Category Archives: Blog

Tis the Season!

Tis the Season!

Bob Kohl, Long & McQuade

It barely seems like we have had two beats rest to recover from September’s Back to School selling storm and now we must regroup and rally to prepare for the exciting and action-packed season of the Christmas Rush!  This short pause in October and early November is the perfect time to reimagine and re-merchandise the print music department to prepare for the next wave of seasonal sales.

Many of us have already been selling education-based Christmas titles for bands, choirs, and piano students through September and October, but the sales volume of those kinds of products typically subsides by mid-November.  After all, there are only six or seven weeks of music lessons to go until the winter concert and recital period begins.  Conversely, Christmas titles for PVG, easy piano, guitar, and folk instruments are just getting started and will peak in December.  These are important factors to keep in mind as we make decisions about which Christmas titles we reorder and what quantities may sell before the season truly ends in mid-December.

Since Halloween is upon us, this is the perfect opportunity to dig up any dead and dormant print music stock in our inventory and move it to the clearance area.  Although this is not the most pleasant task, it is vitally important that we identify and move out any stock that has not performed so that we can keep our browser bins and sales racks filled with current and saleable titles.  Having too much dead stock in our inventory can impede the sales of active stock by taking up too much space and making our selection look dated and stale.  This time of the year is ideal to beef up the clearance area because very soon Christmas shoppers will be upon us looking for great bargains.  The increased foot traffic over the Christmas selling season gives those clearance titles the best chance to be browsed by the largest number of customers.

Looking ahead to January, the next school term will be here before we know it and so now is the time to prepare for second-semester sales.  Our stock of methods and core repertoire have been majorly depleted by the September sales blast and now is the ideal period to assess what we have left and forecast what stock we will need for when students go back to class in the New Year.  Most suppliers offer winter stock order opportunities with perks like increased discounts and extended dating.  These special offers give retailers the incentive to prepare for the next selling season and pick up a few extra profit points along the way.

Finally, remember to keep the momentum going from your fall workshop and reading session promotions.  January will be another great chance to shine a light on the new titles that we introduced to teachers during this fall season.  Look for creative ways to re-merchandise and re-promote the titles that we recently featured.  As one of my favorite music professors used to tell me in university, “reinforcement is the key to education”.  This pearl of wisdom applies to retail sales as well.  The more times we can show our featured titles to our teacher customers, the better chance they will remember them and give them a try.  Also, keep track of any upcoming return privilege deadlines for promoted titles.  When our publisher partners offer retailers the opportunity to send back excess inventory after our promotions are over, we owe them the courtesy of getting this done on time.

I hope that all of you are having a very successful fall selling season and I wish you a very happy, healthy and profitable New Year!

2018 Convention Update:  The Land of 10,000 Ideas

2018 Convention Update:  The Land of 10,000 Ideas

by David Jahnke, Hal Leonard Corporation Minneapolis, MN is our destination for RPMDA 2018 and our convention theme came from the state slogan found on Minnesota license plates:  The Land of 10,000 Lakes.  What I find interesting about their slogan is that Minnesota has 12,000 lakes.  Why did they settle on promoting 10,000 instead of going… Continue Reading

Shop Small this Holiday Season

Shop Small this Holiday Season

by Jenny VanPelt, Lorenz Corporation It’s music to many of our ears when we hear that “buy local” and “shop small” are growing movements in communities around the United States, Canada, and Europe. In response to the effects of retail big box stores and online giants in the marketplace, business and community leaders are coming… Continue Reading

2017 Best Ideas Winner – International Sheet Music Day

Greetings from the Land of Sky Blue Waters!  We’re excited for the 2018 RPMDA convention, being held here in Minneapolis next Spring! First of all, thanks again to everyone who voted for Sheet Music Day at this past year’s Best Ideas RPMDA Convention session.  I really think this idea has a lot of potential as… Continue Reading

Print Music Pipeline: Optimization through Simulation – Part I

by Tim Cose, Hal Leonard Corporation I recently had the chance to play with some high-power simulation software called Oracle Crystal Ball. It allows the user to easily iterate independent variables subject to probability distributions in an Excel framework with the goal of optimizing targeted decision variables. That sounds fancy, but at its core, Crystal… Continue Reading

Welcome to Minneapolis – Home of the 2018 RPMDA Convention

Mike Watson – RPMDA VP Secretary/Treasurer Next April April 25-28, our convention returns to the beautiful Twin Cities for the first time in 36 years. Offering a wealth of cultural activities & outdoor adventure, the Mini Apple has much to recommend. And after hosting the 52nd Super Bowl next February, Minneapolis will be primed for the… Continue Reading

RPMDA Copyright Session Summary

RPMDA Copyright Session Summary

by Ted Piechoncinski, Indiana State University Copyright and its implications for the print music industry have been hot topics for the past several years, and Ted Piechoncinski led a lively discussion at our Atlanta convention about possible strategies for dealers and publishers in our industry to consider. The main ideas are as follows: FAQs: group… Continue Reading

Your Print Music Business Social Media Checklist

Your Print Music Business Social Media Checklist

by Helen Todd, Sociality Squared Use social media marketing to amplify and build on your current assets: expertise, community, word-of-mouth, and in-store experiences. Here’s the checklist developed by Helen Todd, CEO of Sociality Squared, for this year’s RMPDA’s “Social Media Marketing Workshop.” Follow the steps and tips for the most impactful social media actions you can… Continue Reading

Church Music Publishers Association Update

Church Music Publishers Association Update

by Reiff Lorenz, Lorenz Music The Church Music Publishers Association held its annual convention in April this year. We discussed many regulatory issues and industry concerns. Fighting copyright infringement continues to be the top priority of the CMPA. We have made significant progress in recent years. Here are some examples of the discussions and initiatives… Continue Reading