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FAQs about Ordering Music

Does shipping really cost $5.00 for orders of all sizes?

  • Yes! (Unless you need to receive your music really fast.) Your order is typically processed and shipped within 1-2 business days. Orders are shipped from St. Paul, MN.

    Domestic customers

  • Standard Shipping: $5.00
    Orders weighing more than 1 pound: USPS Media Mail (Est. delivery 2-8 business days after order is shipped)
    Orders weighing less than 1 pound: USPS First Class or Priority Mail (Est. delivery 1-3 business days after order is shipped)
  • Faster Shipping: $12.00
    Shipped by UPS Ground. (Guaranteed delivery 2-5 business days after order is shipped)
  • Even Faster Shipping: Minimum charge of $12.00
    If you need your order even sooner, select this option and I'll do my best to accommodate your needs. Please note that overnight and one-day shipping often have additional fees. Feel free to also send messages about urgent orders using this site's contact form.

    International customers

  • International customers are encouraged to order Licensed PDFs.
  • International customers who prefer to order Sheet Music should note that shipping charges will NOT be added to their order at this time. Instead, they will be contacted later by someone from Seafarer Press to determine the best way to ship the order. International shipping charges (which can be steep!) will be billed separately.


How do Licensed PDF orders work?

Licensed PDFs are ordered the same way as sheet music, except that you'll add a "Licensed PDF" product to your shopping basket. If you'd like to make 25 copies of the piece, please purchase 25 Licensed PDFs.

If you choose to purchase a Licensed PDF, you are purchasing a license to photocopy the music for your own use. I'll create a PDF of the score for you which will have a personalized license printed at the bottom of each page.  The license will read something like this:

Digital Edition licensed July 4, 1776 for 49 copies for the sole use of Alexander Hamilton.
Further duplication or dissemination of this copyrighted work – including
forwarding, sharing, uploading or sale – is prohibited.

A $5.00 License Setup Fee will be added to your order when you check out. I typically process Licensed PDFs within 2 business days. If you need your music sooner than that, feel free to indicate that in the box provided and I'll do my best to accommodate your needs. (You may also feel free to alert me to that by sending me an email.)


I'm buying music for my organization. Can you bill my choir (or church or university or school)?

Yes!  Just proceed with your order using the shopping cart, filling out all the required fields. When you reach the "Review Order" page, the bottom field asks how you'd like to pay. Select "Pay by Purchase Order," type your organization's name into the box, and click "Continue." You'll receive an invoice by e-mail when your order ships, which you may submit to your organization. (I'm on the honor system here!)


What's the best way to order music, directly from Seafarer Press or through a music store or dealer?

Whatever is most convenient for you. If you have a relationship with a music store or dealer, you may find it most efficient to buy all of your music through that source.

If you enjoy having a more direct relationship with composers, you may wish to order music directly from me. Sometimes I toss other thing in with your order  catalogs, perusal scores, or mp3 download cards. You may receive your music faster, since your music is mailed directly to you.

Either way, feel free to ask questions or give me feedback about a piece of music. I consider myself a "full-service composer" whose job doesn't stop when I draw the final barline. I benefit from your thoughtful questions and your imaginative programming, and I love hearing about all your performances, large and small.


You can give me an amazing discount if I order directly from you, leaving the "middleman" out of the picture, right?

If only it were that easy!  I'd love to give you a great discount, but music dealers are an important part of my business model — and some, like Musical Resources and JW Pepper, are active promoters of my music. If I undersell my retail partners, it sabotages their livelihood — so unless there's a discount on a particular title, I typically sell my music for retail prices.


I'd like to print the lyrics to one of your songs in a concert program.  May I do that?

How wonderful that you're asking permission!  You may print any of my original lyrics in concert programs and bulletins, with my blessing. Please include the following copyright notice: "Lyrics copyright (year) by composer Elizabeth Alexander".

Keep in mind that I'm not in a position to grant reprint permission for lyrics other than my own, even though I publish the music. You'll need to request that permission yourself. I can provide you with contact information for those poets, lyricists and copyright holders.


Where did the name Seafarer Press come from?  Why not just name the publishing company after the composer?

Versions of all of my names and extended family names — Elizabeth, Alexander, Harper, Collins, Adams — happen to be names of established publishing companies. The seed of "Seafarer Press" comes from the composer's initials: S.E.A.

But beyond this "initial" reason, there are many auspicious aspects to the name Seafarer Press.  For starters, the expressions "setting out to sea," and "being lost at sea," pretty much sum up my experience of starting a business. In addition, "fare" means "to go or travel" (as in "Fare thee well"), and publishing my music has certainly been a journey!


How do you do this all yourself -- composing, publishing, marketing, and distributing?

Ha, ha, ha — that's very funny. I don't!  I have been blessed with...oh good heavens, how many helpers? Nerd patrons like Steve Hawkins, who designed and now troubleshoots my website. Good-natured offspring like Simon and Oliver Alexander-Adams, who spent their formative years assisting with orders, mailing campaigns and conferences. Tech-savvy relatives like Steve Harper and Paul Adams, whom I have mercilessly commandeered into my service countless times over the past 25 years. (Truly, I have heaps of helpers.)

...And what would I do without my fellow "IMP-sters" — the seven other talented and savvy composer-publishers with whom I've teamed up to form the Independent Music Cooperative?


Is composer Elizabeth Alexander also a famous poet?

Although composer Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962, Chester, SC) often writes the lyrics to her songs, she is not the same Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962, Harlem, NY) who wrote the poem for Barack Obama's first inauguration. But never fear; you'll find her here:  Elizabeth Alexander the Famous Poet.


Do people frequently misspell the titles of your pieces?

Okay, this is not a commonly asked question. In fact, no one asks it. However, it is such a funny answer that I couldn't resist slipping it in here!

Of course, performers and correspondents misspell the titles of my pieces from time to time — in delightful ways. The most common typo, by far, is When the Song of the Angles is Stilled, but it gets way better than that!

Here are my all-time favorites:

Tomorrow, Bod Willing
A Palette to Pain Us As We Are
Immoral Love
Those Who Wish to Sin Always Find a Song

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