Making music publishing easier and more profitable
By Jill Kemp • A little over a year ago, four musicians came up with a process to make music publishing easier and more profitable for the authors. The result was Low Down Publishing.
The goal for the company is to publish books for music teachers and self-guided learners. Low Down Publishing eliminates the stressful and expensive process of finding the right publishing resource.
After looking into traditional publishing arrangements, CEO Danny Ziemann found that it was a costly proposition.
“You lose your copyright and only earn seven percent of the net profits,” Ziemann says. “So, if they sell a $20 book to distributors at 55 percent off, the publisher makes $8.50. Then after shipping and advertising are taken away, you earn about a dollar for each book sold. At 3,000 copies of a book, the profit is minimal and you no longer own the copyright.”
Ziemann wanted to have protection.
“In the last five years, the publishing world has really changed,” he says. “In fact, Amazon now controls 60 percent of book sales.”
Despite living in Vienna, Austria, Ziemann created the company with three colleagues from the Eastman School of Music: Michael Sherman, John Mills, and Erik Piazza. They meet twice a month, virtually.
Initially, they crowdfunded the project through Indigo, raising $8,000 to launch the company. The founders also worked with NextCorps. Through the incubator, the team found an attorney who created an operator’s agreement outlining all aspects of business operations. The elements in that document will enable the four partners to handle conflict and difficult decisions.
Reaching out to educators about the business was the next step. Now, the news is slowly beginning to spread. They were contacted by a musician and author in Amsterdam. Currently, Low Down Publishing has five clients.
When considering a project, one of the first questions the founders ask themselves is whether there actually is a need in the marketplace for the book. Then, they create a schedule and move forward with it, incorporating time for drafts, reviews, video creation, revisions, layout, cover design, and final approvals.
Next year, the team plans to get five books printed and their marketing plans implemented. There will be a marketing strategy and plan for each book.
“It feels good to be productive,” Ziemann says.
For more information, go to: https://www.lowdownpublishing.com/.