If you’ve never had a vinyl pressed until now, you might get shocked by how long the turnaround time is—usually it’s 8-12 weeks.
And there are even times when the pressing plants ship your vinyl records later than the expected time.
This might frustrate you, especially if you’re close to your album release date… so read up.
We are super ready to ease that frustration, answer your questions, and give you things to do while waiting for your vinyl to arrive.
SO, WHY ARE YOUR VINYL TAKING SO LONG?
There is no one reason behind the long wait for your vinyl but we’ve listed down some of the most possible reasons why it’s taking vinyl pressing much longer than expected.
Table of Contents
REASON #1: HIGH DEMAND
The vinyl format has been back for years now and demand for it surged so much during the pandemic that it resulted in its sales surpassing CDs.
Vinyl pressing plants and manufacturers were not ready for the high demand that the turnaround time went as long as a year.
So yes, many artists are pressing vinyl records these days and that means you might have a long waiting time.
REASON #2: A SINGLE LACQUER MANUFACTURER
After February 7th of 2020, Japan DMC became the sole lacquer manufacturer and supplier of the world with Apollo Masters burning to the ground.
Due to this, it is a given that vinyl pressing will be longer compared to before.
REASON #3: SHIPMENT OR DELIVERY
The shipping or delivery time will vary and that depends on where you are or where you want them to be delivered.
Additionally, there may be problems or issues during the shipment which will cause delays.
REASON #4: EDITS AND REVISIONS
Another reason would be if there are edits and revisions you have for your vinyl order.
Let’s say you submitted the wrong audio or visual file and it was not noticed early on, then there will be time wasted.
These edits and revisions will add more time to your time waiting.
REASON #5: VINYL RECORD QUANTITY
The last reason is the quantity of vinyl records you order from your manufacturer.
If there are a lot, then it would take more time to finish the production.
In addition to this, it cannot be denied that most manufacturers give priority to bigger labels, leaving indie artists to wait longer.
HOW YOU CAN SHORTEN YOUR WAITING TIME
Waiting is a hard thing to do especially if you have a strict deadline to beat.
To help shorten your waiting time, we have three things you might want to do.
#1. MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT BEFORE PLACING THE ORDER
As mentioned earlier, edits and revisions cause delays.
To avoid delays, make sure that everything you submit to your chosen pressing plant or vinyl manufacturer is flawless, down to the fonts you use.
#2. DON’T GET TEST PRESSINGS
This is a risk you might not want to take if you can bear to wait longer.
Test pressings are a very crucial part of vinyl record quality control. It allows you to see if there were flaws in the mastering, lacquer cutting, and pressing stages.
It is not recommended you do this, however, here at Unified we give our customers that option. Just ring us up at 855-421-9767 and inform us of it.
As long as you’re 100% sure you’ve given the right instructions and materials, you’re probably good to go. The thing is, there’s still a chance that there are flaws that you can only catch by listening to the test pressings…so it is still quite risky.
#3. ORDER A SHORT RUN INSTEAD
I’ve talked about how the quantity of records you order is one of the reasons for the long wait, so to shorten that, try ordering a short run.
If you’re planning on having a limited edition on the format then you might want to try it out and see if there is a difference, since it still depends on the manufacturer you have.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHILE WAITING
Waiting for your vinyl records is inevitable so I’m afraid you’ll have to find things to do while waiting. Since you’re having a release, I’m sure you’ve got a lot of things to do and prepare.
Here are things you might want to do as you wait for your vinyl records to arrive.
#1. IF YOU ARE GOING ON A TOUR, THEN START FOCUSING ON IT
Not everyone’s going on a tour when they release an album, but if you are, then you should have planned it a year ago.
There are a lot of things to do when you do a tour so waste your time on that while waiting for them.
#2. PREPARE YOUR EPK AND CONTACT THE PRESS
You have to prepare the EPK which you’ll be emailing the press and bloggers along with some details of your upcoming album release or tour (as well as your vinyl record, of course!).
#3. CHECK UP ON OTHER MERCHANDISE YOU’LL BE SELLING
I’m pretty sure you’re not going to only offer vinyl records to your fans.
You have to check up on your other merch and make sure that they’re manufactured without issues or delays.
If you’ve received them already, make sure that there are no flaws and nothing less than perfect.
#4. PRE-RELEASE A SINGLE FROM YOUR UPCOMING ALBUM
Have plans of releasing a single before the actual release?
Then why not do it while waiting for your vinyl records. This will definitely keep your mind busy for some time…and it’s also a great opportunity for you to promote your vinyl.
Try monitoring the reaction of fans and the general public so you’d know what to improve for your album release.
#5. PITCH YOUR SONGS TO ONLINE STREAMINGS SITES
Another thing you might want to do would be to pitch your songs.
Currently, only Spotify allows you to formally pitch your songs for them to evaluate and add to the playlists they curate.
If you want to have your songs on Apple Music playlists, then you’ll need to have connections with a curator or employee there.
#6. DO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTIONS
If you’ve got some promotions to do online, do that, especially if you’re closer to your release date.
Post teasers and your merch, do a countdown, talk to fans and many more.
Do every promotion you deem suitable to make people look forward to your release.
ENJOY THE WAITING GAME!
Don’t forget to check up on your vinyl records while you wait for them.
Having updates about the status of your order would ensure that everything is smooth sailing.
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/vinyl and merch company in LA.