Why did I start Silent Dawn Publishing?
I started Silent Dawn Publishing as a composer, because I wanted to offer my own music to performers and directors in a consistent format, carefully edited and with good quality printing. As a director, I also felt that a website with a simple search tool, good recordings and full scores for previewing would make it easy to select music for programs.
Why did I open Silent Dawn Publishing up to other composers?
After setting this up for my own music, I found that other composers were also interested in using the Silent Dawn website as a self-publishing platform. I like the idea of sharing the platform. So, we created a licensing agreement where composers retain the rights to their music and costs are shared fairly.
Is there an advantage to having lots of composers involved?
Of course there is. As a composer, I benefit from the increased circulation that the site receives… and so does everyone else. Ensemble directors and performers that I work with will come to order my music and then get interested in other works, and vice versa. It creates synergy.
How is Silent Dawn Publishing different from self-publishing on your own site?
You may already have a web site with recordings and scores available to the public. I decided to go the extra step to provide customers with the ordering and payment system and to hire some admin support to do the legwork of sending printed scores. If you have lots of commissions, you may also want to free up the time standing in line at the print shop and instead just direct your customers to where they can place an order.
What is different about Silent Dawn Publishing for performers and ensembles directors?
Big publishing companies are looking for big sellers. If a company has huge overhead, then they need to publish pieces that will be widely accessible. They may admire a very unique and interesting work for its originality or creativity but recognize that the piece will not sell widely enough because the piece has a small market. So, a lot brilliant music gets overlooked. As the editor of Silent Dawn Publishing, I’m interested in the small markets. I want an ensemble director to come to the site and say, “Wow, this is unusual!” and then find the unique new piece that gives their program interest and vitality. Ensembles that are used to buying their music from publishers will also feel good about more of their dollars supporting the composer or song writer.
What is different about Silent Dawn Publishing for composers?
The Silent Dawn Publishing agreement allows each artist to retain the copyright. The site is a way for you to market your own work. For each score that you sell through the site, you receive 50% of what the customer pays. The rest goes toward covering the cost of hiring part-time admin, printing, and maintaining the site.
Can you publish a piece with Silent Dawn Publishing and then publish the same piece with another publisher later on?
Absolutely. In fact, I would take pride in knowing that a composer debuted a piece of music with Silent Dawn Publishing, and then later went on to sign a deal with a huge publishing house. My music is published in other places as well. In some cases, I feel that a different publisher is better suited for a specific work. Think of this site as another way to circulate your work or as a springboard to create opportunities.
What do you need to do to get your music on the site?
See our Guidelines for submissions for details. Basically, the piece needs to be performable, the score has to be free of any technical or editorial errors, and we need a good recording that we can use to show it off.