PDFs: Fixed rate? Adjustable rate?
Date: March 21, 2014
I am working with a 'traditional' hard-copy publisher who only now is getting ready to sell music in PDF format. His client experience has persuaded him that he should charge a set amount for PDFs, based on the hard-copy selling price. There would be unlimited copying allowed, presumably restricted to the the choir purchasing the music.
I have always shied away from this approach, preferring to request conductors to tell me how many copies they need, and so set my total price by multiplying a percentage of the hard-copy price by the number of copies to be made. (As an aside, I am considering asking for the choir name and website URL on the order form for my own desk-top published works; in this way I can - if I am at all 'suspicious' - check out the situation)
I find the 'one size fits all' approach discriminates against smaller choirs, trios, quartets, etc. It also can mean lost sales, for instance, in the case of overseas choirs (who do not know how long it will take to receive hard copies), in the case of significantly large choirs, and in situations where a conductor of a smallish choir suddenly discovers a piece that he/she feels needs to be obtained quickly but is not cost effective.
What is your experience and advice with respect to this situation? Which practice do YOU follow in your own publications, and – if you work with them with PDFs – which practice is followed with any traditional publishers of your music? Do you have strong feelings (as I do!) about all this?
Thanks very much,
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