Self-promotion is the downside of trying to be an independent musician. I don’t have VH-1, I don’t have VEVO, I don’t have Billboard Magazine, I don’t have radio stations, I don’t have record stores.
I have you guys, and I have my website. And the website is useless without you guys. You who like the album, who think it’s worth hearing, who think its themes are relevant and interesting?
You’re the ones who make this work, or not.
I need ears. Am I in this for the money? That’s hilarious. I want to make a living at this, of course, but I’d make literally orders of magnitude more money consulting part-time. And it’d be less work.
But this is my art. And what I really want is for my music to find its listeners.
So I’m asking you to help.
- Order a copy, play it for people. Order the studio album as a gift, if you have a copy already. I have free shipping on second/third/fourth CDs on Bandcamp. On CD Baby, second/third/fourth copies are discounted by $3 each.
- If you like Cracksman Betty or Espionage, the free/pay-what-you-want albums, download and burn them for someone else as a stocking-stuffer.
- Just tell people. Like the band page on Facebook, point people at Bandcamp, leave a review or just Like the album on on Amazon or iTunes Music Store, or on your own blog or Livejournal or Facebook or Google+ page.
I may joke about buying in to the whole Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday noise – and I do, believe me – but it really does matter. I care about my art, and I want it to be heard. There are endless numbers of good reasons to slam the record companies – and I do – but what you cannot deny is their ability to promote. They can sell anything, and do.
And then take all your money and leave you bankrupt. That’s the downside. Their way sucks.
Some of us – more and more of us – are trying to find other ways. I’m patterning after people like Marian Call, Leannan Sidhe, SJ Tucker, Ultraklystron, Rai Kamishiro, dozens if not hundreds of others. We’re all indie musicians, doing exactly the opposite of the Big Record Label Model. We’re relying on your ability, and willingness, to share what you like, rather than screwing you down as tightly as possible to their ideas about how they should own everything you hear and see.
It’s their way, vs. your ability to share. I don’t want their way. I want yours. That’s why there’s no DRM on any of my work.
So support your artists – musical, visual, whatever – directly, whoever they are. Not just through money, tho’ that’s good, but through sharing stuff, and through talking about what you like.
Including, I hope, me. Thank you.
PS: I’ve been going through the video and audio from the show on the 18th. I’ll be dropping at least one of those on the YouTube channel by the end of the week. Keep an eye out.