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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059131 08/20/20 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I always go for a royalty arrangement. That way there's never a situation where a company pays a fee, then regrets doing so because sales didn't match expectations.

I look at it the other way. I put in the hours, I gave them a product. I get paid. I don't care how much more I might make if sales go through the roof, or not get paid for my time if it doesn't sell well.

I guess the trick when you're on a royalty plan is to be sure that you're writing about a product or method with sales that will meet your expectations for payment.

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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059208 08/21/20 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
FYI, I have worked with two software companies that used to have fairly rigorous copy protection. The expense of doing so was judged excessive if they wanted to stay competitive, so they dropped the rigorous copy protection and went to an "enter this serial number" type of approach.

After a year, both companies said it made absolutely zero difference in their sales, one way or the other. They both came to the conclusion that the people who stole it probably weren't going to buy it anyway, and that most people are honest and want to support the companies whose tools they use, lest the company go out of business.
I worked for a software company and the owner felt the same way. IIRC, the owner thought that the pirated copies out there helped sales a bit, as they allowed people to try the software and eventually buy it, especially if there was a paid upgrade that came out.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Mike Rivers #3059247 08/21/20 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
I guess the trick when you're on a royalty plan is to be sure that you're writing about a product or method with sales that will meet your expectations for payment.

Yes, because they you make money while you sleep. Passive income is great.

Not all sales meet expectations, especially with companies that don't realize that what worked for publishing in 1980 doesn't work in 2020. I'm very happy with the new model I'm using. I can almost guarantee I'll never do another book with a traditional publisher.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059313 08/22/20 01:40 AM
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When I first started mail-order commerce in the early 1980s, i wrote a tax deduction book for musicians. My sisters are CPAs, I picked their brains, and self-published photocopy handbooks. I sold a few hundred of them using classified ads.

A good friend of mine who used to teach at the University of Miami and also played with Ira Sullivan wrote a jazz guitar book, Warner Brothers published it, and it sold quite a few thousand. Comparing notes, I made more money than he did.

WB did one run, and then dropped it.

The gatekeepers have always exploited the artists.

Now we can handle our business on the 'net, but there are so many of us doing it, it's hard to get recognized.

Notes


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The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Notes_Norton #3059353 08/22/20 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Now we can handle our business on the 'net, but there are so many of us doing it, it's hard to get recognized.
Yep, that's correct.

Thankfully, tenacity and trial/error/improve pay off as we stumble our way through internet e-commerce. Those who succeed keep stumbling forward and persevere through the setbacks. One strategy I stumbled upon is the market niche - and I mean a very narrow niche - so narrow that potential prospects are excluded. A narrow niche is deep, very deep - possibly bottomless with boundless opportunity (the bigger fish in a smaller pond paradigm).

A narrower niche requires a narrower marketing message that hits niche prospects right between the eyes. Greater online recognition can happen with a narrow niche and lots of tenacity. It's not easy nor is it fast.

Last edited by SteveCoscia; 08/22/20 01:05 PM. Reason: typo
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059359 08/22/20 02:10 PM
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I hit upon a niche before the Internet, when it was mail-order and it converted to Internet very nicely.

Actually it's a niche of a niche of a niche. Musicians are a niche market, musicians making music with computers are a niche of that market, and musicians making music with the auto-accompaniment program Band-in-a-Box are a niche of that niche of a niche market.

I don't watch TV and like to keep actively and/or mentally busy. Back in 1992 BiaB allowed end customers to write their own styles. I decided to use my multi-instrumentalist and theory/arranging skills to try my hand at it. I made about 20 styles I was proud of and shared them with my musician friends who were also playing with BiaB. They told me they liked my styles better than the ones that came with BiaB. (Aren't friends wonderful?). So I took out an ad in Electronic Musician's classified section, I think it was when Craig was editor, and now I have customers in over 100 different countries - every continent but Antarctica. Musicians all over the world building their songs with my music. I never expected it to grow into this. I got lucky.

I now have 28 style e-disk collections and 45 fake e-disk collections. I'm writing two more style e-disks now and Leilani is working on 3 new fake e-disks. Of course I don't ship them out on 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks anymore, instead they are automatic direct download, but after calling them disks for so many years, I don't know what else to call them. So I've resorted to calling them e-disks from time to time.

