You may not know that I composer under the name C. S. Wolf and I'm published by FJH Music Company. I have three piano pieces with them at the moment for which I receive "royalties". They are two piano solos-Monkey Business, Chestnut the Gerbil, and a piano duet, I Wanna Be a Spy.
Seeing if I could get published was an immensely fun project that spanned about 3 years of my life. I was in a writing whirlwind. Ideas flew from my pen. I tested them on students and other teachers. I was enthralled with the whole process. I submitted four that I thought were the best examples of my work, and they liked three of them. Only now do I realize how fortunate I was as a first timer. I have heard countless stories of unpublished writers and composers who are really good but have not gotten their foot in the door yet.
Once the publisher would like to purchase your piece, they send you a contract and you sign away all rights to your work. They now own this intellectual property and can change it and edit it freely. They also send your manuscript back to you as they are in the publishing stages for your editorial assistance. I've never scanned anything for details so hard in my life! And as I look back at their published forms, I still see small things I'd like to change. Such is life, I guess.
I receive 10% of sales. In case you ever thought about being a professional writer or composer, rethink 10% of $1.95 sheet music. In addition, the publishers don't always sell your music at $1.95. To the major music stores they sell it for half of that or less, so that the stores can make a profit too.
So, I was so excited that I received a royalty check in the mail yesterday-for about fifteen seconds. It was for $9.47. This is a quarterly payment for 68 copies of music. I'm not saying it's not fun to receive ongoing payments for something I did 3 years ago, but, really. I guess could buy you and myself a latte to celebrate!