CDs that we produce to keep it fair and simple. I'll deduct the cost of creating the product, keep a couple of bucks for myself to offset station overhead, and then the rest goes to the guys making the music.

    I know I'm not going to make you guys rich, but I'd sure like to at least make a difference.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  8. #8
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    I know I'm not going to make you guys rich, but I'd sure like to at least make a difference.
    Can you make me young again so I can at least have a better chance at competing with all of these excellent fine composers?
    Personally, I have a feeling that most (if not all) understand the possible long-term benefits this presents. If the right person hears their music at the right time, all hell could break loose! There is a center of gravity forming here first with the GPO forum and now coupled with the advent of your awesome work and help no doubt will benefit them no telling how much! Rich? Yeah, I suppose we all would love to be rich enough to be self-sufficient and never have to worry financially again. For me, that dream left along time ago. I just make my music and get a satisfaction that I can. Selling it is not important to me anymore.
    Nice work though and I totally agree you should be compensated. My contract lawyer will be calling you in the morning.
    Styxx

  9. #9

    Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKauai
    Hi, Christopher - -

    As you know, I have my own “shop” site for selling (at last count) eight CDs of my music (everything from dance, to ambient to my cinematic and classical stuff) here .
    ...
    In my experience, there is always room for more outlets!

    Terrific entrepreneurial spirit going on here, mate!

    KevinKauai
    Hey, Kev.

    Actually, I hadn't forgotten about guys like you who already have product, but it was late and I was too tired to type anymore. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

    Here's my thinking on those of you who already have product (of any kind, for the record). I'd rather see listeners buy the stuff that you've had to lay out money to produce. You have bucks tied up in inventory, so for every on demand CD of your material we sell, that's a CD you paid for still sitting on your shelf and tying up your money. I just don't think that's in your best financial interest.

    Eric's post was well considered, I should probably make a couple of bucks myself as I know that I'll begin to incur more expenses as the station grows. Here's my thoughts. I don't want to get into "drop shipping" because I want to completely control the customer experience to make sure they're always happy and get the same level of service that I would require for myself. That also keeps you guys looking good.

    So, what I'm going to do is let people with product send me 2 copies of any CDs that they want me to sell, "on consignment". When the first one sells, I email them for another copy. If sales are higher, I'll stock a couple of extra so that we don't run out. My ecommerce system always shows the customer how many are in stock. Basically, though, I don't want to tie up any more of your inventory than I think I can sell - it's just the practical thing to do. Same thing as everyone else, once a month I send you a check on what we've sold for you.

    This also takes care of artwork issues, etc. so that your product is exactly what you wanted when you paid to manufacture them. Pricing, etc. I'll put up with the other details once I find my pocket calculator, but the same spirit applies. I'll keep a couple of bucks, but the lion's share has got to go to the guys making the music.

    Of course, the composers who have CDs would do better to sell them off their own site where I don't keep a couple of bucks and they get it all. That's what your composer page is for in part - I want you guys to talk up your products on your page, include your web site in the provided link area, and get the listeners excited about visiting your web site and buying your stuff. I'll probably keep tweaking that section as I find better and better ways of helping you promote yourself to the listeners there.

    It's my hopes that they'll just click on your link and buy CDs directly from you. However, human nature being what it is, some people simply won't go to the trouble of visiting yet another site (people can be lazy), and still others will prefer for one reason or another to buy CDs from "the radio site" (people don't always make sense). Never, ever forget about human nature when you put together a plan, or it'll bite you in the behind every time. It's the one constant in the universe.

    So, the idea is to herd them to the composer's personal web site and get them excited about buying directly from the artist. (Tip: if you offer "signed copies" on your site, that's a Neat and Special Thing that they can only get from you. And people really get off on making a connection with the artist. If you're not doing this, you should!!) However, if they never get around to visiting your site but browse the Show Programming store instead, we still got you covered.

    I'll put up more fully fleshed out details later, after I get my morning coffee...
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  10. #10

    Re: Got a CD for sale? You do now...

    well, all that i can "sell" is an instrumental concept album of heavy metal with a lot of contamination (film muisc, orchestral, etc) that i recorded 4 years ago... not "professionally recorded" at all... but if you'd like to listen to it you can find it here
    http://www.alchemystudio.it/Musica/S...312main_en.htm

    just to promote by all means my music! :-)

    btw, thanks for the opportunity!

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