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CLASSICAL  February 2005

CLASSICAL February 2005

Subject:

Re: Self Publication of Baroque Music Scores...Lucrative or Not?

From:

Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 3 Feb 2005 09:36:09 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (48 lines)

Kim Clow wrote:

>I have been doing some musical editing of an obscure German Baroque
>composer.  I plan on publishing the scores myself and selling them.
>This would "seem" to be the way of the future, but I wonder if anyone
>on the list has done this; and can tell me what my expectations are.
>
>Honestly?  If I make back costs, I'd be happy.
>
>My dream would be to get a group of dedicated musicians to record these
>stuff and produce my own CD like Ted Perry did when he started Hyperion
>Records.

On the publishing front...my guess would be that there would be a small
market for items of this sort, but with your market likely to be major
research institutions, depending on how much of the work you do yourself,
the quality of the binding and related costs, I would guess you would
need to add up the numbers, but if you charged enough and they were
convinced your publications were a "must have." That would mean a great
review in someplace like NOTES, the Journal of the Music Library
Association.

As for your dream...starting my own record company was not my dream, but
something I felt I should do.  It has become the focus of my time away
from work and, due to changes in my assignment at work, my creative
outlet.  I have no idea how a Ted Perry was so successful, however, I
guess it depends on how you measure success.  With an investment of
$9,500 we have almost two dozen issues out there, with each one having
personal meaning to me, enough money in the bank for two more issues,
(pressing costs) unreimbursed sales of about $12,000 a bunch of CD in
the shed behind the house, and a new computer for mastering.  From my
perspective we are very successful.  All of this has been done without
budgeting a penny for advertizing.  By the way, we have never paid a
penny for staff, including myself!  Plus all of this has been on the
weekends.  My wife handles the finances.

It has also been an experiment of a sort...to see if an alternative
business plan will make the classical CD business viable.  Naxos pays
the musicians upfront, we pay after we make back our costs.  At this
point, I have some fine artists wanting to work with me, but I don't
have the time, or the money to cover pressing costs.  The more I am in
this business the more I admire the genius of Klaus Heymann!

In short, it depends on what you see as being a good return for your
efforts...money isn't everything...provided you have food and shelter
and a good medical plan, etc.

Karl

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