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Hello Colleagues,

A work I submitted to a publisher has been accepted, and they have sent me a contract to sign. This is the first time this has happened, so I am not familiar with how this works, curious if anyone else has had a work published and if so, does their situation match mine. The basic details of the contract are that I assign exclusive copyright over to the publisher and remove all copies I have from the internet. In exchange, they put it up on their website for sale and I get 10% of the profits. If you are published, what is your experience? Similar? Different?


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Thanks Saul!

Thanks Jerry, I appreciate your thoughts!


One additional thought, again just personal from my own experience.  My impression is that a publication record, whether self publishing through sites like Sheet Music Plus or by a more commercial publisher, doesn't count for much in promoting one's musical work.  What really counts is a performance record, and the better known and more prestigious the ensemble, the more impressive it is.  The main thing I myself would consider in deciding whether to sign a publisher's contract is, how likely signing up with this publisher is to lead to performances.

Hi Jon,

I agree, performances are the best recommendation. That's why I joined my local composers group a couple of years ago and have been putting up the performance videos since then. I don't know how I would know whether being with a particular publisher helps with that, other than searching YT, etc. to see if works which have sold have been performed. This is a new  experience for me, so I will learn as I go (if there is anything to be learned)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this,


I think you're being ripped off.

At least a fifty-fifty split would be more fair.

70-30 (70 to the composer) is more industry practice.

However, you're making nothing off the work now, so maybe something is better than nothing.


I think first it has to sell, and then when real money is made then you can say that he is been ripped off.

Famously, Felix Mendelssohn's Songs without Words didn't sell even one copy for 5 years after been published.

I think when there are not too many options and a publisher does accept a relatively unknown composer, I think its a positive thing and its prudent to start small and then progress from there. Those who want to strike up a jackpot from the outset are not been realistic. 

Thanks again Jerry and Saul, we'll see what happens!


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