Table of Contents
FIRST OF ALL, DO YOU HAVE EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD MUSIC?
Or are you just rushing to finally release an album? Really good music is the number one requirement before recording.
I know it isn’t usually the case because we see a lot of well-marketed artists with zero talent. But for indie musicians, this is a must. You don’t have to make every track exceptional, but at least make 2-3 really good and the rest should be decent enough.
Do yourself a favor. If you and everyone else think your music still needs a lot of improvement, don’t release an album.You can release a single but have it available online.
DO YOU HAVE A GOOD NUMBER OF FANS?
How many followers do you have on Twitter and Facebook? How many people like your posts? How many people visit your website? Most of all, how many people attend your gigs?
The thing is, even if you have a lot, it’s still not an assurance that these people are willing to buy your stuff. But your odds are higher if you have a large fan base. Basically, don’t record an album yet if you only have 500 followers on social media and only 20 people show up during gigs.
Record more good music first and work on getting more fans.
DO YOU HAVE A MARKETING STRATEGY?
Let’s just say you got the two mentioned above covered: you have really good music and you have a lot of fans. Then, you’re absolutely ready to record and release a CD, right?
Sure. But how are you going to release it? How is it part of your overall marketing plan? When are you going to release it and how? Maybe you need a marketing expert for this or maybe you can read up and do this on your own.
But the point is, you can’t just release a CD anytime you want without a good strategy. One of the best ways to release an album is when you are touring.
If you’re an indie musician, it’s not a good idea to release during Christmas season because you’re competing with a lot of things, including records of mainstream artists.
IS CD THE BEST FORMAT FOR YOU?
Of course you need CDs so you have something to sell fans during shows.
And, of course, the CD legitimizes you. But you also have to ask yourself if it’s the format most fans prefer.
HOW MANY CDs SHOULD YOU PRESS?
Considering all the answers you’ve given above, you’d now be able to estimate the number of CDs you should press.
Duplication is cheaper if you make more than 500 pieces but if you want to press over 5,000 pieces, replication is the best option for you. You’ll save more that way.
But if you’re still not sure of the number, do not fret because you can order a few at a time. Read this article to know which suits your project: CD duplication or CD replication.
DO YOU HAVE THE BUDGET FOR CD REPLICATION?
Replication shouldn’t be expensive. You can come up with really good-looking CDs without spending big bucks.
The trick is to choose the right CD packaging and material. However, it’s not that cheap especially if you don’t know the basics of CD replication.
It’s also not that cheap if you’re going for exceptionally catchy CD packaging. Here are simple ways to cut down CD duplication costs.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SHIP YOUR CDs?
For online orders, how do you plan to ship your CDs?
You can’t ship them one at a time because that’s just too tedious, right? At Unified, we can do the tedious stuff for you so you can focus on more important stuff.
We have a fulfillment service and we can ship your items directly to your buyers.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.