#1
What are the preparations before releasing a EP?

I'm not asking for anybody to give me a whole list of stuff (unless you want to!) because that's way too much work. But I guess I am asking....how do you get people excited about an upcoming release if you're unknown?It's easier to get people excited even if you only have 10 fans, but how do you do it when you have NO FANS? lol

Lately, I've been trying to think of ways to hype myself up, but dammit I feel like such a loser because I'm not getting any cool/different ideas.

Do you have any tips? In case you need to know, I'm a solo musician/guitarist ( I play and sing my own stuff)
#3
you can pass out your EP to people you run into on the streets, you can pass them out at shows.. now considering you're 'unknown', and assuming this is your first CD... I wouldn't even charge anything, I'd just get rid of as much copies as possible. You should be more concerned with getting your name and music out there.

Remember, your CD is a promotions tool. You can use your EP to promote upcoming shows, promote yourself on Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, etc.

Also, IMO, treat an EP like a mixtape, something you don't need to spend too much time working on, something you can quickly throw together and pass out to people. Something like 3-6 songs.
#4
At the moment I can`t think of any better way of promotion than simply gigging. If you have friends in some kind of journalist bussiness they could make some little reference of you if they had a chance. Or just spread around some flyers with your naked pictures. Or do nude gigs, that`ll give you some spotlight.
#5
Talking from my experience. Try to meet important people, you know? People who organize concerts, show them that you are active, be all over the place, help this, help that. If they organize a gig, and you have nice quality instruments, offer them to borrow them from you and get you playing in that gig. Create your myspace, last.fm, youtube or any other social website. When you will release your first recording, give it away free for people at a gig. Thats what we did. On our first gig, after we played, we gave out 70 cd's for free. You will earn respect. Don't think, or at least don't talk about money. Put your recording in every downloadable place on the web. If people still wont be excited..work harder on your songs, maybe theres stuff you didn't work on.
#6
Quote by ChokingOnBile
Talking from my experience. Try to meet important people, you know? People who organize concerts, show them that you are active, be all over the place, help this, help that. If they organize a gig, and you have nice quality instruments, offer them to borrow them from you and get you playing in that gig. Create your myspace, last.fm, youtube or any other social website. When you will release your first recording, give it away free for people at a gig. Thats what we did. On our first gig, after we played, we gave out 70 cd's for free. You will earn respect. Don't think, or at least don't talk about money. Put your recording in every downloadable place on the web. If people still wont be excited..work harder on your songs, maybe theres stuff you didn't work on.


Yeah, that`s preety much it, good advice. How did this method work out for you? What`s your band`s position at the moment?
#7
This is such a big question....

While I agree with most of the above post, I disagree with the "give it away for free" philosophy. If you don't attach any value to your product, why should anyone else? And sure, you might not be worried about making a ton of money, but if you're looking to give away the money that you do have, I'll direct you to my band's website where you can buy MY CD!

Sure, have it available to *listen to* for free - MySpace, Facebook, etc. Social networking can only help you, unless you totally suck, in which case, it can also serve to damage your reputation much more quickly and on a much larger scale.

Have a "proper" website, too that will link all your social media together and back, and that will also offer streaming of your music. Set up a PayPal account and sell your CD through your website (assuming it is "release" quality and not "demo" quality). Give out stickers or cards with your web address and email on it so people can listen to your stuff for free and contact you if they wish.

Book a CD release party (but for God's sake, not until *after* you have the CD's in your hot little hands!!) and get media involved. Local entertainment rags, campus radio, community television, maybe even your city newspaper might get behind it and give you an interview here or there to promote your show.... and your material.

Protect your songs. Make sure you have either gotten them formally copyrighted, or at least have a paper trail that will provide a thoroughly compelling path from each song back to you. Register them with your country's Performing Rights Organization (especially if you think you might get some radio/TV play.... I've gotten money from SOCAN just for having our music played on TV on the news as part of the transition music between a story and a lead-in to the weather!) and Mechanical Licencing agencies. Keep your receipt for the duplication/manufacturing, as that will undoubtedly include a list of track titles and lengths, etc., and most importantly, will also be dated and linked specifically to your EP.

