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The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
So, artists should not seek distribution until they're ready
for it. Right now, I sell my discs at shows, websites (CD
Baby, Amazon and my own) and on consignment in retail.
How do you know when you're ready to approach a
Musing in Minneapolis
Thanks for responding...
Actually, there are many schools of thought on when the
"right time" is for seeking distribution. In truth, the
"right time" can be (and often is) sketchy, which causes
artists a "Catch-22" situation, for no less than the
1. If you are releasing your music worldwide, as are
most artists today (via the Internet), while "online"
sales might prove useful and even fruitful to a degree,
you can, simultaneously, create one heck of a mess at the
retail music store level for people who elect to purchase
your music at their area retail music store, but cannot
find it there. After all, most people *still* are not
purchasing music online.
This is because, unless an independent artist is also
independently wealthy, or has some financial resource
that will allow him to meet all financial aspects of
his release, for the most part, he cannot hope to supply
retail on a worldwide level independently.
However, in defense of the alternative sales area
locations, such as gig sales, web site sales, and even
consignment sales, if you can document sales within
each of these sales areas, along with having a
respectable number of sales in either or all, as well as
a strong viable marketing and promotion plan for
generating retail sales, I feel that a distributor will
be open to granting you distribution.
2. But, also understand that distributors are not
impressed by the amount of upfront retail product an
artist or label can deliver, but are, otherwise,
impressed by the turnover rate of re-orders from retail
music stores. In other words, how quickly you are able
to sell out of each batch of retail-delivered product.
Add to that, the fact that distributors are working on
90-day, to as much as 6-month time periods before they
pay sales royalties, the artist or independent label
will be required to financially bankroll retail product
for this time period in order to meet consumer demand.
In other words, until the payout point, artists and
labels have the burden of keeping retail product coming
The only 'saving grace', is if, based on the retail
sales turnaround rate, along with your previously
successful gig, web site and consignment sales, the
distributor is impressed enough to offer a P&D
(Pressing & Distribution) deal early in the promotion.
Bottom line...realistically, neither retail music store
managers, nor distributors desire to have product
occupy their shelves that is not being properly marketed
and promoted in order to justify their carrying in on
their shelves or artist rosters. It is simply considered
to be taking up valuable space that could be afforded
product that *is* being properly marketed and promoted.
Though this may seem difficult, in order for artists to
avoid this downfall, they are best to ensure that *all*
their proverbial bases are covered *before* releasing
recordings that might prove to be very sales-inviting to
their prospective fans.
These bases include both promotional budgets, as well
as distribution budgets. I rarely find independent
artists completely prepared in either of these two
respective areas, and believe that, for the most part,
their business considerations end at the manufacturing
point of their recordings.