Congratulations and good luck! You are about to enter a new phase in your music career. Releasing music and putting yourself and your music out there, for the public to consume and love, is not an easy feat. Aside from the creative aspects of perfecting your music, you have to do a lot of other stuff like recording, mastering, manufacturing, and marketing. If it is your first time to release a record, here are some of the things you must NOT do:
1. Don’t announce a very specific date too soon. You don’t want to set a specific release date six months before the estimated date of release. There are 1,001 screw ups you’re likely to encounter when you’re recording and manufacturing music so delays are to be expected. Just give them an estimated time to keep them excited (coming soon, etc) until it’s just a few weeks before release date. Moving a release date is anticlimactic so try to avoid that by not giving super specifics too soon.
2. Don’t wait until the CDs are done before you start marketing your album. Start marketing full-force once you’ve recorded your songs. Don’t wait until the actual CDs are in your hands before you start promoting your album. Marketing an album takes time. Whether you want to release a music video or an online contest, coming up with a marketing plan and executing it takes time.
3. Don’t think that CD duplication only takes one week. Most CD duplication companies quote an estimated time of one week or even less but that’s not the total time spent for manufacturing your CDs (which includes artwork and pre-press review, and shipping among other things), what they quote is just the actual time of pressing your CDs. Take note of that.
4. Don’t wait until the release date before figuring out the payment options. Make sure you have an option for them to pay through credit card. There’s something about the card that makes paying for things seem easy and free. This can definitely attract more fans to actually buy your CD.
5. Don’t just sell downloads. So you are convinced that the CD is dead and the wisest way to release music is by selling your music as downloads. Well, here’s something you should know: Many still buy the good ‘ole compact disc. Sure, not too many that it would beat digital sales but not too few either that CD manufacturing companies (like us) would close down. Sure, release in a downloadable format but don’t skip the CD entirely.
6. Don’t make thousands of CDs if you only have a few hundred followers. You don’t want to make 5,000 CDs only to let half of it sit in the basement to gather dust. Come up with a good estimate of the number of CDs you should make. Here are some questions to guide you in coming up with a good number.
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