review of CreateSpace for musicians

As promised, I’m continuing my series of reviews of online musician song sales tools. The previous review went over RootMusic, SmashSongs and TuneCore and why, in the end, they don’t match my criteria. Today, I continue with the review of services that don’t meet the baseline that I eventually came up with for my focus: sites that enable digital direct sales of songs for independent musicians.

Bottom line is that CreateSpace does not meet this criteria. The digital song/music sales on this service are via Amazon.COM. While this is a great avenue, I’m trying to do my best to keep the reviews based on the same criteria.

However, I think CreateSpace deserves special mention because it continues the genius of this company by bringing independent artists or agents into the Amazon fold for music (MP3), books and films. The book portion includes a set of free publishing resources that more writers/authors are taking advantage of every day. One friend of mine — Marlaina Donato who recently started using CreateSpace for her books — said that publishing with other companies was a headache and working with publishing and sales via “Createspace is FABULOUS and totally freeing”. Hopefully, you can learn more about this from writers who are using this service. It’s beyond the scope of my reviews.

There is a parallel “CD On Demand” service for musicians. Once you’ve uploaded all the bits of data — art work, sleeve text, tracks, UPN and so on — CreateSpace can simple cut new CD’s when they’re ordered ensuring that they’re never out of stock. This is a very attractive avenue for independent musicians on a budget. The sales are not limited to Amazon.COM, since you can create your own storefront and only have to pay a fee (currently $4.95) plus 15% overhead to CreateSpace. When selling on Amazon, $4.95 plus 45% is taken from the CD On Demand sales. (These fees are subject to change, so please check with CreateSpace to see what they are by the time you read this.) Obviously, your royalty depends on the price of the CD.

Still, the MP3 sales are not “direct”. CreateSpace uses Amazon’s very powerful platform to perform the marketing and sales of the music. Your royalties from each digital sale start at $.65/MP3. Check it out if you need an avenue for CD sales and have not yet pressed any (except maybe on your own PC CD-burner).

Shannon Grissom was the first one to suggest that I check out CreateSpace. Thanks, Shannon! (Be sure to visit her site filled with original art and music.)

In the next few days, I’ll start reviewing the services that do meet my criteria. The next one will be ReverbNation, so keep an eye out for that. (If you follow me on Twitter or subscribe to this blog you won’t have to think about it…) As always, I look forward to your comments — you don’t have to agree with me to speak up, BTW.

Playful blessings,
Stan

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