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Monday, April 30, 2012

Secondary Publishing Income

Printed Music

Here is a look at some other sources of income when making your own music. The majority of printed music revenues comes from sheet music. When making your own music, single songs in print is a nice way to earn income as a writer/musician. Collections of songs by a number of different artists and writers are called mixed folios. Another type is a matching folio, which has all songs of a particular album. Matching folios are usually printed with the album artwork on the cover and various posed candid shots of the artist inside.


The royalties paid to a publisher for single song sheet music are 20% of the marked retail price. If the sheet music has a $3.95 retail price, so the publisher gets about 80 cents. Royalties on folios are 10% to 12.5% of the marked retail price. Most retail selling price is around $24.95. A personality folio is one that has the picture of the performing artist plastered all over it. For personal folios an additional royalty is 5% of the marked retail selling price. This royalty goes to the artist.


Licenses for print music are for limited periods of time, usually three to five years. Because of this, you have to spell out what a printer can do with the stuff at the end of the term. Certainly they can't manufacture any more inventory, but can they continue to sell what they have?
     Normally these licenses give the printer a right to sell their existing inventory for a period of six to twelve months after the term expires. These rights are non-exclusive (meaning someone else can sell the same materials at the same time). At the end of the six to twelve months, they have to trash anything left over. For folios, the printers try not to have any time limit on their sell off rights.

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*Author, Arian Collin is a independent manager for bands and solo artists in the music industry.

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