Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

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Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

I think its something important to most of us here.
We all have a ton of music that we have created, arranged, transcribed, and NOTATED.
We've used various notational tools, my new fav is Dorico, of course.

Presently I use Lulu.com as my one-off printing press (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/astrologi).
Super easy, they only charge me for what it costs to print, I can set my own prices, and it looks great.

The problems are that Lulu just doesn't care about MUSIC. It doesn't even have "music" as a searchable category (even though many of us have asked them to add this for years). Its a book publisher, and so I have to do 8.5"x11" US letter sized scores and parts, printed and bound beautifully with saddle stitch or perfect bound (or even ring). But, it falls short because of the size limitations, and the lack of caring about a music category.

What do you folks use?
I've been scouring the internet looking for something like Lulu, easy as uploading the PDFs, designing the cover (Or uploading jpegs), and poof. Order a proof copy, and its done. You can print one or 10 (or as many as you need). Do you folks have any suggestions for good printing presses that allow one-off self publishing?

Is there anything like Lulu, that's as easy, and worth it, price-wise,
that will do 9"x12" score and part sizes, as well as larger 11"x17" conducting scores?

I'm sure that Dorico will be able to create scores in whatever size we need, as I've read in the upcoming update.

I'm just going to throw this out there: there seems to be a hole in the market for this. Self-Publishing and direct one-off printing for composers and arrangers via a notation program. If Dorico also later on offered something like this, either by partnering up with an established company, or just started its own printing press, wouldn't that be cool?

I know I'd use it.
Thoughts?

(if this is too far off topic for Dorico, feel free to let me know and I'll delete this post)
Last edited by istvan_bracz on Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by Daniel at Steinberg »

I don't think this is at all off-topic, and I too would be interested to see which services people are using.

Years ago, in the big purple people eating company, I had a meeting with the people from MagCloud, which was at the time owned by HP but which is today owned by Blurb, and they were interested in doing some integration work with scoring software as they were seeking out business models. They might be worth a look, though again they're not specialists for music.

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by rodrigoruiz1988 »

Great topic! I'm really interested in this subject, as well. I have no advice or answers to give, but I'd love to hear from others.

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by dankreider »

I’ve been very much interested in the same thing myself. At present, I’ve resorted to letter-size score printed in-house on standard copier paper, or paying way too much at the local copy store.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

Well, (I'm not in any way associated with them), it might be worth it to check out www.lulu.com

They do good work, and are very fair with the pricing.
Its COMPLETELY "do it yourself", so there is a tiny learning curve at first, but I have found it to be incredibly easy to use.
They also give you a place to list your scores (which to them is a book) on one page.
I use Bandcamp to add it as "merch" and folks can order a score along with a free download of a recording.
Its useful.

BUT- its incredibly annoying that music is so under-represented in the self-publishing world
(not just online pdf sheet music, that's out there for sure), and its hard to get good prints of scores done
in the sizes preferred by many orchestras, performers, and conductors.

I usually include the score, then a transposed score (if orchestral, ensemble, or transposing instrument),
then parts in one book at 8.5"x11", and include a note that it can easily be copied and blown up if needed.
But that seems lame that there are no other choices.

CreateSpace used to be a viable competitor to Lulu-
but they are now owned by the Devil (Amazon).
And the quality control seems to be inconsistent (in my recent experiences).

Looking online, I see several companies that claim to "help the composer" by making their music available online, etc bla bla, but they offer 10%-30% of the profits to the composer for each sale. Seriously.

At least, with Lulu, you are only paying for the price of the printing.
I wish there was something else out there.

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:55 am
I don't think this is at all off-topic, and I too would be interested to see which services people are using.

Years ago, in the big purple people eating company, I had a meeting with the people from MagCloud, which was at the time owned by HP but which is today owned by Blurb, and they were interested in doing some integration work with scoring software as they were seeking out business models. They might be worth a look, though again they're not specialists for music.
Daniel, Thanks. I figured it would be important for us all here.
Never heard of MagCloud, or Blurb. Will check these out soon and report back.

