Using Dorico, making a pdf for a publisher- what's the best music publisher?

I think its something important to most of us here.
We all have a ton of music that we have created, arranged, transcribed, and NOTATED.
We’ve used various notational tools, my new fav is Dorico, of course.

Presently I use as my one-off printing press (Lulu Logo).
Super easy, they only charge me for what it costs to print, I can set my own prices, and it looks great.

The problems are that Lulu just doesn’t care about MUSIC. It doesn’t even have “music” as a searchable category (even though many of us have asked them to add this for years). Its a book publisher, and so I have to do 8.5"x11" US letter sized scores and parts, printed and bound beautifully with saddle stitch or perfect bound (or even ring). But, it falls short because of the size limitations, and the lack of caring about a music category.

What do you folks use?
I’ve been scouring the internet looking for something like Lulu, easy as uploading the PDFs, designing the cover (Or uploading jpegs), and poof. Order a proof copy, and its done. You can print one or 10 (or as many as you need). Do you folks have any suggestions for good printing presses that allow one-off self publishing?

Is there anything like Lulu, that’s as easy, and worth it, price-wise,
that will do 9"x12" score and part sizes, as well as larger 11"x17" conducting scores?

I’m sure that Dorico will be able to create scores in whatever size we need, as I’ve read in the upcoming update.

I’m just going to throw this out there: there seems to be a hole in the market for this. Self-Publishing and direct one-off printing for composers and arrangers via a notation program. If Dorico also later on offered something like this, either by partnering up with an established company, or just started its own printing press, wouldn’t that be cool?

I know I’d use it.

(if this is too far off topic for Dorico, feel free to let me know and I’ll delete this post)

I don’t think this is at all off-topic, and I too would be interested to see which services people are using.

Years ago, in the big purple people eating company, I had a meeting with the people from MagCloud, which was at the time owned by HP but which is today owned by Blurb, and they were interested in doing some integration work with scoring software as they were seeking out business models. They might be worth a look, though again they’re not specialists for music.

Great topic! I’m really interested in this subject, as well. I have no advice or answers to give, but I’d love to hear from others.

I’ve been very much interested in the same thing myself. At present, I’ve resorted to letter-size score printed in-house on standard copier paper, or paying way too much at the local copy store.

Well, (I’m not in any way associated with them), it might be worth it to check out

They do good work, and are very fair with the pricing.
Its COMPLETELY “do it yourself”, so there is a tiny learning curve at first, but I have found it to be incredibly easy to use.
They also give you a place to list your scores (which to them is a book) on one page.
I use Bandcamp to add it as “merch” and folks can order a score along with a free download of a recording.
Its useful.

BUT- its incredibly annoying that music is so under-represented in the self-publishing world
(not just online pdf sheet music, that’s out there for sure), and its hard to get good prints of scores done
in the sizes preferred by many orchestras, performers, and conductors.

I usually include the score, then a transposed score (if orchestral, ensemble, or transposing instrument),
then parts in one book at 8.5"x11", and include a note that it can easily be copied and blown up if needed.
But that seems lame that there are no other choices.

CreateSpace used to be a viable competitor to Lulu-
but they are now owned by the Devil (Amazon).
And the quality control seems to be inconsistent (in my recent experiences).

Looking online, I see several companies that claim to “help the composer” by making their music available online, etc bla bla, but they offer 10%-30% of the profits to the composer for each sale. Seriously.

At least, with Lulu, you are only paying for the price of the printing.
I wish there was something else out there.

Dorico Forum Folks: Lets do some research for the good of us ALL.

Daniel, Thanks. I figured it would be important for us all here.
Never heard of MagCloud, or Blurb. Will check these out soon and report back.

So far we have:

I’ve used Lulu and create space- and can upload either photos and/or vids of the products for you to see.
Lets get a list going and we can give our impressions (ancient printing pun intended) for the good of all.

I like to have control over the paper, printing, binding, etc., so I print 9" x 12" on an HP LaserJet 5200 at home, which can handle paper up to 12" x 18". If you don’t mind a little labor, the cost of printing is extremely low.

