I begin by writing the promotional text that will accompany the album in its press release. This can begin as soon as you have a mixed version of your album (before it’s sent for mastering). At this stage I’d need from you:
Your / your group’s full bio, CV, discography, and (where applicable) CVs of each group-member.
The album’s full credits (names of performers and production team, their roles) and track-listing
The projected release date — generally it’s preferable for me to be able to start publicizing the album at least three months in advance of the release date, as many major publications prefer to receive promotional materials well in advance of their release. It’s best to be aim to be flexible with the official release date (which, by the way, does not preclude you doing a release concert earlier, or offering advance copies for sale privately.)Please also ensure that your release date falls on a Friday.
Links to your project’s website and social media, and those of the label that is releasing it.
Links to previous press about your work (as many as possible.)
The final, mixed, version of the record for me to preview — (MP3 quality is sufficient)
Once you approve my promotional text, I integrate it into a layout for an electronic and printable version of press release. The former will link to downloadable and streamable versions of the recording as well as press assets (such as photos.) The latter accompanies hard copies of the disc that are distributed. I also create a small landing page on this very website using an abridged version of the text. I’ll be requesting the following from you:
The mastered, final version of the album in CD quality audio (.WAV or .AIF format, 44.1kHz, 16-bit)
High-res album artwork
High-res promotional photos
PDF version of the liner notes
As soon as the press release is prepared, I can immediately start sending out digital versions of the album to my press and radio contacts. I do this on an individual basis, tailoring the accompanying message to each writer or outlet, rather than using a mailing list. While it’s a more labour-intensive way of working, I found that addressing people directly yields better results and fosters trust and a sense of community. In addition to working from an ever-expanding contact database, with each new client/ project I conduct fresh research based on the client’s musical approach, affiliations, and location and other factors.
Once the physical products are manufactured, I will also distribute copies to outlets that require physical promos.
I generally ask for 30-50 physical copies for distribution. I keep a running tally of postage and printing charges and charge for these expenses on my second invoice. I am open to working within a particular postage budget and can also provide rough estimates. I also generally have a number of projects happening in parallel, which means I can reduce costs by sending multiple releases out together.
If you have any insights into writers/ radio shows/ podcasts/ publications with whom you have a personal connection, or that have expressed interest your work or that of close associates, let me know.
As you receive coverage and airplay, I will let you know about it. All reviews and print coverage are added to the release’s landing page on riparianacoustics.ca (as is notable airplay). I also post select reviews and coverage on my various social media. I also include these releases, and links to certain reviews in my newsletters.
I am also able assist with and advise you about the following :
Advertising — where to advertise, rates, design. I can also adapt the promotional texts for the purposes of an ad.
Bandcamp — pre-orders, merchandise orders, site design, proofreading etc.
Distribution — For a small, one-time additional fee, I can upload your project to LANDR, who distribute it to major streaming platforms. I will collect and distribute your revenue as it comes in. I can also assist you with physical distribution through Squidco.
Writing or revising your bio
Strategizingthe manufacturing of physical products (LPs/ CDs/ Cassettes etc.)
Please note that a number of notable publications prefer to receive promotional materials three months in advance of their release. It’s best to be aim flexible with the official release date (which, by the way, does not preclude you doing a “preview” concert, or offering advance copies for sale privately.)
I strongly advise that you consider providing physical promos for your recording, and publishing the album physically as well. Online-only releases tend to be far more difficult to promote. Similarly, only employing digital promos can hamper the visibility of a project. Many reviewers (particular those interested in experimental genres, and extensions of jazz and classical music) will request a physical copy of an album. Speaking from my own experience as a reviewer, I tend to cultivate a more personal relationship with a recording when I have a tangible product in-hand. CDs—especially ones that come in gatefold cardboard wallets—are ideal for promotion as their lightweight reduces shipping costs.
If you’re considering releasing your album on vinyl only, manufacturing a glass-mastered CD counterpart can prove advantageous from both a promotional and sales standpoint. In addition to providing you with an inexpensive promo copy that you can send out, contrary to some reports, many listeners do still buy music on CD.