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bits and pieces of an e-commerce store

sometime in the near future i'm going to launch a store on mendellee.com. main purpose is to sell my music, with Timpani Forces and Honeysuckle Juice as flagship products.

With the former, the publisher I submitted to never got back to me despite saying that it was still in the "cosnideration pile." Nick also slacked on me regarding trying to get it on Theodore Presser. I have other places i could try, such as IP since i am an IP artist, but really what I want to do is just get the piece out there to all of my percussion friends scattered throughout the states (which is a hell of a lot) for the next academic year and see if i can get some token money for it.

mendellee.com is a wordpress site. There's a very powerful free e-commerce plugin from getshopped.org that i activated and started to learn the ins and outs of. I put up two test products - timpani forces as a digital download (linked to an IP address) and timpani forces as a hard copy.

Setting prices and figuring out profit is a tricky business. Right now i have the digital download set at $25, but with a launch sale price of $15 that will permanently turn into a sale price of $20. The hard copy is set at $32, but with a launch sale price of $20 which will permanently turn into a sale price of $26.

$6 more for a physical copy feels reasonable for a markup even though what i would actually pay to get a physical copy of the piece printed at a standard of professionalism that i want to adhere to would be more than $6. i'm okay eating some of that cost to not make it seem like a huge inflation to the customer.

In order to do an online checkout procedure, i need to set up a merchant account with some major checkout service such as google checkout or paypal. I stopped using paypal many years ago out of protest (although honestly i don't remember how they screwed me because it was over a decade ago), so therefore lean towards exclusively using google checkout. The fee for being a google checkout merchant is about 3 percent per transaction if the total transactions are under $3,000.

which i guess is reasonable, but the more fees and costs that are involved makes the whole idea of trying to become a small business vaguely irritating. I mean, i know that i would get much less return for the retail if i was going through a major publisher as opposed to self-publishing, i suppose these sorts of costs are normal, but still.

Now that i have the initial set up working, i'm going to spend time in may to tweak its look and feel and then try to launch it in june. we'll see how the whole thing goes. i'm meeting the whole thing with some degree of skepticism because of how much work it seems for such little return, but i'm keeping in mind that this is all about baby steps. With the networking that i'm starting to do through Jenni and some of the other potential things happening with other performers around, i have the chance to build a decent portfolio if i keep pushing my prolificacy in composition.

I don't know what to project out of my sales for Timpani Forces. I think in my mind getting five people to buy it off of my site is a success. Who knows.

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