Most countries also have a law that will require you to submit a copy to your national archives. Don't worry too much about that, though, as the people who did your manufacturing are obligated to let the government know that you have released an album, and the government agency will contact you and ask for a copy. Then send it.

Bring your CD to local music stores. Many of them - particularly nowadays - will agree to sell them on consignment.

Upload your cover and track listing to the Gracenote database. That way, people who buy your CD, when they load it into their computer, the titles and stuff will come up in their iTunes or Windows Media Player or whatever.

That's it for now... I'll probably think of more.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
Quote by SeriousMan
Yeah, that`s preety much it, good advice. How did this method work out for you? What`s your band`s position at the moment?


Our full line-up formed 8 months ago and we had 2 nice gigs, recorded one album, are having 3 gigs this month, according to our last.fm 3,682 plays (233 listeners).
#9
Quote by axemanchris
This is such a big question....

While I agree with most of the above post, I disagree with the "give it away for free" philosophy. If you don't attach any value to your product, why should anyone else? And sure, you might not be worried about making a ton of money, but if you're looking to give away the money that you do have, I'll direct you to my band's website where you can buy MY CD!

Sure, have it available to *listen to* for free - MySpace, Facebook, etc. Social networking can only help you, unless you totally suck, in which case, it can also serve to damage your reputation much more quickly and on a much larger scale.

Have a "proper" website, too that will link all your social media together and back, and that will also offer streaming of your music. Set up a PayPal account and sell your CD through your website (assuming it is "release" quality and not "demo" quality). Give out stickers or cards with your web address and email on it so people can listen to your stuff for free and contact you if they wish.

Book a CD release party (but for God's sake, not until *after* you have the CD's in your hot little hands!!) and get media involved. Local entertainment rags, campus radio, community television, maybe even your city newspaper might get behind it and give you an interview here or there to promote your show.... and your material.

Protect your songs. Make sure you have either gotten them formally copyrighted, or at least have a paper trail that will provide a thoroughly compelling path from each song back to you. Register them with your country's Performing Rights Organization (especially if you think you might get some radio/TV play.... I've gotten money from SOCAN just for having our music played on TV on the news as part of the transition music between a story and a lead-in to the weather!) and Mechanical Licencing agencies. Keep your receipt for the duplication/manufacturing, as that will undoubtedly include a list of track titles and lengths, etc., and most importantly, will also be dated and linked specifically to your EP.

Most countries also have a law that will require you to submit a copy to your national archives. Don't worry too much about that, though, as the people who did your manufacturing are obligated to let the government know that you have released an album, and the government agency will contact you and ask for a copy. Then send it.

Bring your CD to local music stores. Many of them - particularly nowadays - will agree to sell them on consignment.

Upload your cover and track listing to the Gracenote database. That way, people who buy your CD, when they load it into their computer, the titles and stuff will come up in their iTunes or Windows Media Player or whatever.

That's it for now... I'll probably think of more.

CT

To kind of piggy back on this thread instead of opening my own (because I'm in the same situation). When you say professional website, clearly you don't mean Myspace or Facebook. Would bandcamp suffice for that? I know a few popular, or at least well known bands, use that.

Also, you suggested selling instead of giving it out for free. Is a pay as you please set-up a good idea? Or should I jus straight out say they have to pay for the songs? (And this isn't a demo CD, although I'm technically using it as one. I'm recording it my self, but the quality is better than a demo would be and it has 8 tracks.) Finally, if I do sell physical copies (which will have a few changes in the tracks, because this will act as a demo CD and I'm throwing live tracks onto the physical copy just in case I run into someone that would like to hear it), what is a good price? I was thinking $1 just to make up for the purchasing of the jewel cases and CDs, with like a 10 cent profit on each.

