[At Versailles Records’ request, I have removed some links to other sites.]
I responded to a Craigslist ad the other day which was looking for musicians interested in being on a compilation of acoustic music. I figured it probably wasn’t anything much, but occasionally worthwhile stuff turns up in unexpected locations, so I decided to take a few minutes to respond and see what the deal was.
I got a response from Versailles Records and here is the exchange I had with them, in case it is of interest to anyone:
I just checked out Jacob Haller and dig your sound! We’d like to offer you a spot on our forthcoming ‘FOLK ROCK Vol. 1’ As stated in our ad, along with new rock/metal bands from around the country, this Compilation is designed to showcase original material by up and coming, unsigned, newly signed or veteran folk rock singers/songwriters, and bands.
Each participating band will receive 15 free promotional copies of the album, inclusion in all press associated with the album’s promotion, a photo and 300 word bio (including history, plugs on forthcoming releases, web addresses, production info, contacts, etc) in the CD booklet, and national retail exposure (Best Buy, FYE, etc.) To answer a commonly-asked question, the band keeps 100% ownership of their copyright/master recording ownership. The band will also receive a .10 royalty from all digital sales of the release.
There is a one-time inclusion fee that cost each participating band $50.00 per track slot, which guarantees the band’s spot and helps cover our additional overhead costs (pressing costs for the cd booklet as it relates to the band photos, bios, shipping of promo CDs to bands, etc). Lastly, there is a brief agreement that we’d email to you to review before signing. These spots are going fast, so if you want a slot, please email back asap. If you want to check out our website, its [websites redacted — you can find ‘em if you want ‘em for some reason]
Hope you’re having a great summer!
Jake Brown, Versailles Records
Thanks for the quick response, which I found interesting — I can see that you did not actually listen to any of the tracks I recommended in my original message, and given this, I’m not sure how you would know what I sound like.
Setting that aside, there are some notable things about this offer which I think deserve a mention.
First, I’m not sure whether a .10 download means ten cents a download, 10% of income from downloads (10 cents a download if you’re selling the tracks for a buck), or .1% of download income (1/10 of one cent per download) or something else. Unless the answer is ‘something else’ then either way that has to be the worst royalty rate I’ve seen.
Second, if you expect the compilation to sell, then I would think that you should be paying the artists you selected to be on the album, not vice-versa. And if you don’t expect the compilation to sell, then I’m not sure what the artists would be paying you the $50 for. It seems a little steep for fifteen copies of an album that you yourself don’t think anyone will want to buy.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I see that there are a bunch of posts about you on the Internet already, but I will go ahead and post this exchange (and any new messages you sent to me) in case anyone finds it to be of interest.