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Why Digital Publishing?

A typical, traditional publishing house invests a large amount of money in the production and promotion of new sheet music, and those costs are passed along to consumers in the high cost of music. Purchase of an average anthem for a 3-octave handbell choir of 12 people plus their director would cost around $4.50 per copy, totaling $58.50 (not including shipping). This music is nicely type-set, printed on nice paper, and is worth every penny. However, there is a more cost-efficient way to supply this music – whether it is printed on paper or viewed on iPads – and Ring-Press is committed to making the digital distribution model work for both consumers and composers.

Submission Materials

Submissions should consist of an Adobe(TM) Portable Document Format (.pdf) file of the music, as well as an mp3 recording of the composition or arrangement if possible. Midi files should not be substituted for the mp3. Submissions of Finale(TM) or Sibelius(TM) files are not acceptable for submissions. Most Macintosh computers can “print” to a pdf file, and there are several free pdf “printers” available for Windows computers.

Music Formatting

Music should be clearly type-set using a computer program. Handwritten manuscripts are not accepted. Unprofessional type-setting, or type-setting using sub-standard software will not be considered. All music should include a bells-used chart, use measure numbers in every bar, and use standard handbell notation as found in AGEHR notation guidelines. Music should be copyrighted with the year and composer’s name at the bottom of the first page of music (Ex: © 2011 Your Name). Music should have no title page, as this will be supplied by Ring-Press.

MP3 Guidelines

Audio files of your composition or arrangement should be encoded as an mp3 file in the range of 128 kbps to 192 kbps. Keep in mind that the quality of your recording is a major factor when it comes to selling your work. This recording will be used on the website in the same way that recordings are used on demo CD’s. There are no software copyright restrictions or protection on the recording. The idea is to promote your music, not lock it down. You must own the right to distribute the recording.


All submitted music that meets the criteria for submission will be evaluated on its artistic, creative, musical, technical, dramatic, and engaging elements. Music that meets the approval of the Ring-Press editor(s) will be added to the catalog and published on the Ring-Press website. Un-approved music will be removed from all Ring-Press computers and disks. Composers will be contacted via email regarding the final status of their submission. All typesetting is the responsibility of the composer, and Ring-Press will work with the composer to ensure that the music adheres to our standards. Compositions are not considered solely on their “ability to sell” in order to be added to the catalog.

Composer Rights and Royalties

Composers retain intellectual copyright to their work. Ring-Press assumes no ownership of copyright for music print or audio files. Composers have the right at any time to withdraw a piece from the Ring-Press catalog. This is perfect for those who also would like to be published in a traditional publishing house, and would like to use Ring-Press as the first release location while completing the evaluation process with another company. There are no fees for submitting or withdrawing music. Upon withdrawal from the catalog, all Ring-Press pdf and audio files are archived. Withdrawal is not final, and music can be reinstated at the composer’s request.

Royalties for music are based upon the price of the music published. Ring-Press receives twenty-percent of the retail purchase price, and the composer receives the other eighty-percent (minus the transactional fee levied by our online payment gateway, typically a little less than two-percent). Royalties are paid quarterly.

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