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Q: Making a Demo Music CD ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Making a Demo Music CD
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: jhc1352-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 29 Oct 2003 19:55 PST
Expires: 28 Nov 2003 19:55 PST
Question ID: 270998
My name is James Clelland and I am 16 years of age, attending High
School in San Diego, California.
I write songs, play a guitar and sing, and I have made a CD with my
band.  We have played one show and we have another show booked.
My question is how can I make my CD look good, with a minimum cost? 
So far I have duplicated the CD’s on a PC, photocopied the art and put
them in a slim line jewel case.
I would like to make a 4 or 5 page insert, perhaps in color, a little
bit of artwork, and print on the CD professionally, and put it in a in
a jewel case. Finally I would like to shrink wrap it.  I am prepared
to do a lot of the work myself to save money. We need about 100
 I looked online for companies to do this and they all want about
$1000.  I have around $100.  What can I do and where can I go to make
this possible?

Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 29 Oct 2003 22:10 PST

Do you want me to post what I gave you already, in addition to
a site with good prices on jewel cases, as an answer?

Subject: Re: Making a Demo Music CD
Answered By: journalist-ga on 03 Nov 2003 13:56 PST
Greetings James:

Your desire to invest time and creative energy into your band shows me
that you may well succeed in the music business.  There's an old show
business adage that goes "He worked hard for 10 years and then became
an overnight sensation."  lol  It takes investment in yourself to
succeed at anything and you are setting a fine example early in your

If you spend double what I have suggested below, you will come in at
about $100 materials investment (excluding printer ink and all
shipping for materials, if any - add that and it's probably near $100
total).  Remember to always keep your receipts, too.  It a good habit
to get into when you begin turning a profit as materials may be
written off one's income taxes.

***Design and print the inserts yourself****

You could do a two-sided 3-fold CD insert (total eight pages CD
case-sized when folded) using the top page as your CD cover showing
through.  You'd need to simply user-define your dimensions in your
graphics program when designing and then user-define the print
dimensions in the Print Properties of your printer to accomodate the
long paper size.  A CD case insert usually measures 4.75" x 4.75"  2
pages, 9.5"; 3 pages 14.25"; 4 pages 19" etc.  Double number of pages
when printing back and front.

You would need a banner paper roll for your printer to accomplish the
length you need (unless you go 2-fold --total 6 pages-- with 11" x 17"
printer paper). For cost of banner paper rolls, see the Froogle
results at
- the rolls begin at $25.81 and go higher according to roll length and
paper quality.  Let's assume you go with a 19" sheet for the 3-fold, 4
page.  If a roll of paper is 50 feet long, you would need 1.5 rolls to
print 100 inserts.  So, 2 rolls really.

You'll have to trim a bit and you would print two inserts on one
sheet.  Then you'd flip the sheet over for the reverse side
design/printing.  You must also be certain to keep matching layouts
(back to back in the same position) on each side as you design.

To cut them in half or trim, you may be able to ask an art teacher if
you may use the paper cutter in the classroom.  This would keep the
cuts straight - you must cut slowly with scissors so as not to get the
inserts crooked.


For applied CD labels, you could design and print those as well. 
Printable labels begin at 18 cents each from the Froogle results at - see
the first result on that page.  They may also be purchased at computer
and office supply stores.  I've seen various colors besides plain


As for shrink wrapping, CD shrink wrap bags may be perfect for your
needs.  Many are currently on auction at Ebay - 100 quantity and "Buy
it Now" price is $8.45.  These are the type used with a standard hair
blower/dryer that heats the wrap and it shrinks to size.  Shrink tape
is also available if you choose to add that to the finished product. 

