Since people still buy CDs, you might as well use it as a marketing tool as well, instead of solely a piece of merchandise. Here are a few things to think about before you commit to manufacturing.
1. Pay attention to your artwork. It really is important. Low quality artwork can give a potential buyer the impression that you didn't care enough to get it right, and maybe the music and production on the CD suffer from the same fate.
2. Ad a QR code. A QR code is that little black and white square image that's basically an analog link to an online address. People scan it with their camera phone and can instantly go to your website, iTunes store, or just about anywhere else you point them. It doesn't cost much and is a great way to keep people interested while they discover more about the artist or band.
3. Be sure that your website URL is very visible. Put it on every page of the artwork so if the reader gets curious for more info they can instantly get it. This is your chance to sell some merch, which is where the real money is made.
4. Include a download code. This could be for the digital version of the CD, additional bonus material, or some unreleased songs. Whatever it is, this is becoming more and more common and CD buyers are beginning to expect it.
Remember, as I've said here before many times and illustrated in my Music 3.0 Internet music guidebook, your music is your marketing.
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