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How to Sell a Song on ITunes

Updated on October 22, 2014

Get a Song on iTunes

When I created an audiobook, I wondered how audio tracks of any kind, whether an album or an audiobook, get on iTunes. So I started querying about "How to Sell on iTunes". I found some confusing instructions that sounded like a lot of work. Then I met someone who had produced audiobooks before and she let me in on the secret. There IS an easy way to sell a song, or audiobook on iTunes. In fact, you can sell on iTunes even if you don't have a CD in hand yet.

Think for a minute about what this means. Your friends, family and fans can purchase your music and load it on their iPod. You get paid and it's easy for new people to hear your sound!

So here's how to get started.

CDBaby.com

Yes, CDBaby.com is the answer to your question about how to sell music on iTunes

CDBaby.com works with musicians and audio publishers large and small to sell their products online through iTunes and other music download sites (such as Amazon MP3). They have an easy to use interface and charge a very low setup fee (I think it's about $35 for an album). I know I probably sound like I work for CDBaby, but I don't -- but you can't believe what a great service they offer for anyone who wants to sell music online.

Here's how it works:

1) You sign up

2) You send them music and artwork -- either using their online interface, or mailing in a real CD. You can opt to sell a single selection. You don't have to have an entire album.

3) They do all the work. Okay, what I mean by this is they "digitize the music and artwork". They follow those complicated instructions from iTunes and Amazon and all the other resellers and put the files in the right format and figure out where to send them.

4) Your music is sold worldwide. Your songs will be listed on CDBaby.com and distributed to digital distribution partners (iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, eMusic, and dozens more). And you have the option of supplying regular CD's for sale through CDBaby and associated bricks and mortar stores.

5) They pay you!!

Here are the audiobooks that I put on CDBaby ...

How Important is Having Your Song on iTunes?

iTunes sells more music than all the other digital retailers combined.

That's IT?

Yes, it doesn't take long to tell you how to sell a song on iTunes

I know there is not a lot of content on this web page. But that's the whole idea. It can be really easy to sell a song on iTunes. Sell your music, sell an audiobook, whatever you like.

And then stop back here and brag about what you've done. Go get 'em! Go get that song on iTunes, NOW!

Oops.... I did forget one thing....

My FAVORITE Part of Selling Songs on iTunes

Getting Paid

Not only is the money nice, but the most recent email telling me that they paid me, includes where the money came from (some from iTunes Europe, some iTunes USA, some Amazon MP3) and then it gives me a link to get still more details and then they say:

Yes it's good to get paid paid paid paid for making music!

We hope we write you a million more checks.

We hope you write a million more songs.

We hope you get a million more fans

who give you a million kisses.

Ciao!

----------

I just love that and I bet you will too. So now that you know how AND how easy it is.... get your music out there!

Singer
Singer

For More Ideas for How to Make Money Selling Music Online

Bouncing around Squidoo here, I came across a lens (page) I liked Make Money as an Artist, as in performing artist. There are some ideas there about creating music videos, collaborating, etc that might help you build your following as a musician.

Also, even if you don't yet have a song ready to sell on iTunes, and are still working on getting to that point or maybe you just want to perform more as a musician, consider creating an account (really just a login id) as a publisher because they email a lot of tips about promoting your music online. Many of them don't apply to me, since I publish audiobooks, BUT.... you never know when one of them might be a turning point in your music career.

I wish everyone out there following their dreams, the best of luck. As you can tell from above, I'm not a musician. Closest I came to that was having a son who sang in a Rock Band. But I really cheer for everyone who, well.... puts themselves out there and gives it their best shot!

Tell Me about the Songs You'd Like to Sell on iTunes - Don't be shy.... tell us about your music or audio production

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    • profile image

      durhamskywriter 5 years ago

      hi, and thanks for this wonderful info! i have a question: professional musicians use a service called "mastering" after their music is recorded but before it's released to the public. i'm not sure what it is exactly, but i was told that mastering somehow brings the recording level up to par with the other music that's played on the radio. is it possible for an "average citizen" to record one song and have it mastered, with the hope of selling it via itunes, emusic, etc?

    • Bookmama2 profile image
      Author

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: There seem to be a lot of MondoTunes fans. I guess I should update this page. I probably won't switch myself, since I now have 4 audiobooks on CDBaby, but certainly a lot of other folks are recommending MondoTunes. Guess I should go check them out and report back.

    • Bookmama2 profile image
      Author

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Michelle, I wish you all the best of luck. So you are going to just sell the song as a single, is that right? Is it ready to be sold now or does it require audio editing?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      hi my name is michelle and i have just recorded a song called alone without you, this is a charity cd and all proceedings will go equally between mnd and alzheimers. The song is written about my emotions of sadly losing my mother to both diseases and i just want to raise more awareness and funds to help others in this situation, the song is very deep, but it was how i felt from the heart, i loved my mother more than life itself and i want to just get the song out there as much as possible so i am just trying different ways and i really do hope you can help. thankyou

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi

      Thanks for the advise. I have spent nearly 20 years creating a world of faerie stories and songs. "The Elvindore series" Technology keeps over taking me. I started with cassette tapes, then cd's. Never got to the distribution stage. Now I'm about to try downloads with mondotunes. I feel excited that this time I'm going to get there . Many thanks again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We recently put a small audiobook collection online. Look for Monsters, published by Distant Spires (via Cdbaby) on the itunes store

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Here's a cool link to support your comment http://www.mondotunes.com/mondotunes-vs-tunecore-c...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hey Chris, how do you guys fair against mondotunes? seems like lots of artists are hopping on board with them and their names traveling fast amongst the music industry. they seem to have a tons more retailers (their site says over 750 stores) than most while charging less without monthly fees.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for all the CD Baby props! Don't forget when you sell with CD Baby you also get a music selling widget, a Facebook music store, sync licensing for movies, TV and YouTube and more!

