Sell Your Scores on NewMusicShelf

Composers interested in distributing their scores digitally through are invited to email for complete details. Below are the basics of NMS’s distribution policies.

Not Publishing

NewMusicShelf is not a publisher, and has no ownership of works sold through the site. The service is retail-only, and involves no transfer of rights or ownership. Composers retain all rights.


NewMusicShelf’s distribution agreement is non-exclusive, which allows composers to continue to sell their scores through any other means. Obviously, we cannot distribute scores that are currently being sold under other exclusive agreements.

Composers are encouraged to sell through other sources, as well, to maximize their exposure, and increase sales opportunities.

Purchaser Information

Composers will be provided with names, emails, and geographical information for customers who purchase their scores for the purpose of reaching out, saying “thank you,” and creating a connection. Composers should not add customers to their mailing lists without their permission.

Submission Criteria

1) You must be the copyright owner of the work, or an agent authorized to work on behalf of the copyright owner.
This is pretty self-explanatory. By submitting a work, you certify that you are the copyright owner or their authorized agent. NewMusicShelf does not accept responsibility for works submitted fraudulently.

2) You must be authorized to sell the work through NewMusicShelf (not have an exclusive agreement with another publisher or seller, or an agreement that precludes selling through NMS)
Again, this is self-explanatory. If you’re unsure if a work is exclusive with another publisher or distributor, check first.

3) Your scores & parts must be engraved to a high degree of quality.
Engraving is the most important criteria for NMS, and most decisions are based on this alone. If your scores are rejected for engraving issues, NMS will give you concrete feedback to correct any problems, and you are encouraged to resubmit them when you have addressed the issues. Professional-level engraving is important for the reputation of NMS and – especially – for you as the composer.

4) Your scores should be new, original concert music. Non-concert music will not be accepted. Arrangements of other composers’ works will be considered on a case by case basis.
In an effort to keep the site clear and targeted, NMS emphasizes concert music – specifically original works. Works outside of these parameters would dilute the focus of the site, and would be ill-served in this setting (think about trying to sell a Sci-Fi book in the Romance section at a bookstore). NMS has plans to expand to other areas in the future, but chooses to focus on this area for now.

5) All decisions are at the discretion of NewMusicShelf.
‘Nuff said.

Pricing & Fees allows composers to set prices for their own works. We only enforce a minimum price of $2.00 per score.

In addition, if a composer sells their scores through other outlets, NMS requires that two criteria be met:
1) Digital scores sold through NMS must be priced lower than physical scores sold elsewhere; and
2) Digital scores sold through NMS must be priced identically to digital scores sold elsewhere.
Scores whose prices do not adhere to these requirements will be removed.

NewMusicShelf charges two fees per transaction: a small transaction fee charged by payment processors like PayPal and Stripe, and a distribution fee. PayPal charges 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction, and NewMusicShelf’s distribution fee is 30%. For the enforced minimum price of $2.00, the transaction fee is $0.36, and the distribution fee is $0.6, earning the composer $1.04. On a transaction of $10.00, there is a $0.59 transaction fee and $3.00 distribution fee, and the composer earns $6.41.

Getting Paid pays its composers by PayPal transfer twice a year, with a one month lag to allow for proper reporting. When you join NewMusicShelf, you’ll provide your PayPal email address, and your earnings will be automatically sent to your account on the payout dates.

Submitting Scores

After you have emailed, you will be instructed on how to submit your scores and information about each score. Scores without parts should be in PDF format only. Scores with parts should be bundled as PDFs in a ZIP file. NMS discourages selling scores and parts separately. Free, open source PDF software can be found here, or via an internet search.

For electronic & electroacoustic works, all performance materials should be bundled in a single ZIP file.

Additional performance materials (including audio to assist in practice and rehearsals) are encouraged.

It is highly recommended that you have non-printable perusal scores available. is a free, robust solution, which allows embedding. Perusal scores let potential performers see the quality of your work, and gauge the appropriateness of the style/difficulty before making a purchase.

The same is true of audio and/or video recordings. NewMusicShelf encourages embedding recordings from YouTube or SoundCloud, which are free to use.

Ready to get started?