Breaking it down

I have been asked to break down some of the points I made in the previous blog.. (READ HERE) these ones specifically – points 4, 6, 7, 10 and 11! I combined point 4 and 11. If there are any terms or words that you don’t understand within what I put here, chuck it in Google. Google knows all. This is a guide to DO IT YOURSELF. Please note that the latter part of this blog (the press release/media servicing part) is not an easy or quick process and this is why publicists exist – they have the lists and the contacts and that is precisely why they are worth spending money with. If you have neither the time or intent on gathering the necessary list of contacts to send your music to that will satisfactorily service your music, it is worth doing your release properly. Remember, you can’t complain that no-one is playing your music on the radio if you haven’t made it easy to find or given it to anyone in the first place! (Actually, make sure you have great music and a great attitude first!) On to the breakdown.

  • Organise distribution for the single – either through an online aggregator or a label or website like bandcamp or soundcloud. Release the single via your medium – iTunes, bandcamp, CD at shows, whatever is your preference.
    This is a really simple one. Depending on whether you are comfortable with surrendering an upfront fee or a percentage of your royalties (remember to take into account ongoing annual maintenance fees to keep your music in the stores!), you can choose ONE of the many digital distributors found online – Tunecore, CDBaby, Ditto Music, SongCast and there are a shitload more. I use Tunecore, but feel free to use whatever you want and feel comfortable with. Most of these websites require you have a PayPal account to be paid into as it does all the money conversion for you. If you link your PayPal Account to your bank account, you can bring the money straight down to your account within 3 days or so. The other thing to know is that there is generally (GENERALLY – read the terms and conditions for whichever one you sign up with) a 3 month delay on payment for sales made in the stores, so there will be a 3 month lag and then you will get paid monthly after that – IF you make sales. When you sign up to distribute, you will need High Quality, mastered WAV files, hi-res artwork (generally at least 1000 pixels wide and high and 300DPI). You can specify the date you want it to go live in the iTunes system and in which digital stores around the world you want it to go live.If you think that all sounds a bit too hard – sign up for bandcamp at http://www.bandcamp.com. It’s awesome, its simple and you are the distributor – again, you will need a paypal account for the money you make, but you can also specify if you want to sell your music for money, make it totally free or give it away in exchange for an email address. Nothing could be simpler. You will again need WAV files and hi-res artwork.
  • 3 months out, write a press release that encompasses all the media you want to write about your single/interview you/feature you/review it. Include tour dates, a link to the music, a video clip if you have one and an interesting couple of paragraphs about what you do, what you have done, what the song is about etc.

    I suggest there is a two-prong approach on this.

    1. You need email addresses of media and preferably try to connect with the key people you want to talk to/play your music first before hitting them with your music. Network your little butts off and meet people (go to music conferences, its money WELL worth spending), get those business cards and plug em all in to a list when you get them, get yourself an AMID and mine that for the appropriate people to send your music to, get onto Google and search for music media in Australia – radio shows, websites, blogs, street press, industry people and begin to plug all of the ones who you think might be interested in your music. This is the hard part as it is a fine line between spam, harassment and just getting your music to the right people. Be choosy about who you send stuff to. Perhaps individually email people (especially key people) and let them know that you have added them to your list of media you will be servicing music to. Don’t mention who the band is or nag them at this point, think of yourself as the publicist for the band, not a part of the band at this point. Avoid using “we”, “us” etc.

    2. Once you have your list, get yourself a mailchimp, DSTAR or your mailing list provider account and set up your media email lists in there. http://www.mailchimp.com is a favourite of mine. The biggest piece of advice here is to give a solid 2 months’ notice till your record/single is out. You will need to include a link to a High quality, mastered WAV file, a hi-resolution (300DPI) photograph – perhaps one portrait, one landscape photo, positive media quotes, your tour dates or launch shows, your AIRIT  and then a press release that is relatively concise but punchy that includes all of the details about your release, details of the tour you are about to do and ALL your contact details. Be prepared for NO replies to your email and to follow up POLITELY after a few days. Remember to allow people some time to get to it and know exactly what you are asking these people for.

  • Put your single into AIRIT and jjj unearthed.
    These ones are simple ones. Go to http://airit.org.au/airit/home.php and http://www.triplejunearthed.com/ and submit your music. NOTE: It is not guaranteed that you will be added to AIRIT, so make sure you give them everything they ask for in the formats they request and make your submission as professional as possible to give yourself the best shot at it!

I hope this was really helpful! 🙂

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