Thanks!
Gear:
ZT Lunchbox Amp
Schecter C-1+ Diamond Series
Dunlop Cry Baby Wah
Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
Digitech Whammy
EHX Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker
EHX Pocket Metal Muff
EHX Small Stone
EHX Memory Toy
EHX Holy Grail
Boss RC-20XL Loop Station
#10
By a "proper" website, I mean something that doesn't take you to a generic service that anyone and their brother signs up for, etc. Not myspace, not facebook, but a www.yournamehere.com kind of site. (and not just a redirect to your sonicbids profile or whatever)

We sold ours for $10 at shows, and through our website and in consignment stores for $12. If you genuinely believe it is a quality CD, why not price it competitively with other "quality" CD's? If you price it at $1, how good will people assume it is? Not very. In fact, they'll assume it is crap, and that's why it is only $1.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Chris, as per usual, I agree with you. But you're kinda saying just one side of an issue and ignoring the other here.

"Big" bands price their CDs at $10 or whatever, yes. But lots of smaller bands that are just as good and just as professional sell their music cheaper because if they don't, people just won't buy it. Not many kids will pay a tenner for an album. Believe me, I'm one of them. It really adds up if you spend £10/$10 on every album you want. So it tends to only be a select few favourite bands that get that privelage. Otherwise, if it doesn't cost half that or less, I - and most other people - will just...take it. It's not hard to find albums for free on the internet.

It's not ideal, but it's the way it is. Sometimes, you just can't sell music at the price you'd like to. So you have to sell it at just enough to make a profit and let you tour. My $2.
My name is Danny. Call me that.
#12
Quote by asator
...Sometimes, you just can't sell music at the price you'd like to. So you have to sell it at just enough to make a profit and let you tour. My $2.

I agree with this! Although my question has already been answered, I just wanted to point out that Asator is right.

I mean, let's be serious here, Madonna doesn't even charge $10+ for her albums. Nobody pays that much anymore, and if you want me to be totally honest...NEITHER DO I. It just doesn't make sense to anymore...

I normally see a full album only priced at $7.99-$8.99
#13
Okay.... two thoughts here....

I rarely spend $10 on a CD anymore either. I spend $0.99-$1.29 per song from iTunes. For our next EP, this will probably be our selected model of distribution. Mind you, it's going to be three songs instead of ten, and we don't intend on manufacturing any physical product, so it's kinda like comparing apples to oranges.

Mind you, I haven't thought of a way, yet, of selling track-by-track downloads from a live show. There is great value in the immediacy of the experience. If they are allowed to wait until next morning to buy it, they probably won't. Maybe the solution *is* to sell them for the price of, say, three downloads and let the buyer rip them themselves to their mp3 player.

Mind you, when your physical product costs you $2/disc to manufacture... it does colour the situation somewhat.

Having said all that.... I just went on Amazon and priced Madonna and Green Day CD's. They range from $8-13. So.... $10 certainly seems to be in the ballpark.

If you sell yours for $5, that sort of suggests that your CD is only half as good as Madonna's or Green Day's... is that how you want people to think? "Hey, these guys are half as good as Green Day!!"

Pricing ours at $10, we've managed to sell a couple hundred copies. Sure, not much, but it paid for our duplication and put about $1000 into our band fund. Beats the hell out of selling 500 copies for $2.

Edit: Just checked out the largest chain store here in Canada. Looks like they are still asking upwards to $15 for a new release.

http://www.hmv.ca/Products/Music/Rock+and+Pop.aspx


CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#14
Quote by axemanchris
Okay.... two thoughts here....

I rarely spend $10 on a CD anymore either. I spend $0.99-$1.29 per song from iTunes. For our next EP, this will probably be our selected model of distribution. Mind you, it's going to be three songs instead of ten, and we don't intend on manufacturing any physical product, so it's kinda like comparing apples to oranges.

