Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Exam Time

Many students are taking music exams in March and this has some effect on sales at this time of year.

In the run-up to exams, I experience a surge in demand for some of the most popular exam pieces, mostly because students have been playing from (illegal) photocopies for months and they are not allowed to take these into the exams! So I get lots of queries from people asking how quickly I can get the music out to them, because their child has the exam next week.

The use of photocopies is a topic of regular discussion among publishers, and a sore point. I've never played from a photocopy myself, but maybe that's just because I'm old and photopiers were new-fangled technology when I was young!

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the issue, what I don't understand is why, when the child is entered for the exam, the teacher and parents don't ensure that they have the music ready. Why wait until one or two weeks before the exam and then be in a rush? They have to buy it anyway, so why not do it in good time?

Then for those who have already bought the music, there is the old problem of losing the piano part. It is sensible to keep both parts together, for safety but you know what kids are like - they take out the instrumental part and forget where they put the rest of it. So I have had some people buy second copies of music they have already purchased as their offspring has lost it/left it on a bus/fed it to the dog. An expensive business.

Anyway, I wish all the students in exams at this time the very best of luck!

Friday, 6 March 2009

One Year On...

One year ago the bulk of the work on the website was finished and VS Music Supplies began to pick up new customers all over the world. So I thought that it might be good to see where our customers come from.

Starting with the UK, this map shows the approximate distribution of customers, colour coded to show the relative number in each area:

Red = highest number, reflects VS's Rochdale/Oldham origins
Orange = next highest - the Greater London area
Green = middling numbers, mostly heavily populated areas
Turquoise = smaller number of customers, often in rural areas and widely spread

It is approximate, based on postcode areas, so if you don't see a circle directly round where you live, I apologise but I haven't forgotten you!

This map does not show other areas in the seas around the British mainland, but there is a large number of customers in Northern Ireland, then a good sprinkling in Jersey, Guernsey and Eire.

Further afield, the largest number of overseas customers is in the United States, followed closely by Singapore.

The remaining overseas customers (in alphabetical order) are in Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Malta, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden.

So thank you to all of you for buying your musical supplies from VS over the last year and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

UPDATE: as of 10th March, I am adding Orkney to my list - hope to see more islands near Scotland soon!
UPDATE: added Isle of Skye on 21st April