As I am celebrating 2 years in business with Opus Cello, my publishing company, I thought this would be a good moment to reflect on the past 2 years. It may be of interest to those who are thinking about doing similar projects.
Get ready to work
Little did I know when I started how much work it would be. Since I launched Opus Cello by myself, I did everything on my own: design of the website, design of the cover for my printed copies, social media, newsletter, music editing, etc.... That's on top of my work as a cellist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Cello Quartet, occasional chamber music concerts, recitals, and teaching. But it was all worth it, and I am sure glad I started 2 years ago and not in 10 years. So far, it seems to work well, and I have had only happy customers, which is the most important!
Luckily, there are great tools online for today's musical entrepreneurs: my website used a template provided by my website company, which I just had to customize ("just" does mean hours and hours of customizations though). My logo turned out exactly the way I wanted it to be for a very reasonable price. And you wouldn't guess how easy it was to design the cover for my printed copies. In other words, I do think there are many ways to get good results by yourself, with everything computers and the internet have to offer, and a touch of creativity.
Downloads or Prints?
When I opened my website, I decided to make my arrangements available only as PDF downloads. It's easy, quick, most people have a printer at home, and since I am already busy with my work as a cellist, I don't have to worry about shipping music every day. I do believe this is the future of the industry, especially with the wider use of iPads or other tablets to read music these days.
Even though most people now shop online, it was still some sort of childhood dream for me to see my music in a regular sheet music shop. Thanks to a successful first year providing only PDF downloads, I was able to invest into the production of printed copies.