Post-release

Your release date rolls around, and you excitedly check all the stores for your release.

Often stores can take some of the day to post the release, so don’t expect it to be online one second after midnight. I often check stores a day or two later and gather up the relevant links for the release.

On the release day you’ll probably want to shout about the release on your social networks, your artist website, label website, the newsletters you have and anywhere else you can.

The real challenge starts to come following your release.

It’s out there in the world, you’ve done what you can to make sure people know, but is that where your process and campaign stop? Usually yes, and many labels will make sure the release is out, do a little more promo, perhaps in a delayed newsletter and then move on to the next release – revisiting that one only for reporting and sales figures.

Where you can get the advantage over others is by making sure not to forget about the release. Consider follow-up promotion a week or a month after the release. Try pushing it out to some of the supporters with purchase links this time.

You can add the links to your bio on social networks (especially Soundcloud) and add the buy link to your sample tracks and free promo tracks wherever necessary. Why not even add a buy link to your email signature? Every place that people see you, they should also be able to find a buy link to your releases – otherwise you’re missing opportunities to round up sales, and every little bit helps.

Often releases get noticed years after they have been released. This can be spurred by inclusion in an advert, a mix, or a compilation. It could be that someone influential finds the release and shouts about it – there are many reasons, but it’s important to make sure that when they do – you can capitalise on sales.

You may end up releasing more, and so you can tie in promotion with other EPs or albums as you go, but this is where things really tie back in to the very first thing I said about making sure it’s music worth releasing.

One of the biggest mistakes labels tend to make is to sign something with limited lifespan. They sign a track because it’s “on trend” or just on a whim, without considering its longevity or how well it might stand the test of time.

If you can’t enthuse about the tracks you’re releasing after a couple of months of promo, then how do you expect to be able to continue to push and sell the releases a year down the line?

Releasing music is a fun process and it can be rewarding and exciting – but don’t consider it flippantly, because really you’re just adding to the already saturated market of mediocre releases. Instead take a little more time to plan things, and really sit on the music and make sure it’s right for you, your label, your release and everything else.

If you can be sure it’s good to go – then set it free. Get that music out there!

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