So far we have:
www.lulu.cm
www.createpace.com
http://www.magcloud.com/products

I've used Lulu and create space- and can upload either photos and/or vids of the products for you to see.
Lets get a list going and we can give our impressions (ancient printing pun intended) for the good of all.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by JulianBennettHolmes »

I like to have control over the paper, printing, binding, etc., so I print 9" x 12" on an HP LaserJet 5200 at home, which can handle paper up to 12" x 18". If you don't mind a little labor, the cost of printing is extremely low.

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by PF Slow »

The HP 5200 is an industry standard but some of the newer inkjets are faster, less expensive and can be used for day to day print as they do color also.

This is an excellent, low cost wide format printer. I can print any size I like except 12"x19" Supertabloid.

https://www.pcmag.com/review/365131/bro ... all-in-one

The only difference between the MFC-J6945DW and the previous version (MFC-J6935DW) is that the current ink tanks are even larger. The MFC-J6935DW tanks ($77 set) last about a year @ 300-400 pages a week around here. It's ridiculously fast compared with everything that I have ever owned over the last 30+ years.

It replaced an HP that was costing over $600/yr for ink and was slow as can be.

The only down side is that blacks are not as saturated as on the HP but you won't notice if not doing an A/B comparison. OTOH, I can soak pages from the Brother after the paper's dry and the ink does not run, black or color (try that with an HP).

It is big—we call it Printzilla. Because of the size, I bought a small AV cart with big wheels. This fits perfectly and lets anyone around here wheel it up to the desk for intense scanning or custom printing. Wireless performance is flawless.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

JulianBennettHolmes wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:42 pm
I like to have control over the paper, printing, binding, etc., so I print 9" x 12" on an HP LaserJet 5200 at home, which can handle paper up to 12" x 18". If you don't mind a little labor, the cost of printing is extremely low.
Hi, yes I already DO that (MANY of us are forced to do that)-
and the point is I want to find someone ELSE who will professionally BIND and print for me.
I've done my own printing for years. I have a large format printer and scanner- so I hear you-
but the point of this post is to find a company that will do larger order score prints professionally
and have it online for you so you can easily drop ship scores, or folks can simply order a score online,
and you simply get $$ for it.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

PF Slow wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:22 pm
This is an excellent, low cost wide format printer. I can print any size I like except 12"x19" Supertabloid.

https://www.pcmag.com/review/365131/bro ... all-in-one

The only difference between the MFC-J6945DW and the previous version (MFC-J6935DW) is that the current ink tanks are even larger. The MFC-J6935DW tanks ($77 set) last about a year @ 300-400 pages a week around here. It's ridiculously fast compared with everything that I have ever owned over the last 30+ years.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039 ... UTF8&psc=1
Yes, this is actually the printer I am using at the moment- but the POINT of the topic is NOT do it yourself. I’ve printed and bound my own scores since the mid 90’s and the whole point is to find a good reliable service that would work for composers. Thanks.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by Andre »

I am also looking for a good way to get my scores printed and bind and have used Lulu for many years. The problem is indeed that they don't really support music printing, it's just another book, which is especially a problem when having parts, these you need to add as new projects instead of being a part of the main score project.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

Another issue I often face with Lulu is that there is nobody I can talk to, or call. It is really very much do it yourself. I’d love to find a company that has good prices and stands behind their work, and can be reached by phone if needed. Perhaps just me being too old...

Oh, if I had the money, I’d start a Lulu-like company focusing on music and arts.
(just dreaming out loud).
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by pianoleo »

Here in the UK, a cursory Google indicates that Spartan Press (http://www.spartanpress.co.uk/spweb/printing.php) might be a good bet.
In the USA, Subito Music Corp. are the first Google result that look relevant (http://www.subitomusic.com/services/pri ... -printing/). I've not used them but the list of file formats they work with is reassuring and there's a phone number on the homepage.

