I assume this is the right forum...

So I have recorded an indipendent album, and I was about to do the usual old CD design etc. from a local group...and I was wondering if anyone else has ever just skipped the CD printing, and just offered the tunes up online and left it at that? Maybe just sell download cards at shows and go from there.

The only think I like about hte CD sales is A. when you do sell them you collect a fair amount of profit off of it, and when i do our release show we usually give the first 100 hundred away to people who come through the door...

anyways, any thoughts on the subject from other bandleaders would be appreciated.
Cream fan club member #11.
Let's be honest right off the bat - is your record of professional quality? If you played it on the radio now, would it sound out of place? Or does it sound like somebody's bedroom project?

I ask this because the last thing you want to do is make your audience/fans feel ripped off. If you personally wouldn't pay for it, don't charge for it. Obviously without hearing your material I can't comment on its quality, so you'll have to make that call.

Secondly I can completely understand why you would not want to release the album physically. Getting CDs printed and replicated is usually a costly process. Replication usually comes in minimum runs of 500 units, and most bands will struggle to sell half of what they get printed.

Many musos have boxes of EPs from old bands. I personally have about 200 copies of a band's EP that has long past that I don't know what to do with. Nobody wants to buy them, and I'd feel guilty throwing them in the bin. Selling the product electronically would avoid more of these boxes appearing around my house.

So with that in mind lets address your actual questions:

- Would you just sell your songs online?

I'd HAVE to sell download codes at my gigs too, because it can be pretty hard to make people buy your stuff online. They are more likely to hand over their money in person, at a gig.

- What sort of profits do you make from selling CDs?

Depends how many you sell, and how much it cost you to make.

For a professionally recorded/printed/mastered 5 track EP at a run of 500 I was selling them for $10 each, making a profit of roughly $2/CD. Meaning I had spent about $4,000 getting to that point, and that is an EP on a budget. If you sold the same songs online only, you wouldn't have to pay for replication or CD artwork. I reckon you'd double the profits to $4 of a $10 CD.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.