The holiday season is the biggest retail quarter of the year, but to sell CDs, you need to make CDs in time for the rush
This post is excerpted from our new guide, Turn Your Music Into Money This Holiday: How To Release, Promote, and Sell Your Songs in the Busiest Sales Season of the Year. The guide answers questions about how to make CDs, sell CDs, prepare your order, and make your new album release something special for the holidays. Download your copy of this Free PDF guide today.
The holiday season, especially the golden month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the most lucrative time of the year for retail sales. As an independent musician, it can be a time for you to move a ton of product – professionally manufactured CDs, merch, and more. There are many ways to take advantage of this time of the year, and recording your own versions of Christmas carols and holiday favorites might be the perfect way to add something different to your catalog, catch the attention of new listeners, or thank your existing fan base with a free download or limited-edition holiday CD.
If you’re planning an album release to coincide with the holidays, you can’t wait until the last minute to get things organized. As an independent musician, as with any CD production project, planning your album and a release date means working backwards and rehearsing, recording, and organizing your promotions well in advance of your release date. There are a number of things you need to have on your album release checklist, including:
1. Copywriting: As soon as you produce a copy of a song – a recording, written transcription, or print-out of lyrics – your work is copyrighted. Still, it’s a good idea to register your work with the Library of Congress. It’s $35 to file a basic copyright claim of an original work online.
2. Clearing all samples: If your audio master contains any loops or samples of previously recorded work, you are required to purchase a Master Use License. Disc Makers cannot begin manufacturing without the proper licenses.*see section 2 for more info
3. CD design: Your CD represents all the hard work you’ve put into your music and music career. Unless you, someone on your team, or someone you are hiring is a professional designer, don’t try to do it on your own! If you do have a designer working with you, make sure you use our CD design templates.
4. Mastering: Your album isn’t ready for release until it has been professionally mastered. You’ve poured your heart into your music and recording, so why stop short of making your album sound the best that it can?
5. Collecting all your materials: You need five things when you send us your CD order: 1) your audio master on CD-R or ready to upload, 2) your design files ready to mail in or upload, 3) payment, 4) Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) documentation, and 5) a signed quote form.
6. Promo materials: Printed materials like stickers, flyers, full-color posters, and postcards can help every DIY musician spread the word at gigs and on the street. Plan ahead and let the artists at The Design Studio at Disc Makers make sure your promotional materials match your album in style and voice.
7. CD Packaging: Every Disc Makers CD package has a list of benefits and features that sets it apart. Digipaks offer a great opportunity to integrate interesting cover art, and are a “greener” alternative to Jewel Cases — which remain the industry standard for a physical CD. Digipaks can have as many as eight panels, and both packages can offer printed booklets of up to 32 pages. Eco-Wallets also afford plenty of design and booklet options, and the CD Jacket is a lightweight recycled stock slip sleeve that can still deliver a graphic punch. Take the time to pick the best one for your album.
An independent musician needs to make CDs
Is Your Project Ready For CD Manufacturing? A DIY Album Release Checklist
Audio Mastering – The Mysterious Post-Production Art Form
Being Successful in Today’s Music Business: Working Backwards
Make Your CD Release Gig A Special Night