Tuesday, March 24, 2015

10 Ways to Distribute My New CD

I had seventy-five copies of my forthcoming CD made.  Now what to do with them?
Seventy-five CD's shouldn't be a problem should it?  Perhaps it is since technically,  CD's are really a dead format.  I also had no intention of selling them when I had them made.  They are more for promotion.  Still, moving 75 CD's seems rather daunting.  I decided to make a list of the Top 10 ways to unload them and so, without further adieu, here is my list.

    75 Cd's
  1. Give them to my friends:  I am not going to make my friends pay for my CD's.  Do they really like my music or do they just like me?  I would guess more of the latter.  I also refuse to mail a CD to my out of town friends because of the added postage costs.  Its easier to send them a link for a free digital copy.  Local friends will account for about 25 CD's.  Only 25 local friends you say?  Most of them are coupled so its more like 40.  Yeah, I have forty friends. 
  2. Distribute to Radio Stations: Since my genre is Surreal Post Punk the local rock and country stations may not be interested.  I am also too old for the University crowd so college radio is out.  That leaves about three CBC stations, NPR and BBC2.  Awesome, five more CD's out the door.
  3. Give them to people who came to my live shows last year: Most of the people who came out to my, or the Pint Collective shows, fall into the "friends" category so they are accounted for in step one.  A few of my friends brought friends so I could give CD's to the friends of my friends.  Giving them a free CD may be a nice way to say thanks.  Around 15 more CD's.  Will saying "friends" that many times mess with my SEO?  Fuck if I know.
  4. Sell the CD online.  Likely will sell zero copies.  Does anybody buy CD's from non-established musicians?  I think not.  CD's are the new cassette.
  5. Sell at live shows: Okay, this is feasible but I mostly play at open mics.  Setting up a merch table after a three song set seems a little ridiculous and I would feel rather foolish if no one bought any of my CD's.  Kind of like the dreamers trying to sell home-made band t-shirts for 10 bucks a pop at the last open mic I attended.  On a side note, how flipping deluded are you to try and sell t-shirts when you have not graduated past open mic time slots?  Your mom won't even wear your shirt.
  6. Donate to charity: I recently purchased 4 CD's for two dollars at an SPCA fundraiser.  I only heard of three of the bands.  My CD's could get into the hands of the general public (i.e. rather than just my friends).  Five CD's may be a reasonable donation and it would raise at least $2.50 for a good cause.  Would five people pay 50 cents for my CD?  Its best not to think of this.  On a side note, after I left the SPCA sale I wondered why I bothered to get my change rather than donating it.  Leaving my change would have generated more of a donation then if I donated my CD's. 
  7. Trade my CD's in for other used CD's:  This may actually net me a higher value for my CD's than if I sold them.  There are two problems with this scenario.  The first problem is do used CD stores even exist anymore?  Secondly, would the dork working behind the counter recognize me as the dork on the back cover of my CD?  That would be uncomfortable.  Lets say three CD's if I can find three stores or three different clerks.  
  8. Give them to local promoters: With a caveat, only to promoters whose places I want to play.  Approximately 5 CD's.
  9. Give them to other local bands: This may be a decent way to move out of the open mic market and into an opening slot.  Its also a great way to connect with my local peers.  Potentially 30-40 CD's because if I give one to the lead singer, the drummer will inevitably want one as well. 
  10. Leave them behind in places: On a bus, on a plane, in a coffee shop table.  A park bench or a waiting room.  In a bar, a lounge, a restaurant.  At a bank machine (I accidentally left a Recording magazine there once and it was gone within two minutes).  This isn't as ridiculous as it sounds.  People are hard wired to snag found valuables, posess them as their own and deem them valuable.  I personally found a Sweet 8-track in grade six and when I listened to it, it was great.  Eventually I bought all of their albums up to "Cut Above the Rest."  If it worked for the Sweet it may work for you and I.  When I think about it, the synths in my upcoming E.P. are inspired by Sweet so that crappy 8-track apparently had a very profound effect on me.  The people picking them up are a demographic outside the circle of "friends" and isn't this the demographic all musicians are reaching for?
There it is.  Ten viable ways to distribute CD's.  If you have any other ideas please feel free to leave a comment.