But that doesn't bother me, our phones ring without bells, we dial them without a dial, we crank the car but the crank went out with the Model T, we call A, AA and AAA cells "batteries", and guitarists go acoustic with magnetic pickups through amplifiers on a flat-top guitar.

I keep my markup low. Sometimes I think the shopping cart company, web host, credit card merchant's account, credit card authorization company and my sub-contractors make more than me (the silent partners). But I'm selling to fellow musicians and I understand we are all underpaid. The gatekeepers always get their share.

However, it's a sideline "moonlighting" biz (in the daytime). I still make the bulk of my income from gigging -- at least until COVID came around. More than anything else about the plague, I miss gigging. --- But this too will pass.

So although there are "wack-a-mole" hoops to occasionally jump through, websites to maintain, updating old products to reflect changes in BiaB, new product to create (after the musician version of writer's block), and those fees that go out to my "silent partners", I can't say the Internet sucks. It's actually been pretty kind to me.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Notes_Norton #3059366 08/22/20 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Actually it's a niche of a niche of a niche. Musicians are a niche market, musicians making music with computers are a niche of that market, and musicians making music with the auto-accompaniment program Band-in-a-Box are a niche of that niche of a niche market.
Great example, Notes. That. Is. Narrow.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
SteveCoscia #3059387 08/22/20 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCoscia
One strategy I stumbled upon is the market niche - and I mean a very narrow niche - so narrow that potential prospects are excluded. A narrow niche is deep, very deep - possibly bottomless with boundless opportunity (the bigger fish in a smaller pond paradigm).

A narrower niche requires a narrower marketing message that hits niche prospects right between the eyes. Greater online recognition can happen with a narrow niche and lots of tenacity. It's not easy nor is it fast.

I can back that up as 100% accurate. Distribution is the single most important element for success these days. In terms of my books, a traditional publisher tries to cast as wide a net as possible, and hope that somehow, it will hit enough people that some of them will want to buy. It's very inefficient - especially spending money on marketing to a group of people where the majority are, from the gitgo, not going to purchase anything.

The Studio One eBooks are being distributed in the PreSonus shop because that's where Studio One users go to buy things. They're mentioned in their Facebook activities because that's where Studio One people keep current. They're mentioned from time to time in the feed that hits the Studio One start page, and in my weekly blog post with Studio One tips. So, we're casting a net to a very targeted, specific group of people, with no money wasted on marketing, and providing something that those people want. I maintain this is why just one of the Studio One books has been more successful than the eight books that Hal Leonard sells.

My whole career started because Electronic Projects for Musicians filled a totally underserved niche. Since then, I keep looking for underserved niches with little, if any, competition. Even my products follow that philosophy.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3059781 08/25/20 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
What about your electronic stuff Michael? Didn’t you learn a lot of that on the job? Or school? Should we credit our teachers and the books where we got that knowledge? I sure don’t know specifically where I got the information I know in my head. I’m only certain about the things I truly discovered for myself. I also can’t remember very much without looking it up again and again.

I learned from all over. School, textbooks, on the job, research (I still read up on technology after college), curiosity, etc. In the end, we all see further standing on the shoulders of giants. I couldn't possibly compile a complete list of credits since college but on my webpages I do credit web sources.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
The Real MC #3059819 08/25/20 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Originally Posted by Markyboard
What about your electronic stuff Michael? Didn’t you learn a lot of that on the job? Or school? Should we credit our teachers and the books where we got that knowledge? I sure don’t know specifically where I got the information I know in my head. I’m only certain about the things I truly discovered for myself. I also can’t remember very much without looking it up again and again.

I learned from all over. School, textbooks, on the job, research (I still read up on technology after college), curiosity, etc. In the end, we all see further standing on the shoulders of giants. I couldn't possibly compile a complete list of credits since college but on my webpages I do credit web sources.

