More and more artists and musicians are beginning to produce their own albums. It’s hard to access the big record labels, so selling your own music can be the next best thing. The internet makes it easy to distribute your album either digitally or by selling CDs online. It can be easier today to do things a bit backwards, building a fan base online and then producing an album when you know you have people who will buy it. But making your album is a long process, and it won’t be easy creating it and marketing it. If you’re thinking about putting out an album on your own, without the help from a label, read this short guide on the process and things you need to think about.
Create a Production Schedule
Although you can finish your album whenever you want, since you don’t have a label giving you deadlines, it’s still a good idea to have an end date. You might want to have a CD launch party or an upcoming tour and need to be finished by a certain date. If you put together a production schedule, you can stay on track to finish in time. Your schedule should include everything involved in producing your album, from recording and mixing to album artwork.
Obviously if you’re choosing to produce your album on CD, you need to find a CD manufacturer. You can choose to have your CDs replicated or duplicated. CD replication is the process of creating unique discs specifically for your music. It’s more expensive, so it’s normally reserved for runs of at least 1,000 CDs. CD duplication involves burning your music onto readymade blank discs. Once you’ve mastered your album using a service like 48hourmasters.com, you can choose a method of production for your CD. Don’t forget about the artwork, as well as the music.
When your album comes back from the manufacturers, you need somewhere to sell it. You should make your album available in as many places as possible. Don’t just sell it on your own site and other online channels. Sell it through sites such as CD Baby to distribute it on CD and list it on digital music sites too. Physical album sales aren’t as high as they once were, so it’s important to have your music available to download too. When you set your prices, make sure you take into account the percentage that will go to the store.
No one will buy your music if you don’t tell them about it. First, you need to focus on your existing fans. Reach out to them through your newsletter, social media pages and website, as well as at shows. Don’t wait until the album is out to tell them about it. You can keep giving them updates throughout the process of making your album. You can give your fans incentive to buy the album too, such as exclusive access for a limited period or free merchandise with the first orders.