Mind you, I haven't thought of a way, yet, of selling track-by-track downloads from a live show. There is great value in the immediacy of the experience. If they are allowed to wait until next morning to buy it, they probably won't. Maybe the solution *is* to sell them for the price of, say, three downloads and let the buyer rip them themselves to their mp3 player.

Mind you, when your physical product costs you $2/disc to manufacture... it does colour the situation somewhat.

Having said all that.... I just went on Amazon and priced Madonna and Green Day CD's. They range from $8-13. So.... $10 certainly seems to be in the ballpark.

If you sell yours for $5, that sort of suggests that your CD is only half as good as Madonna's or Green Day's... is that how you want people to think? "Hey, these guys are half as good as Green Day!!"


Pricing ours at $10, we've managed to sell a couple hundred copies. Sure, not much, but it paid for our duplication and put about $1000 into our band fund. Beats the hell out of selling 500 copies for $2.

Edit: Just checked out the largest chain store here in Canada. Looks like they are still asking upwards to $15 for a new release.

http://www.hmv.ca/Products/Music/Rock+and+Pop.aspx


CT

While the bolded part is a good point, I don't think anybody actually thinks like that Or at least not that literally. Normally you'd be selling the CD to people who've heard the music live before. Or at least a song or 2 on Myspace or something. So they'll think "oh, I like this and it's half the price of that Green Day record, DEAL."
My name is Danny. Call me that.
#15
Quote by axemanchris
Okay.... two thoughts here....

I rarely spend $10 on a CD anymore either. I spend $0.99-$1.29 per song from iTunes. For our next EP, this will probably be our selected model of distribution. Mind you, it's going to be three songs instead of ten, and we don't intend on manufacturing any physical product, so it's kinda like comparing apples to oranges.

Mind you, I haven't thought of a way, yet, of selling track-by-track downloads from a live show. There is great value in the immediacy of the experience. If they are allowed to wait until next morning to buy it, they probably won't. Maybe the solution *is* to sell them for the price of, say, three downloads and let the buyer rip them themselves to their mp3 player.

Mind you, when your physical product costs you $2/disc to manufacture... it does colour the situation somewhat.

Having said all that.... I just went on Amazon and priced Madonna and Green Day CD's. They range from $8-13. So.... $10 certainly seems to be in the ballpark.

If you sell yours for $5, that sort of suggests that your CD is only half as good as Madonna's or Green Day's... is that how you want people to think? "Hey, these guys are half as good as Green Day!!"

Pricing ours at $10, we've managed to sell a couple hundred copies. Sure, not much, but it paid for our duplication and put about $1000 into our band fund. Beats the hell out of selling 500 copies for $2.

Edit: Just checked out the largest chain store here in Canada. Looks like they are still asking upwards to $15 for a new release.

http://www.hmv.ca/Products/Music/Rock+and+Pop.aspx


CT


Glad you could provide that kind of proof, but I really wasn't looking for detailed statistics lol, but thanks for going out of your way to look them up I get your point
#16
Hey guys, can you go read my thread "Digital Grossness" in the Pit? I wanna hear what some of you have to say about the topic...
#17
Have to agree that free eps are a bad idea at least. Any time I get music for free im much more likely to just skim through all the tracks barely listening to them.
#18
well what i once did. Well, it was mostly for fun. For an ooold record. I went around major cities in the country and put up notes EVERYWHERE, like small posters, telling about the COMING OF THIS MUSIC, that will shake the foundation of your world, and blablablabla, rape your children, eat your liver. ANYTHING.

Theres probably some more effective method. But this one was fun. And i like to think it helped, hehe.

Otherwise, contact some underground labels that might want to buy/trade some of your EP's in the future, and ask them to do a little advertising to their costumers.

Or.. **** a hot promoter. IT WORKS.
FUCK YOU ALL!

666 BLACK METAL HOLOCAUST!!!!!