I had to skim through a lot of this thread as I couldn't remember why I asked the question or where I was going with this. Told you I can't remember sh*t. facepalm

I guess my thoughts straddle the line between outright stealing of compiled work (which imo is just plain wrong no matter how you look at it) and the reluctance of some to freely share their knowledge and information. From day 1 of working in engineering I encountered those that were tight lipped and refused to share information with co-workers . They believed if they shared their "secrets" some how their value, job security or whatever would be diminished. Contrast with the 2-3 unofficial mentors I had that took me (and others) under their wing, shared freely and almost always rose above those tight lipped weenies.

It was these mentors who literally helped me survive a corporate career and field I had no desire to be in for many years (destructive behaviors etc.) . With their help I eventually found my niche and got good at it. Along the way I tried to help others, give credit to the good guys/gals, build their confidence, assist in promoting them etc. Admittedly a lot of it came from my rebellious work attitude that prevailed through much of my career. But I always found helping others gave me the most satisfying feeling and eventually realized its the only thing you take from any career that has lasting value. Plus you can hope that those people you helped do the same for others at some point. I try to share in the same way here and on other music related sites as I see others doing as well.

Of course as in just about any corporate environment or field of interest you had/have the jokers that take undue credit and constantly fake their so called expertise and "credentilals"; i.e. the regurgitators. These people aren't fooling anyone but themselves. Like I said people quickly know the difference. You don't have to call them out, get frustrated (easier said than done) or seek action. They reveal themselves wherever they go. I try to tell this to my daughter, a relatively new member of the corprorate workforce.

It's a tough thing to swallow and unfortunately often takes years before it starts to make sense. Some people never get it.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3059850 08/25/20 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
From day 1 of working in engineering I encountered those that were tight lipped and refused to share information with co-workers . They believed if they shared their "secrets" some how their value, job security or whatever would be diminished.
This same non-sharing phenomenon exists in the mechanical trades. Some technicians in their 40s and 50s don't share their experience for fear that they'll be replaced by younger, less-expensive labor. Though, it's not as pervasive as it used to be. Among my clients, the internal culture has improved and information flows much smoother these days.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059859 08/25/20 05:04 PM
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That's good to read Steve. It's funny but I think it's the resistance to sharing that detracts from people's potential and perceived value. Despite the number of years you're only more experienced from a practical sense for a while. Once you've plateaued these young folks catch up pretty quickly.

They also seem to have a distinct advantage when it comes to retrieving data and regurgitating it back. It's no wonder many "experienced" workers are fearful. Ah to be young.
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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3059868 08/25/20 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
Ah to be young.

I was young once, I think. Can't remember. facepalm


that was then and this is now
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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059974 08/26/20 07:48 PM
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I've known musicians who didn't want to share their tricks and techniques and I've known some who are eager to share.

When I was 18 I was playing in a bar with 2 bands. As was the practice in segregated Florida back then, there was the white and black band. The black band had to go into the back room on break and not mix with the audience.

When it was break time, the band played "intermission riff" and as musicians showed up on one side of the stage and started playing, the corresponding on on the other side would put his axe down. I'd walk to the other side of the stage and play with the other band.

Before the gig and for a while after, we'd talk with the other musicians in that musty room back stage. Their sax player was an old guy, dark black skin and almost white grey hair. Pretty cool look. He would say, "I am the past, and you are the future" and he showed me a lot of things that they would have considered wrong in school but were right for pop music, including how to get growl in my throat to add distortion to the sax tone.

I always wanted to be like him, so I strive to be the kind of person to share with others.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059991 08/26/20 10:07 PM
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I always wondered how this concept manifested itself in the pro music world. I’ve heard a few positive stories, but your’s Notes was absolutely beautiful.

Thanks for sharing and...thanks for sharing! cheers

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Notes_Norton #3059993 08/26/20 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
I've known musicians who didn't want to share their tricks and techniques and I've known some who are eager to share.

I never saw guitarist Joe Maphis play, but there were stories going around that when the audience was close enough, he'd drape a handkerchief over his left hand so you couldn't see the chords he was playing.

Doc Watson, on the other hand, would teach you anything you asked.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059999 08/26/20 10:52 PM
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I think I'm living proof that the more you give away, the more you get back in return.

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