It can be frustrating to not get responses from record labels even after sending your demos out to a whole bunch of them, however, that isn’t uncommon today in the world of music. It is in scenarios like these that bands often consider the option of self-releasing their first album and while that could actually be a good idea to get your music career started, there are considerations to go over. In case all this applies to you, take a look at the following points to get an idea of what to expect, should you choose to self-release your first music album.
Everyone knows that releasing an album is not cheap and that’s exactly why most bands/solo singers can’t afford it, but even if you have investors backing you or if you are able to arrange the money somehow, it’s best to know your expenses beforehand. For starters, know that you will have to pay more to distributors than recording labels because you don’t have that business relationship with them which label companies do. After all, they bring business to distributors in bulk and on a regular basis, while you are just a one-time gig to them. The good news is that thanks to companies like Copycats Media who have special provisions for rising bands, the CD duplication and replication costs are relatively affordable. Lastly, keep in mind that unless you have had previous success, no one in the music industry will extend credit to you and you will have to pay for everything even before your album is released.
As mentioned earlier, distributors won’t extend their line of credit to you and you will likely have to pay more upfront than labels, but none of that will matter if you choose the wrong business to work with. As you are a new band/solo artist, your distributor should try and sell your music to the music stores so that people can find your copy on the shelves when they browse the shops. Unfortunately, the wrong ones won’t make that effort and will only send your album to the store if they order it and that’s a terrible way to sell your first album! Be careful while choosing your distributor and talk to them about this before making the deal.
This is where you will feel the absence of a label the most because they usually have the necessary connections with the media to get you the publicity you need. Since you do not have that, you will likely have to hire a PR company and that can be quite expensive to do on your own. Fortunately, thanks to the magic that is the internet, there are ways to promote your music online at a much more affordable rate.
Finally, there’s one more thing to take note of and that is planning for the future. If your album sells and you gain the attention you need, you will need to have songs ready for your next album when the right recording company comes knocking. Whether or not self-launching is the right decision, depends largely on your situation, budget, etc. but it’s a lot better than to never have released an album at all.
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