CD duplication is done 1 of 2 ways:
CD's can be burned, just like on your computer,
or pressed, the preferred way of duplication.
Burned CDs have two disadvantages. First, they are just not as durable as pressed CDs. Scratches and excessive sunlight can ruin a burned CD faster than a pressed CD. Two, some CD players such as car stereos just have trouble reading burned discs. It isn't as big of a problem as it used to be, but it does exist.
One advantage to burned discs is that they can be duplicated in small quantities at an affordable price. Pressed CD's involve an expensive tool-up phase that is the same to press 1 or 10,000 discs. As a general rule, you get your best price per unit on pressed CDs starting at around 1000 units.
Someone has to do your graphic design for the cover, tray card, and the disc. I recommend using local graphic designers just because it is much easier to communicate and make changes with someone you can see face to face.
Two designers in Lubbock I recommend are:
The CD Duplication company I recommend is
In addition to duplication they can give you a UPC bar code and they get you setup on download sites such as iTunes, CD baby, and many others. They can also do your graphic design if you choose. Most of my customers use Discmakers for duplication. They are a top shelf service oriented company.
If you use another duplication company BE SURE TO GET REFERRALS. I have heard many horror stories about small upstart duplication companies that do poor printing, have bad service, and miss delivery dates.
If you wish to do a digital release only, you should use the sister company to Discmakers,