Dropshipping doesn't strike me as being particularly compatible with low-volume music printing, I'm afraid...
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by PF Slow »

istvan_bracz wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:08 am
...and have it online for you so you can easily drop ship scores, or folks can simply order a score online,
and you simply get $$ for it.
That's a little different than the question you asked originally. JW Pepper My Score can do it all for you.

https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/my ... ms-faq.jsp
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by dankreider »

SMP Press (Sheet Music Plus) is quite good. The composer gets 45%. https://smppress.sheetmusicplus.com/
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

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istvan_bracz wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:08 am
the point is I want to find someone ELSE who will professionally BIND and print for me.
I've done my own printing for years. I have a large format printer and scanner- so I hear you-
but the point of this post is to find a company that will do larger order score prints professionally
and have it online for you so you can easily drop ship scores, or folks can simply order a score online,
and you simply get $$ for it.
I can’t recommend any specific publishing house but there are directories on the internet, so you could call or apply at a music publisher that specializes in your kind of music and ask them whether they would take you under contract.

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by L3B »

Istvan-Bracz said: "Oh, if I had the money, I’d start a Lulu-like company focusing on music and arts.
(just dreaming out loud)."

I wouldn't think the start-up costs would be that high. A person would have to invest in some materials, of course, but if you already had a large enough printer, what other up front costs would there be? The devices that are used to do comb or spiral bindings are simple and inexpensive. What else would a person need? (I ask because I'm tempted to seriously consider doing it myself!)
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by VIPStephan »

L3B wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:36 am
What else would a person need? (I ask because I'm tempted to seriously consider doing it myself!)
Well, you’d need the technical infrastructure to have a website where people can sign up and manage their items, order and payment processing. This is more intricate than you might think. Developing something like that would go into the tenthousands of Dollars, Euros or Pounds.

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by Rob Tuley »

VIPStephan wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:57 am
Developing something like that would go into the tenthousands of Dollars, Euros or Pounds.
You don't need to develop it. There are lots of companies that provide ecommerce platforms for a monthly subscription (there are some "free" ones) plus commission charges (typically less than 5% of sales).

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by VIPStephan »

Rob Tuley wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:19 am
You don't need to develop it. There are lots of companies that provide ecommerce platforms for a monthly subscription (there are some "free" ones) plus commission charges (typically less than 5% of sales).
I think we’re talking about different things here. I’m referring to the statement by Istvan Bracz that he would like to start an online publishing company like Lulu, and understood it as company where creators can upload and manage their work for sale. Of course, if you just want to create your own online shop to sell/publish your own work it would probably be a lot simpler.

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by Rob Tuley »

L3B wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:36 am
A person would have to invest in some materials, of course, but if you already had a large enough printer, what other up front costs would there be?
Labour. What happens when you need to spend 10 hours one day to fulfil your orders, but you have something else do to? And do you really want to spend your own life printing out other people's scores and putting them in the mail?

And don't forget the amount of time you will spend on the phone to people who (rightly or wrongly) think you have messed up over something - and the fact that your customers may ring you at any hour of the day (or night, if they are in a different time zone).

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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

pianoleo wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:16 pm
Here in the UK, a cursory Google indicates that Spartan Press (http://www.spartanpress.co.uk/spweb/printing.php) might be a good bet.
In the USA, Subito Music Corp. are the first Google result that look relevant (http://www.subitomusic.com/services/pri ... -printing/). I've not used them but the list of file formats they work with is reassuring and there's a phone number on the homepage.

Dropshipping doesn't strike me as being particularly compatible with low-volume music printing, I'm afraid...
Thanks, I also can do a cursory Google search (hint: I did), and honestly, Spartan is not a site for composers having their works available to buy online, its a printing press. That's it.

Subito's site seems to be from 1992, and gives very little info on what the score looks like.

At least with Lulu, the potential customer can see a few pages of what they will be buying.

None provide any audio.

