Why should I keep my copyright?
Full control over your intellectual property
You'll have the ability to continuously make edits to your works. You can also distribute them through multiple sources (i.e. different websites).
No more POP'd music
When you retain your copyright, you have full control over when, how, and where to publish your works. A work will only go permanently out of print (POP) if you decide to do so. Traditional publishers may not return the copyright to you after they POP your work, losing it forever to the "inaccessible sheet music abyss."
You can determine what permissions you want to grant to those who purchase your works. Handbell choirs have different needs and may want to display your works in many different forms (printed, tablet, poster, projector, etc.). You can create a standard list of permissions so choirs do not have to ask you every time. Permissions could also include recording performances, posting them online, etc.
Publish "experimental" works
As an independent publisher, you aren't restricted by market demands and trends that traditional publishers use to guide their sale of works. You are able to publish works in which only a subset of handbell choirs might be interested.
Where can I self-publish?
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus (SMP) is by far the most popular site for selling arrangements of copyrighted works. To sign up as a publisher, create an account for ArrangeMe. You can also sell original works through SMP; their policy is that you can sell on other platforms simultaneously without having to ask for permission. Note that this is only an option for original works and arrangements of public domain works.
Your own website
If you are selling originals, the best way to maximize your profit so you don't need to pay anyone else a commission or royalties is to create your own website.
Other independent sites
Some independent publishers who have created their own websites also to host other publishers' works on their sites. Note that they will have restrictions and commissions. Some questions to ask before agreeing to have them host your works are: "do you edit my works", "are you selective about what you host", "what is the commission", and "will I keep my copyright".
How can I get more publicity?
Facebook Publisher Page
Create a publisher page on Facebook. Encourage fellow handbell contacts to tag your page in posts where your works are mentioned.
Handbell Sheet Music Facebook group
Post your new or featured sheet music in the Handbell Sheet Music Facebook group. It is a place for shameless self-promotion!
Ask to be featured on this website. Your name, picture, and website (if applicable) will be featured on the Publishers page. Your works will also be included in the monthly newsletter when you submit them via the form on the Get Connected page.
Sneak Peek & Critique Events
Submit your drafts to Read & Ring type events where ringers can provide you with feedback on your in-progress work. This also gets your name out there.
Handbell Sheet Music Newsletter
Vreana publishes a monthly newsletter that includes:
New music published the previous month (a summary of the posts in the Handbell Sheet Music Facebook group)
Featured sheet music (music for upcoming holidays or previously published music that has some timely significance)
Upcoming events related to sheet music or independent publishers
Other news (mostly site-related including updates or highlights)
Each issue also includes a YouTube playlist of the featured music, so make sure to upload audio samples to YouTube! As an independent publisher, you can have your published works featured in the newsletter by filling out this form. Please note that the inclusion of your submission in the newsletter may be delayed by one or more months, depending on the number of submissions received. Posting the work in the Handbell Sheet Music Facebook group will guarantee a spot in the next newsletter.