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The DIY Self-Release Timeline 1: Prior to Release

August 22, 2013 Marketing 2 Comments

checklistI get asked about release plans and timelines quite a lot and have put together a fair few in my time, so thought I would share and outline some basic thoughts of mine as relating to the self-releasing musician or band. Keep in mind, every release project is different — what might work for one band may not work for another — however you should hopefully find most of the below tips relevant. Of course there is much more you can do and tailor accordingly, but this should be a good starting point.

An important question to ask yourself first and foremost is how you want to be portrayed, whether this is your first or your fifth release. There are great blogs out there about building up your “brand” and I highly encourage you to look them up. Consistency and quality should be the overriding factors that shape your campaign — this applies to all content, messaging, sales, as well as all live and promotional activities. Please do yourself a favour and read up on all best practices for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (or other preferred sites). There is a wealth of great information out there.


In my experience, everything in the DIY world takes more time (for the most part). This may not be true for everyone, but when budgets are low, resources limited and favours plentiful, delays are bound to take place. Records take longer to record, mix and master. Videos take longer to film and edit. Website work can drag on, artwork can be difficult to finalise and spec…. you get my point, so be mindful of it.

So, 4-6 months ahead of release would be a good time to:

  • Get your single/EP/album recorded and mixed
  • Start work on the artwork
  • Do a photo shoot
  • Sort out a distribution agreement: Figure out if physical distribution makes sense for you or whether digital-only is the way forward. Negotiating the right contract for you can take time and be costly if lawyers are involved, so educate yourself as much as possible prior to starting this process. There are of course routes that do not involve distributors at all but in today’s world (2013 at time of writing), having your music out on every major digital store around the world is invaluable.
  • Start working on consistent social media re-skins: Make sure your FB/ Twitter/YouTube channel/artist website all look visually appealing and consistent
  • Do you have an official site? If not, register your domain and set one up. If yes, is it up to date or does it need to be refreshed?
  • Brainstorm a list of social media content you will aim to put out over the course of your campaign
  • If investing in a publicist and/or radio team, arrange meetings with all prospective people and be ready to have them hired by the end of this period
  • Sign up with a mailing list company for a regular newsletter (Mail Chimp/ FanBridge / Constant Contact)

CONTENT TIPS: Compile studio footage, photos of writing sessions, photos of song arrangements or sheet music if applicable, release snippets from demos, behind-the-scenes at photo shoot.

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The Orchard’s Daily Rind Newsletter July 7th

July 7, 2009 Artist News No Comments

Hope you’re all relaxed and full of BBQ from the long weekend! This week at the Rind we’re incredibly excited for the looong-awaited release of Cage’s Depart From Me. Also in our Featured Artists section is the up and coming new mall-friendly Florida quintet, Broadway. In our free tracks section, we’ve got one from the honey-voiced David Mead, “Two” (the track, not the number) from the haunting and anthemic Brooklynites The Antlers, their Frenchkiss labelmate Sean Bones, Trife Diesel (aka Trife Da God) and many more. Bubbling Up brings us Staten Island’s funkiest, the Budos Band, along with Danish darling Bird and some essential summer indie-pop from Generationals. As always there’s a ton more In Stores Now and Coming Soon, including Royce Da 5’9″, Assembly of Dust and DJ Spinna to name a few. Enjoy!

The Orchard’s Music Newsletter: The Daily Rind – June 17th, 2009

June 17, 2009 Artist News No Comments

Welcome folks, to another Daily Rind Newsletter! We’re bursting at the seams this week when it comes to free tracks, but first let’s take a look at our Featured Artists. First up we’ve got soul legend Lee Fields, with his incredible Truth & Soul debut, My World. Grab the lead leak “Love Comes and Goes” below, along with a brand new remix of the title track from Stones Throw artist Aloe Blacc. Our other featured artist this week is an exciting new signing from Frenchkiss Records (yes, the label that brought us Passion Pit and The Dodos), The Antlers, with their already critically acclaimed LP Hospice.

Now on to that immense batch of free tracks – there’s catchy indie-pop from Generationals, reggae-tinged indie rock from Sean Bones, one of Wu-Tang’s own deities U-God, and another type of deity in certain circles – Mike Gordon from Phish, who guests on the amazing new track “Arc of the Sun” by Assembly of Dust. Also make sure you pick up the brand new funky sounds of Budos Band and everything else up there! We have some great new videos from Swedish sirens The Sweptaways and the Evil Genius DJ Green Lantern as well, along with plenty more goodies Bubbling Up, In Stores Now and Coming Soon!

The Orchard’s Music Newsletter: The Daily Rind – June 3rd, 2009

June 3, 2009 Artist News No Comments

Welcome to this week’s Daily Rind Newsletter.  Our Featured Artists section boasts the much buzzed about debut LP from Passion Pit, Manners, plus the sophomore gem, Still Night, Still Light, from indie pop sirens Au Revoir Simone. We’ve got some great new free tracks from recent Frenchkiss signings The Antlers, up and coming hip hop artist Fashawn, classic garage from Figures of Light and the soultastic sounds of Lee Fields. We also have two amazing videos for your viewing pleasure – the creepy new Cage cut (directed by Shia Labeouf) for “I Never Knew You,” and the fun (but also a little creepy) Passion Pit vid for Manners standout “The Reeling.” Two exciting new artists who grace our Bubbling Up section this week are The Builders and the Butchers and Sean Bones (along with the aforementioned Antlers), whose upcoming albums make for perfect summer soundtracks. And as always, there’s lots more In Stores Now and Coming Soon!

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