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b2f50afe — Derek Sivers ArtistData is gone 5 months ago
                                                                                
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<title>Are you at the starting line or the finish line? | Derek Sivers</title>
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<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/m">Your Music and People</a>”:</div>
<h1>Are you at the starting line or the finish line?</h1>
<small>2008-09-13</small>
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<p>
	New clients would often ask me, “How much does the average artist on CD Baby sell?”
</p><p>
	Some people would take our posted sales figures and divide them.
	$85 million paid, divided by 250,000 available albums = $340 per album.
</p><p>
	The numbers are right but the answer is wrong because it groups together two completely different approaches.
</p><p><strong>
	For some artists, releasing their music is like the starting line in a race.
</strong>
	The gun goes off!
	They work it!
	They spend hours a day pushing, promoting, and selling — reaching new people by any means necessary.
</p><p>
	For those types the average income, through my one little store, was $5000.
	Fifty of them earned over $100,000 each.
</p><p><strong>
	But for many artists, releasing their music is like the finish line in a race.
</strong>
	They’ve always wanted to record and release their music.
	They did it.
	It’s done.
	They send it to friends and family, and glow in the compliments.
	Their efforts are basically finished — either because they’re satisfied, or because they assumed the world would just flock to it automatically.
</p><p>
	For those types the average income was $20.
</p><p>
	New clients who asked about the average were trying to predict how well they would sell.
	But it depends on which approach you want to take.
</p><p>
	Are you at the starting line or the finish line?
</p><p>
<strong>
	That’s the best predictor of how far you’ll go.
</strong>
</p>
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© 2008 <a href="https://sive.rs/">Derek Sivers</a>.
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