One hundred dollar bill stuck in a piano. Franklin stare. Earn from music.

Making That First Sale: 5 TuneCore Artists Sound Off

By Dwight Brown & Kevin Cornell

Jay Z, The Civil Wars, Nine Inch Nails, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Sara Bareilles, La Santana Cecilia, Joan Jett, Hunter Hayes, Boyce Avenue… What do they all have in common, besides having had their music distributed by TuneCore at some point?  They all had to sell their first single or album to start their recording careers.

Just like these successful musicians, you have to get started somehow. And when you finally make that first-sale, you’ll never forget it.

These 5 TuneCore Artists recently talked about their “First Time.” Check it out:

“I sent out emails to my fans letting them know if they set up a PayPal account and didn’t like my song, I would refund ‘em a dollar or $8.99 plus taxes, all to make my fans happy. I haven’t had to refund a song yet.”
KoBoogie (Hip Hop)

“I was a senior in high school and I had just released my first single. I remember anxiously checking my TuneCore account to see how many songs I had sold. When the report came in, I was blown away by the amount of support the community had shown.”
Dylan Russell (Country)

“I put my song “Dreamin” on iTunes. I was so excited, I told everyone at work. A sweet lady bought it. So exciting!”
John Scott (Singer/Songwriter)

“My first album sale made me feel like I was Michael Jackson… I ain’t a gospel artist, but when I saw that sale I was singing ‘Hallelujah, thank you Jesus & praise the Lord.’ It’s a good feeling when the time you put into an album gets rewarded with a sale.”
Great Grand Daddy (Hip Hop)

“Shortly after I began distributing music via TuneCore, I began performing at concerts, doing small tours, etc. After I finished my very first show, I was asked about my music, and it felt good to have people go in iTunes and have access to my records.”
Lmntry (Hip Hop)

When you sell your first single, EP or album it’ll be a euphoric moment you’ll never forget.

Making that first sale? You will get there. And if you remember that ‘first sale feeling’, whenever it was, share ’em with us below in the comments – don’t be shy!

  • The Dark One (MrE)

    DJ ishine, an associate of mine, bought my Prodigal Son Returns EP and I bought his recent album.

  • Justin Rifica Douglas

    I don’t remember mine…. Actually I do. It was on CD baby. My first album Motivation. Its no longer on there. I think they pulled it because it didn’t do well. But I was very happy one of my Frat brothers in another state bought it as a result of me telling everyone on my facebook account back in 2005 that it was available. I am a proud Tunecore distributor since 2009 currently my 2 latest albums are distributed by tunecore.

    • tunecore

      Awesome Justin! Talk about being ahead of your time by sharing the good word and engaging folks on Facebook in 2005.

      We’re psyched you joined us and have been an active member of the TuneCore Community since 2009 :)

  • The New Lew Johnson

    I was nervous, my first album. I released it through Tunecore. I made $100 bucks that year off of it. It seems like nothing, but not to me. I was jacked (and still am) that there were people out there that liked my music. I now connect with my fans and use their input to better steer my music. They are like one giant family to me. Between Tunecore and Jango, I feel very fulfilled. Thanks guys!

  • Tommy Gun

    I just drop a soundtrack to my tv show Gone in a minute season 1 its all Chicago artist its been selling atleast 8 songs a day since Nov 19 , 2015 google Fatus Fee for wiki facts

  • Kariym Kariym

    Hey. I just released my first album through TuneCore (Unyielding Passion) but check this out: I released my first songs on the A/B sides of a 45 rpm in 1969 after checking out Jimi Hendrix (Buddy Miles and Billy Cox) do “Message to Love”. I headed to Karlshrue Germany, the Taiwan, and stayed in Central America before getting back to the USA and going to school for Computer Science and finally getting my doctorate. Wisdom from the ages is this: Some things will stay the same and somethings simply must change. But the People’s love for good, quality music is a constant.

  • Buddy Zappa

    One sure way to kill your sales is to offer FREE downloads, or to stream it somewhere everybody can find it, so they don’t have to pay for it… Tunecore, you need to SHUT THE FUCK UP about downloads & streaming…. Do you want us to make money or not?