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CDbaby: how it works when you buy my CD and save $
By Michael A. Guy   

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I created an article from a"factoid" sent out by CDbaby founder, Derek Sivers, last March that gives the full rundown on how CDbaby works. It was meant for inside users like myself who have CDs on the site. It serves to inform anyone who wishes to shop for music there just how good their mp3 download system works, how much cheaper it can be for the buyer and more profitable for the artist. It also offers info on how they (CDbaby) make, distribute music and pay artists for their independent CD making efforts.

You find the ONE PLACE on the net where you can both download or buy my full CD at the best price! If you've wondered how the technology compares, read on...


selling MP3s directly on


posted by Michael on Tuesday December 30 2008

News from Inside
I can sell my entire album as MP3 downloads directly from my page.

But did you also know: I can set the price at whatever I want, anytime I want.

* - I get 91% of the MP3 selling price! Set it to $8? I make $7.28. That's way more money in my pocket than ANY other store can give me.

* - True, CDbaby only sells full album downloads, not individual tracks like iTunes or PayPlay, yet, the beauty of it is that on my Audio CDbaby page (where my links take you from my web pages) you can hear at least 1-2 minutes of each track of my CD or anyone’s if you are shopping for music on their pages at CDbaby.


* - The quality of those excerpts is superior to any Flash player on other websites, except perhaps iTunes downloads. Why? Because if YOU only have modem, these excerpts load in one big chunk and then you can play it back. Guess what? Unless you have DSL(hi-speed internet), the flash players don’t work well. On a flash player and a modem only connection you’re doomed to hearing the music in “bits” or should I say “bytes” – that’s why it’s choppy. Unless you catch the flash player and physically rewind the player back to start by dragging the selection with your mouse, you’re doomed to replay it in those same “bytes” – The curse of not enough broadband. At CDbaby the CD player seems to load and then remain loaded. You can then come back to that tab to hit play and hear the excerpt.

 CDbaby sells over $600,000 in MP3 downloads in a few months, with NO marketing or announcements at all. That already puts CD Baby ahead of Emusic, Yahoo Music, Sony Connect, Verizon, MSN Music, Snocap and every company except iTunes, Rhapsody, and Napster, as you can see here :

* - Customers buy my entire album as one zip download, which includes not just the MP3s, but also a JPG of the album art, and a text file of song titles, album notes, and links back to your websites!  (PS: that link back to my website will now be outdated as of Dec. 2008, the new link to my current webpage is:

* - They're regular MP3 files that play easy on ANY MP3 player your fans use, whether iPod, cellphone, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

* - The MP3s are encoded at top-audiophile-quality (~200k VBR), higher than iTunes or any other major store.

* - See

The second great thing for me: YOU can either buy the full download of my CD: August Ocean Overture OR you can mail-order the physical CD at a great price (currently $14) I always have 2-4 in stock at CDbaby. What do I (who worked years to create this music and paid many $ into this work) get? I get $10! Though CDbaby’s $4 they make was a lot for a company that didn’t take part in recording the music. It’s not relatively. Because they make my audio page, THEY are the ones who make the mp3’s from your CD to sell. They created the website from which you are selling your music. THEY do quite a lot to get you distributed. So that $4 is well paid out. And $10 for me? That’s huge in this business! And a good thing too, CDbaby knows that many independent artists are not selling millions, not even thousands of CDs or downloads. Is it because our music production is inferior? No way! Check it out! It’s because, I’m independent and cannot afford “advertisements and marketing!” And so, that $10 makes a huge difference.

  • When I sell even 1 CD (!) from CDbaby or my publisher, “” I make a greater royalty per CD than an industry artist. Good thing; I have few fans at this stage. And hey, I need the profit! A gentleman author from Toronto just bought my physical CD recently from CDbaby. Hooray! In 2 months of downloads I only made $25; not enough for CDbaby to even issue a check. He bought just 1 CD based on an internet conversation we had and we struck up a friendship. He checked out the free downloads and like what he heard. He loves relaxing piano and hypnotic electric jazz with NO bashing beats! (Like so much rap/rock). That 1 CD sale made my account jump $10 and now I can expect a small check.
  • Downloads haven’t done much monetarily for unknown “new” (uh?!) artists like myself, who are not touring with a group. Selling the CDs really helps. Yet the download of the full CD is half the CD price. At CDbaby that’s a good deal! I set that price at $7.99, not CDbaby. I, the artist, wanted to offer a bargain on my CD download ($7.99) for those who were unsure because I’m so unknown.
  • CDbaby is the only place you can get my CD both ways. Digital or Physical. Don’t need to scrimp or save? Nothing beats the physical look and sound of this real CD for piano and jazz music. The graphics are colorful and evocative of the oceans as is the music. Try my CDbaby page. Check it out!

    SEARCH: Michael Guy, CD Baby,
    OR go right to my AUGUST OCEAN OVERTURE CDbaby Audio page:

    Thanks for listening, Michael Guy L'ecluse


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