IN THIS SECTION
Distribute My Recording
If a recording has been made for commercial release or is to be made available for production music, the record company and/or publishing company will be responsible for working the compositions to their full potential. Anyone planning to self-release their music can also receive advice from ‘AIM’ [the Association of Independent Music], which publishes a special guide on the subject.
Composers/songwriters who have gone into the studio to make a demo with a view to targeting publishers, will find further details in the Find A Publisher and Who Should I Send My Music To? sections.
The following advice is equally relevant for those keen to raise awareness at publishing companies, as it is for those contacting record labels, booking agents, promoters or anybody else who might help advance their career.
Making Copies Of A CD
Using a commercial CD manufacturing service can save time and deliver a professional-looking product, but this might not be necessary unless several hundred copies are required.
Until recently, most pressing plants required proof of MCPS membership, but this is no longer the case. The organisation has a list of recommended CD manufacturers on its website.
If CDs are to be sold or released, then it will be necessary to join MCPS. The organisation grants an exemption from paying mechanical royalties to composers/songwriters/bands releasing their own material. Moreover, it does not charge for soundcarriers which are used for promotional purposes only.
It is possible to add an ISRC code at the manufacturing stage, if this has not been done during the mastering.
Supply The Necessary Information
The following information must be printed on both CD and on the cover:
- the name of the composer/songwriter/band
- a track listing with the names of the songs/compositions
- contact details including a phone number and email
- a myspace or website address [where applicable]
Ensure The CD Plays
Make sure that the CD plays in a regular CD player and not just in a computer. Many older CD players will not play CDRs, and a surprising number of music companies and publications still use old equipment.
Include A Short Biography
It is important to provide some background information about the composer/songwriter/band responsible for the music. However, a lengthy autobiography is not necessary and a page of text is sufficient.
Include a few sentences about the composer/songwriter/band, details of radio/tv appearances, noteworthy live appearances, favourable comments in the media and any well known fans. Keep sentences short, unpretentious and to the point. Long-winded claims to be the world’s greatest undiscovered pianist are likely to see the biog launched straight into the bin.
Biogs can be found on artist web and myspace sites, although they are not always the best examples. Itunes and other software enables a biography to be printed on a CD size piece of paper and inserted into the case.
Send The CD To The Right Person
Simply sending a demo to a company employing dozens of people is unlikely to ensure it will arrive in the right hands. Many websites list the emails of staff, while magazines and many newspapers provide the names and positions of editors and reporters. If in doubt, call up the switchboard and ask to be put through to the relevant person.
As previously mentioned, it is worth ensuring that the desired recipient accepts unsolicited recordings.
When sending myspace messages, do not expect to get a reply from a mass mail out. For those who receive dozens of these messages every week, they are little better than spam. Taking a couple of minutes to get the name of somebody, should increase the chance of a reply. Hand-delivering the package not only saves money, but can sometimes provide an opportunity to meet the recipient face to face.