      And one slight correction. www.cdbaby.com is our retail store. You need to go to http://members.cdbaby.com to sign up.

      Thanks again!

      Chris B at CD Baby

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We did 4 albums the past 4 years independently. We used CDbaby as well as tunecore for the first 2. The last 2 we used MondoTunes. They distribute to WAAAY more retailers ( their site says over 750 retailers and mobile partners in 100+ countries) and do not have annual or monthly fees. I believe they're affiliated with Interscope and provide the same distribution to independent artists. its been fantastic and the guys there are great. call you back or respond very quickly. you keep all your rights and royalties

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      southern gospel

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      I have made some music background for my stories on audio compact discs. Nothing so good to have a potential to be on its own CD, but one day... Who knows what future brings, right?

    • Bookmama2 profile image
      Author

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, according to the information about registering ISBN numbers, if a product is in a new format, it should have a new ISBN and I would register that copyright. With an audio program, I believe you should have someone read the copyright (I always do).

      I know I've heard copyrights read where they say "this book is copyright of author's name in 1964. The recording is copyright 2012 of audio-company." Granted, I am not a copyright or legal expert, but this is my understanding as an author and publisher.

      And yes, not only do I remember cassette tapes, I've still got a modest collection on my book shelves!

      Good luck with your audio program!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I think you can publish your audiobook via Kindle.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh WOW, I can't believe I found this website. I am currently working on reformatting a spoken-word audio program that originally was distributed as cassette tapes (remember those?) -- a home recovery program for breast cancer survivors based on the Feldenkrais Method. The program is called "Unbound!" and is designed to free up movement that may have been compromised or lost due to surgery and treatment for BC as well as help re-establish a sense of relaxed well-being. I LOVE the idea of having it as both an audiobook AND as individual podcast downloads, seems it could reach more women that way. Question: When changing product format, does one need a new ISBN? And do I need to re-register my copyright? I am doing quite a bit of re-editing, so the original product will have been altered. Thanks for this great resource!

    • Bookmama2 profile image
      Author

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I don't know if there is any way to do what you would like. You may have to settle for you having the account with CDBaby and simply noting in the song description that all profits go to Charity X. But, it never hurts to ask. I would email the folks at CDBaby or even call them. It is a sizeable enough company that you can talk or correspond with someone. Good luck with your song and sales!

    • profile image

      GizmoButler 5 years ago

      Great lens. I probably ought to get off my butt and do something about that. Meantime, if you're working on music, specifically drum tracks for your new tunes come check mine out about how to sequence natural sounding drum tracks.

      http://www.squidoo.com/awesome-universal-tips-for-...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have written a song for a charity asscociated with the company I work for. I still have not recorded it and the band are due to go into a recording studio very soon. My question is how do I sell online for the charity, making sure they get the money from the downloads? and is there a way of the charity not incurring any costs?

      Thanks

    • JoeBorowy profile image

      JoeBorowy 6 years ago

      Your favorite part of selling songs on iTunes...Getting Paid! LOL! Very nice lens and good information. My favorite part of iTunes is...iTunes. But Im kind of a geek, an iTunes geek.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      do you have to copyright your song/audiobook before you sign up for cdbaby? if so, how long does this take?

    • Bookmama2 profile image
      Author

      Bookmama2 6 years ago

      @LisaMarieGabriel: That's great. So now readers have another option as well. You can use CD Baby without ever sending them CDs. You just have to choose "digital distribution only". But it wasn't obvious that that was an option. I had to send an email or two before I realized. That was what I did -- the digital distribution only. Because while I had CDs, I already had other venues for selling those and their packaging as an audiobook was not a standard CD jewel case.

      Flying to Meet the Sunrise -- I like that name and will have to go check it out!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I did mine via Tunecore. I thought about CD Baby, but as the emphasis was on providing them with CDs and the postage would have been prohibitive from the UK I decided to look elsewhere. I recorded at home, uploaded to Tunecore and I now have a CD on Amazon, Flying to Meet the Sunrise, with tracks available on iTunes too. :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Very interesting. I need to consider doing this. Thanks for the resources. I wasn't aware of this service.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Bookmama2: Thanks BookMama, i'll give it a go!

    • Bookmama2 profile image
      Author

      Bookmama2 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Just create it as an album with CD Baby (I think the category you want is Spoken Word) and select their Digital Distribution only and then you will be given options for where you want it sold. So you would obviously select iTunes and Amazon MP3 and then let them do the rest. That is the process I followed to get Yaks March on Washington published. Yes, there is a CD version, but.... that was not how or why Amazon MP3 picked it up, they picked it up as being "an album" from CDBaby where I authorized CD Baby to handle my digitial distribution.

      To sell well you will need some CD style artwork, they want the "album" image to be square, as though it was a CD case -- but that is easy enough to find someone to create. You don't have to actually have CDs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm curious about this article because from my correspondence the Amazon MP3 site wont publish audio books (only music). I don't need a company to 'digitize' stuff for me, as I don't find any of the tech stuff particularly difficult (seriously, it's no that hard!). Where I have run into problems is getting a guided meditation MP3 I recorded (i'm a Life Coach & it's called 'how to get over a broken heart') published because it's neither music or a book (with no 'hardcover' version). I don't want to distribute a CD, just have the MP3 available for people to buy. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.