The HP 5200 is an industry standard but some of the newer inkjets are faster, less expensive and can be used for day to day print as they do color also.

This is an excellent, low cost wide format printer. I can print any size I like except 12"x19" Supertabloid.

The only difference between the MFC-J6945DW and the previous version (MFC-J6935DW) is that the current ink tanks are even larger. The MFC-J6935DW tanks ($77 set) last about a year @ 300-400 pages a week around here. It’s ridiculously fast compared with everything that I have ever owned over the last 30+ years.

It replaced an HP that was costing over $600/yr for ink and was slow as can be.

The only down side is that blacks are not as saturated as on the HP but you won’t notice if not doing an A/B comparison. OTOH, I can soak pages from the Brother after the paper’s dry and the ink does not run, black or color (try that with an HP).

It is big—we call it Printzilla. Because of the size, I bought a small AV cart with big wheels. This fits perfectly and lets anyone around here wheel it up to the desk for intense scanning or custom printing. Wireless performance is flawless.

Hi, yes I already DO that (MANY of us are forced to do that)-
and the point is I want to find someone ELSE who will professionally BIND and print for me.
I’ve done my own printing for years. I have a large format printer and scanner- so I hear you-
but the point of this post is to find a company that will do larger order score prints professionally
and have it online for you so you can easily drop ship scores, or folks can simply order a score online,
and you simply get $$ for it.

Yes, this is actually the printer I am using at the moment- but the POINT of the topic is NOT do it yourself. I’ve printed and bound my own scores since the mid 90’s and the whole point is to find a good reliable service that would work for composers. Thanks.

I am also looking for a good way to get my scores printed and bind and have used Lulu for many years. The problem is indeed that they don’t really support music printing, it’s just another book, which is especially a problem when having parts, these you need to add as new projects instead of being a part of the main score project.

Another issue I often face with Lulu is that there is nobody I can talk to, or call. It is really very much do it yourself. I’d love to find a company that has good prices and stands behind their work, and can be reached by phone if needed. Perhaps just me being too old…

Oh, if I had the money, I’d start a Lulu-like company focusing on music and arts.
(just dreaming out loud).

Here in the UK, a cursory Google indicates that Spartan Press (Music Printing - might be a good bet.
In the USA, Subito Music Corp. are the first Google result that look relevant (Digital Printing). I’ve not used them but the list of file formats they work with is reassuring and there’s a phone number on the homepage.

Dropshipping doesn’t strike me as being particularly compatible with low-volume music printing, I’m afraid…

That’s a little different than the question you asked originally. JW Pepper My Score can do it all for you.

SMP Press (Sheet Music Plus) is quite good. The composer gets 45%.

I can’t recommend any specific publishing house but there are directories on the internet, so you could call or apply at a music publisher that specializes in your kind of music and ask them whether they would take you under contract.

Istvan-Bracz said: “Oh, if I had the money, I’d start a Lulu-like company focusing on music and arts.
(just dreaming out loud).”

I wouldn’t think the start-up costs would be that high. A person would have to invest in some materials, of course, but if you already had a large enough printer, what other up front costs would there be? The devices that are used to do comb or spiral bindings are simple and inexpensive. What else would a person need? (I ask because I’m tempted to seriously consider doing it myself!)

Well, you’d need the technical infrastructure to have a website where people can sign up and manage their items, order and payment processing. This is more intricate than you might think. Developing something like that would go into the tenthousands of Dollars, Euros or Pounds.

You don’t need to develop it. There are lots of companies that provide ecommerce platforms for a monthly subscription (there are some “free” ones) plus commission charges (typically less than 5% of sales).

I think we’re talking about different things here. I’m referring to the statement by Istvan Bracz that he would like to start an online publishing company like Lulu, and understood it as company where creators can upload and manage their work for sale. Of course, if you just want to create your own online shop to sell/publish your own work it would probably be a lot simpler.