500 CD shrink bags for $19.80 is offered at if you want to go in a
higher quantity and have some for later.


So, the cost so far is:

$51.72 -- 2 50 ft. banner paper rolls at $25.81 each
$18.00 for 100 printer CD labels 
$8.45 "buy it now" Ebay 100 shrink wrap bags

Total: $78.07

Oh, and your work ----> Priceless.  :)

[If you use 11" x 17" paper, the cost will be about $30 less.  That's
a good-selling size and much more widely used than banner rolls.  See
the 11" x 17" "brochure paper" at
to see what brand title to ask for in an office supply store.  Here
are some online store price comparisons for the HP C6820A 11" x 17"
brochure paper or "tabloid size" --


I'd also like to suggest you visit the web site of Moses Avalon.  He
is a former "big label" record producer and he has written an
extremely informative book about avioding "major label fever" in the
music industry.  I believe you will learn a great deal from his book
titled "Confessions of a Record Producer."  See -- I hope you'll closely examine
his entire site.  You'll be a-m-a-z-e-d at how little a major-label
artist makes sometimes.  Many bands are discovering the value of
pressing their own CDs and doing the "busy work" assembly and
production tasks involved because it actually makes them *more* money


Finally, I'd like to share with you one of my favorite quotes about
the music business.  It is attributed to a man named Hunter S.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long
plastic hallway where pimps and thieves run free, and good men die
like dogs.  There's also a negative side."



Should you require clarification of the links or information I have
provided, please request it before rating and closing this question
and I will be happy to respond.   :)

Best regards,


Using Froogle:
"banner paper" roll
"CD shrink bags"
"CD labels" printer

Using Google:
"banner paper" roll
"CD shrink bags"
"CD labels" printer
"moses avalon"
HP Hewlett Packard #C6820A

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 03 Nov 2003 14:14 PST
ADDENDUM:  I missed your "jewels cases" comment at the bottom.  I've
just now seen it and I wanted to give you that additional information
- my apologies for not seeing it when I answered your original

Jewel cases at Froogle begin in single purchase )per piece) at 17

Here at Froogle they begin at 15 cents, minimum 100 cases



Standard Assembled Jewel Cases - 50 - $15.00 
Standard Assembled Jewel Cases - 100 - $25.00 
Standard Assembled Jewel Cases - 200 - $45.00
Standard Unassembled Jewel Cases in Bulk - 400 - $84.00 


I also found a cool site called LabelGear and they have some unique
products there:

CD Labels

Label Applicators

Jewel Cases

Labeling Software



"jewel cases" CD
"jewel cases" CD 100
"jewel cases" CD bulk

"jewel cases" CD bulk

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 03 Nov 2003 14:16 PST
CORRECTION:  In the original answer, "If you spend double what I have
suggested below, you will come in at about $100 materials investment"
should have read "If you spend what I have suggested below, your will
come in under your $100 materials investment" - sorry for any

Best regards,
Subject: Re: Making a Demo Music CD
From: sublime1-ga on 29 Oct 2003 21:13 PST
Hi James...

I take it it's your dad who markets consumer goods to 
the military in this question:

If you're willing to make the inserts yourself, buy the 
jewel cases separately and package and shrink-wrap the
CDs yourself, you might come pretty close to your dream
by using's bulk duplication service.
They have the lowest prices I've found.
The pricing options are here:

Though they can produce 100 full-color CDs for $159, 
you might also consider the B/W mono print for $134,
which looks like a black & white photograph. Or, if
necessary, the text/logo B/W thermal print for $109.
If you find a way to print them yourself, you can get
100 CDs for only $89.

The printing options are showcased here:

If you want to have the inserts done, the CDs packaged
and shrink-wrapped by the company, you can get 100 for
$400 (6-page package) at offers 2-page full color packages
for $249-299, but they also offer smaller numbers
for as low as $45-55 for 10 CDs. Since many companies
don't offer such packages in such small numbers, this
may help you if your funds are limited.

Search strategy:
I'm an amateur musician myself, with some 8 hours of 
original compositions on a Kurzweil K2500SX synth.
I subscribe to Keyboard magazine, and ran across their
advertisements recently.

If this is what you were hoping to find, let me know,
and I'll post it as the answer.

A user's guide for Google Answers is on skermit-ga's
site, here:

Best of luck to a fellow musician...

Subject: Re: Making a Demo Music CD
From: jhc1352-ga on 29 Oct 2003 22:04 PST
Thanks for the information, it was very helpful.  One thing i'm having
trouble finding is Jewel cases..Where online is the cheapest that i
can order 100 jewel cases from? Thanks,

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