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Self-publishing – nuts and bolts

Posted on April 5, 2011 in ComposingMusicPublishingVideo

My fellow composers and I have written a number of times about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, covering everything from copyright to licensing to notation. However, I don’t recall that we have actually demonstrated, in simple steps, the physical process of making of the paper product, so I shot a video here in my home studio/office to take any remaining mystery out of the process.

There are two areas this doesn’t address:

  1. Hiring out large print runs of works, which I do for pieces that may (hopefully) sell hundreds of copies, such as Dusk (both the band and the orchestra version))
  2. Distribution of music via PDF / download.  I’ve distributed more sets of Ecstatic Waters via PDF than via paper at this point, so perhaps that would be a good topic for a future post.

For now, I just want to show you the basics of making your own scores and parts at home:

Watch in glorious HD at my YouTube channel

As a handy reference, here are some links to other discussions of publishing, copyright, notation, MIDI etc., useful for composers, emerging and emerged:

John Mackey:

Eric Whitacre’s Advice for the Emerging Composer

Jonathan Newman

Related discussions over at the BCM International Forum:

…and my own post illustrating the differences between MIDI mock-ups and the Real Thing:

  • Alex Yoder

    Interesting video, I need to invest in a binding machine so I stop having to pay Staples or Kinkos.

    I would be interested in more info about how you do rentals or “hiring out” as I think you mentioned. That seems to be a popular method of late.

  • Richard Ford

    Great video! I laughed and I cried, especially at the captions. The shrink wrap was a nice finishing touch.