Sunday, March 4, 2012

After The Album Is Finished

power circle graphic from Music 3.0 blog
CD Baby's excellent DIY Musician blog recently had a post regarding the steps to take when your album is finished. I liked their suggestions but decided to put together a few of my own based on the article.

Here are 10 steps to take after your CD is completed.

1. Get some photos taken. If you don't have the album artwork together, then you may need photos for that. But even if that's well in hand, you're going to need new press photos. Get them shot by a professional ASAP. Check out this article for advice on photos.

2. Update your press kit. You do have one, right? If you do, update it to reflect your latest release. If not, time to get started on it. Check out this article on electronic press kits for more info, as well as this article.

3. Update your website. Once again, it's time to reflect the fact that you have new music to offer. Updating a site takes time, so the sooner you get to it, the better. Before you begin your update, check out this article on the 7 mistakes that bands make on their websites.

4. Determine your distribution. If you aren't signed to a record label, now's the time to get with Tunecore or CD Baby to help make your music available to the world.

5. Determine your release schedule. If you've just completed an album, ask yourself these questions: When is the official album release date? What will be the first single and when will it be released? What will be the second and third singles and when will they be released? Check out this article for a new look at release schedules.

6. Submit your album to Gracenote and All Music Guide. Gracenote is the service that recognizes the songs on a CD when you put it into your computer. All Music Guide provides all the pictures and bio info that you see on iTunes. Submit to both so people get all the details they need when they play your CD.
Click here to find out how to submit your music to Gracenote.
Click here to find out how to submit your music to All Media Guide.

7. Plan your social media campaign. This includes email blasts to your fans as well as posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You want to determine just when everything will happen, in what order it will happen, and who's responsible for getting it done.

8. Create some videos. Many people get all of their new music strictly from videos on YouTube. Get a video out ASAP even if it's only composed of a picture and the music. Real videos take time and you can release the official video later. Get something out there now.

9. Book your album release party. If for no other reason, it's a good reason to have a party and celebrate the fact that you've accomplished something that took a lot of work. That said, it's also the best way to get the word out about your new album, especially to the local press.

10. Play to support the album. It's time to get out there and play for people to expose them to your new music. Some artists and bands gig to support the album while others use the album to support their gigging. Decide which category you fall under, make a plan on what you're going to do, and follow it through.

There are more things that you can do, but these are the bare minimum. Remember, just because you've made an album, the world won't beat a path to your door. You have to be proactive in getting the word out.
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