With Spartan, its the equivalent of me asking a printing press company to do a job for me, and that's it. There is no link I could find to lead me to composers and their works (available scores for printing purchase), and no preview of their products, I would have to email them to ask for samples, and give them info on potential projects.

Maybe I was not clear initially?

I am using Lulu, and I like them-
BUT I'd like to find a place that does what Lulu does, yet gives me more control over sizes of scores:
Lulu lists the works from an author on a single page,
gives a description of it, and an image- with a preview of several pages.
It is also available via digital distribution,
and one can get a free ISBN number with certain types of products.

Re: "drop-shipping"-
If I have a conductor who is interested in a work, I can simply go to the Lulu site, order a SINGLE copy to be printed, and type in the conductor's address, and within a few weeks it will arrive, drop-shipped straight to their address. I find this immensely useful.

I see no other place that will do this.
So, for this forum, these are the main questions I would ask:
(1) Are there any OTHER places like Lulu?
(2) Are there any other places that do it BETTER, and cater to composers?
(3) Has anyone USED these sites? If so, I would like feedback for our forum.


If there are no other places like Lulu, then I suggest that perhaps there is a hole in the market which needs to be filled.
(Daydream wishlist: Since Dorico is based on "printing",
perhaps the company could later expand its offerings like a type of Lulu, but be focused primarily on MUSIC)


Thanks for all your responses so far.
You folks are awesome.
I hope that is a bit clearer. :-)
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by PF Slow »

I see no other place that will do this.
I sent you the link to My Score JW Pepper. They're the largest sheet music store in the world, both online and with many locations. They do exactly what you want including preview pages and you can upload audio clips. Here it is again.

https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/my ... ms-faq.jsp

One of my children has had some success with this, embedding the links from web site and Facebook pages. Has the composer's page on business cards, too.

One thing nice about Pepper is that many schools, churches etc. have accounts with them. They're not exactly newcomers to the business having been around since 1876. The present company dates back to 1912.
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by istvan_bracz »

PF Slow wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:08 pm
I see no other place that will do this.
I sent you the link to My Score JW Pepper. They're the largest sheet music store in the world, both online and with many locations. They do exactly what you want including preview pages and you can upload audio clips. Here it is again.

https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/my ... ms-faq.jsp

One of my children has had some success with this, embedding the links from web site and Facebook pages. Has the composer's page on business cards, too.

One thing nice about Pepper is that many schools, churches etc. have accounts with them. They're not exactly newcomers to the business having been around since 1876. The present company dates back to 1912.
Yes, thanks- I am familiar with Pepper, and on first impressions: I wasn't terribly impressed-
reading up on it it seemed that they take quite a huge cut out of the amount of money the composer would get-
if I'm not mistaken. I could be mistaken since I looked at so many sites (my head was swimming).
Comparing it to Lulu, I am only paying for the printing cost (and shipping, etc).
I remember something about a membership fee (not sure if I'm dreaming about this??) as well that initially turned me off-
I'll check it again, before I get all negative. Thanks, and I will report back. :-)
Any OTHER folks out there use Pepper??
What's YOUR take on them?
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and NOW: DoricoPRO 3! :-)
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Fav Music Software: RX7, VinylStudioPRO, REAKTOR, Pigments!, Absynth, GleetchLab, AudioFinder, Audio HiJack, Airfoil, LOOPBACK!

PF Slow
Junior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:54 pm
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Re: Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

Post by PF Slow »

I remember something about a membership fee (not sure if I'm dreaming about this??) as well that initially turned me off-
$99 one time setup fee. No membership fee.
Current licenses for Dorico 3.5.1, Finale 26.3, Notion 6, Overture 5 & Encore; SmartScore 64, NotePerformer
iMac Pro OS 10.14.6; MBP OS 10.15.6; G4 Tiger & OS 9; Win 7 — really? Only when I absolutely must.
Digital Performer 10.11, Logic Pro X 10.15.1
Music Industry Professional, Conductor, Singer, Composer & Arranger. Church music director. Video producer & engineer

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