I have been astounded, overwhelmed and slightly confused this past weekend. Having released my album on a Friday, and helping my girlfriend manage an art show booth on Saturday was an absolute whirlwind. However, I feel like even in the first three days I've learned a lot of information about how to manage my album. Hell, I'd go as far to say even my "brand".
Overall, I think things went pretty well. Not exactly as well as my wildest dreams, but if that were the case I'd already be ordering another batch of physical media. Definitely well enough to make me happy and look forward to the coming months to see if momentum keeps this album moving. It will probably be posted on Amazon Music and iTunes in a few days, which will definitely help with exposure and ease of access as well.
When I released Nature's Echo (link
) back in 2007 I more or less dropped it on CD Baby, bounced a few emails and Facebook messages out into the wild, and hoped for the best. Back then, I thought that was the most I could do to market the album. I have since learned that as a small, independent artist, there is so much more to it than that.
A few months ago, I realized that being unable to rely on a label with a larger social network completely changes the paradigm for how an album release should be for me. On top of that, I am not releasing dance music, so catering towards traditional DJs is out of the question too.
Essentially, I decided that I'm really not trying to generate hordes of faceless fans, but hoping to make a bunch of friends who are also interested in the music I create. As such, I've been working incredibly hard to just be active online: Attending Internet radio shows, corresponding with people on Twitter or eMail, and just getting to know people. I push them the bandcamp link
after a period of time as more of a "hey, check this out" kind of thing. But it's always a low-pressure, do-what-you-want, proposal.
If they download, then I have another eMail address in my list, which I can then use to correspond with. I am hoping in the coming weeks to offer special things to anyone on my mailing list. First and foremost is a track I've been working on for my next album that not many people have heard yet.
This method has worked well for me the past few weeks. I've met some incredibly cool people, attended a few great internet streams, and otherwise been surrounded by inspired people who share the same interests I do.
Have I gotten many sales doing this? No, not really, but piles of money aren't the end goal of my business anyway. If I eventually recoup my costs, then I am more or less happy with the world. I am lucky enough to have a job which supports my day-to-day life and offers me the spare hours some days to pursue my hobbies. What I am doing is making friends, generating momentum, and setting the stage for an even more successful next release. All without spending any money on Google or Facebook ads which probably wouldn't get seen (or clicked on) anyway.
So far, I like my method.
Most of you reading this have experienced it personally over the past few days, has it worked for you? Have you done anything that may work better? This process is still being refined.