This is an excerpt from Disc Makers’ new guide, Releasing Your CD in Time for the Holidays: How to Make the Most of the Season.
The Christmas/holiday season is the time when retailers make the bulk of the their yearly sales and profits, and the music industry is no different. CD and music sales peak in the last months of the year, and whether you have a holiday theme to your album or a Christmas song added to your playlist or not, there are plenty of things you can do to make the holidays translate to a profitable season for you and your act.
Reminding your fans that you have CDs and downloads for sale – or releasing a new album to coincide with the holidays – is one thing you ought to do to spur sales for the holidays. But this is the perfect time of the year to try something special to generate more revenue. Here are a few ideas to help you crank things up a notch and whip your fans into a frenzy this Christmas.
1. Add a Christmas song to your upcoming release. Make sure to get our guide Holiday Music: A Guide to Copyrights, Mechanical Licenses, and Christmas Songs to learn more about licenses and to get a discount coupon from Limelight.
2. Re-release a CD from your catalog or compile a “best of” collection with the addition of a holiday track (either traditional or an original) or other cover song.
3. Record a 2-song X-Mas/holiday release. This could be a way to make a quick sale, thank your fans with a free disc (or make the 2-song CD a free gift with the purchase of another CD in your catalog), or make it a special download offer that gives you a good excuse to send an email to your list. Non-holiday cover songs work great for this idea as well.
4. Send Eco-Wallet X-Mas cards. Eco-Wallets can be self-mailers, and – if designed as a card with a full-length CD inside – make a great gift for your best fans and family, or could be a teaser with a track or two that links to your full-length CDs for sale online. You can also use the mailer to alert your fans to a limited-time sale. Remember, CD Baby makes it easy to change your prices, so you can mark a title down for a specific time to try and drive sales.
5. Sell or give away Download Cards. Download Cards can be for a full-length release as a gift, a new song or two, or a new compilation of songs (including a holiday tune!) from different releases. Gift them in the hopes of driving sales.
7. Create a gig! Approach a mall manager or store owner in town and ask if there’s a place where you can set up your keyboard/acoustic guitar/etc. and offer to play for free. Play holiday tunes, covers, and originals and sell your CDs while you’re at it (make sure you make that part of the agreement).
8. Put a video together of rehearsals and the recording process for a single, cover, or holiday song; post it online; and link to it from an email, website, and social network. The video can add to the story of what you’re doing, which always helps people relate to your music. Give your fans a glimpse into the creative process, and always give them an easy path to your online sales portal so they can buy your music on the spot!
Tell us what you’re doing for the holidays!