Simon Pursehouse at Sentric Music has just posted a blog post entitled “IF I WAS AN UNSIGNED/INDIE ARTIST AND HAD £2,000 TO SPEND ON MY CAREER, WHAT WOULD I SPEND IT ON?” based on questionnaires he sent to various music pundits around the blogosphere. Click through and check it out, it’s interesting reading. Meanwhile for what it’s worth, here’s my own suggestion:
2) I’d buy a CD printer and a stack of blank white CDs to print on, and get 2000 beautiful looking full colour card CD sleeves with my band name on and the track left blank so it can be overprinted. That way the same sleeves can be used regardless of what tracks you put on the CDs inside. These should just be single card pockets rather than a digipack, which makes cost, storage, transportation and postage much more manageable. It’s also the optimum size for industry/media professionals you send it to (who receive vast quantities of CDs every day) while still looking attractive and showing that you mean business.
3) I’d also buy Photoshop Elements so as to create professional looking on-CD artwork, (which would include the tracklistings on the CD). I’d also buy a box of Avery stickers so that I could print professional-looking info stickers to slap on the sleeves. See How To Send CDs To Radio
4) I’d then turn out various different promo CDs as required:
– to send to radio shows like Lamacq, Huw Stephens, John Kennedy etc
– to send to promoters, agents etc to try and get gigs
– to give away to friends & members of other bands to spread the word
– to sell by mail order as physical equivalents of digital releases
– to sell at gigs
5) I’d also buy a cheap PAYG mobile phone & sim card to receive calls for my “manager”. Either you or a friend can field these; many business people prefer not to deal with the artist direct.
6) And if I had a couple of hundred quid left at the end I’d buy a cheap Edirol or Line 6 personal two-track recorder with a built-in mic and small monitor speaker – so that I could record jam sessions and song ideas INSTANTLY and capture the magic of the moment.
I’d carry it with me always. So many flashes of inspiration get lost in rehearsal rooms, or walking down the street, or waking up from a dream. Actually, come to think of it, this ought to be the FIRST, not the LAST £200 that I’d spend. All the domain names and promo CDs in the world aren’t worth shit unless you have killer songs in the first place. And the key to writing killer songs is to write often and badly.
Only one in ten songs are ever any good, and we all have to finish writing the first 9 bits of crud to get to the 10th which is the gem. Bashing em down quickly onto a cheap voice recorder liberates you from the tyranny of high fidelity. It frees the spontaneous spirit of inspiration within you – which will in the end produce your greatest work. Once you’ve written then next “Good Vibrations” or “Dry Your Eyes Mate” you won’t have to worry overmuch about promo – the world will very quickly beat a path to your website.