Getting your Independent Music Project Heard – The independent musician’s guide to making money and getting your music heard.

         I finished my tracks, twelve of them altogether, and ran to show my wife what I had accomplished. Actually I called out to her very loudly, because I had completed what had taken most of my evenings for the last 6 months. I was finally done with my first Cd project. Now all I had to do was find away to get it out to those who might pay me some mind. I lived in a rural west coast city with no real knowledge or clue as to what was next. I had heard about people selling music from their trunks, but I was in know way ready to try that method. I had spent my hours shedding this music out, and now I was looking fot the path of least resistance. You’ve spent your time writing your song and producing your own tracks. What do you do now after having spent the time to finish your musical project to get it heard? After all, that is the purpose of completing the project in the first place. You want to share this passion, this inspiration, these dreams, and these motivations with the world. While you are developing the musical piece you have great aspirations of what will become of it, and who will hear it, and how it will make them feel. It is not until you are faced with the idea of actually delivering it to the world that you realize you have no clue as to where to begin. You’ve been reading books, looking at magazines, or even searching the internet, but you are still at step one, and almost going backwards as you see it. Well never fear, as they say, after reading this article, you will be well equipped and ready to move forward in your musical distribution and promotions. After you’ve taken the time to read this you’ll want to share all your information with everyone you come across, whether they are producing music like you or if they even care at all. Because you are an independent musician and have not been picked up by any major record label I presume, your approach has got to be somewhat different than that of a signed musician with front money and an already established publisher/ distributor arrangement in line. Much of the work and tasks we will discuss is handled by those who have been hired out by the Record Labels of which you and I are not affiliated with. Some have the personal opinion about whether it is good or not to be signed by a major record label, and some of these same people have never been signed by anyone too. However, let’s not dwell on this issue, as this is not where you or I are standing at the moment. Those opinions to us are dead weight. After all, we’ve exhausted enough time doodling along anyway trying to figure out how to get our music heard. But, since we are independents, we must approach the delivery of our music in this manner. There are fortunately some great opportunities that abound for us because we share this status.               Several companies online cater to the independent musician alone. There are also many creative ways to get your music produced, published and distributed that are virtually without any cost to you whatsoever. Why spend all of your hard earned work money trying to discover if your product will sell when you can utilize some already available tools and utilities which will afford you this opportunity for little of nothing. There are several companies that I personally enjoy using for this reason alone, the cost! Let’s take ourselves through the normal process of getting a CD or music product to market and see how we can accomplish this task on our own without much cash at all. Hey, we don’t have the benefit of front money because there is no record label to front it. Even if we had it, why spend it on something you can often get for free. So let’s assume that all the tracking and recording has been completed and that you now have a master CD burned. It is now time to make some decisions as to what you want to do with it. You can duplicate this yourself at home with your own burner, then affix labels with your title and info printed on them to the CD. You can take you time and assemble each one or use a friend or family member to help you with this. There are a few sites online however that will allow you to upload each track to their site as a new project and then the artwork associated with the project for the cover. They will then operate on a print on demand type service which allows you to keep the cash you’d otherwise have to shell out for printing and duplication. A great way to set yourself up to take great advantage of this process would be to host your own website and design a page on the site that gives visitors a chance to sample and purchase your CD. Next go to and set-up a new (free) account with them to handle the online payments for your CD. Paypal offers credit card processing online for all the major credit cards and then just takes a fee for processing. They will inform you of the sell and you can have the money directly deposited into your bank account. Next, log in to your account on the print-on-demand site and purchase the CD at your rate, which will be discounted because you are the artist. You can then have the CD delivered directly from them with the purchasers information filled out. The other option with this is to have it shipped to you and then forwarded to them. The first option allows you to spend virtually no money in the exchange. I’ve done this myself several times, and it works great. As independent artists, our main purpose should be to get heard, not break the bank.           Another great and popular service that has been successfully in business serving the independent artist community is a site called CDBaby. These guys are an absolute must for any serious independent musician. I use them myself and I must say they are by far the easiest, straight forward, hassle free service for musicians I’ve seen since I’ve been in this game. What they do is provide distribution for independent artists and musicians only. They started out as an online service. They have a set fee for submitting your music  to their site and having them host a store front for each album you send them. You’d really do good to check them out, as my description may not give there services justice. However, to give you a little more information about them I’ll try. The process works like so. You’ve got your finished product. So you go online and request to sign up as an artist. They will ask you all of the pertinent information about yourself, including your email address and home address or place you would like your checks mailed to. That’s right your checks! You also have the option of having the money deposited into your account for you.Then you’ll add information about your CD like track names and copyright information. They’ll ask you which tracks if any you’d like provide clips of for your buyers and visitors. You also get the option of setting up a UPC barcode for your project, which for another small fee (under $20) they provide electronically for you. They take care of all of the leg work. You’ll then be asked to send them at least 5 CD’s total to start with. Once they receive these CD’s they will scan the cover art, rip the files into mp3 and post the information and files necessary to build your music page. In a very short time, a few days at most, you should have your new page up and running. CDBaby takes %9 of the price set to purchase, but you can set the purchase price yourself. And basically that’s it. That’s all it take to get your project up online and ready to be seen and heard by millions world wide. You have basically opened up a door to many new possibilities and opportunities for your music.

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr. Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

4 Responses to “Getting your Independent Music Project Heard – The independent musician’s guide to making money and getting your music heard.”

  1. 1 stephen November 7, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    hello there, you have giving me a great bit of information, although i dont know if our music is good enough to sell, could you leave your opinion please.

    thanks for your time.

  2. 2 Kenny Martin November 7, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    No Problem. Thanks for the comment. In my opinion you never want to make the decision for the audience. Let them tell you whether it’s good or not. You just keep making the music. If it’s what they want they will buy it, no matter what you or I think about it.

  3. 3 CD Duplication Man January 7, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I agree, you are never a good judge of your own work, try uploading your track to various unsigned sites and see which kind of feedback you get.

  4. 4 Darcy February 22, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Hey Kenny, I’m now holding the master disc for my band thinking about what to do next. I then discovered your site. Thank you for the info and your time.

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