Releasing an Album

Copyrights

First and foremost you want to make sure that your album is copyrighted. This is fairly simple to do and doesn’t cost much. You can download the necessary forms from copyright.gov, fill them out and send them in with your album. There is only one fee for sending in an album or group of songs. If, however you send songs in one at a time, there will be a fee for each submission. I’ve read that the copyright office does not listen to your album, but having it there and documented will be crucial if you ever end up in court.

Mastering

When releasing an album, one of the first things you have to do is prepare the audio. Usually you’ll want to have your tracks peaking at around -3 to -4 decibels. This gives the mastering gurus some room to compress and equalize your songs. Try and have your songs sounding as good as possible before mastering for the best results. Once you have the songs prepared, you’ll need to find a mastering house to master them. This usually consists of compression, equalization, and silence between tracks. Mastering will give your album an overall louder sound and give all the tracks the same volume level. You can find some good mastering houses online, and all you’ll have to do usually is send your cd-r to them. Some even do free samples, so you can hear what the difference will be when finished.

Artwork

The artwork is in my opinion, the funnest part. You can do it yourself or hire someone for the job. If your a DIYer, I recommend you check out istockphoto.com for some great royalty free photos. They only cost one to three dollars each and look great. Once you have the photos together, get a decent graphics program like Adobe Fireworks to edit them. Find out where you’re sending your cd to be manufactured and check their artwork specifications. This will tell you the exact dimensions that the artwork needs to be. They’ll usually also have templates that you can download and use to get them the exact size. Once the artwork is prepared, you’re ready to send it off for manufacturing. The manufacturing part is quite easy if the prior steps have been taken. Once the album is done and in your hands, you’re ready to start selling and promoting.

Selling

Well now that your album is done, the first thing to do now is get it for sale. Start out at CDBaby.com where it only costs 35 dollars to get going. CDBaby not only sells your cd at their online store, but can also get you set up at several download stores, like Apples iTunes and Napster, to name a few.

Another thing that should be done is registration at ASCAP or BMI. These non-profits distribute royalties for radio play and other usage. If someone plays your song, the radio station tells BMI, and then BMI sends you a check quarterly. It’s fairly simple to sign up and submit your songs for registration. Get those royalty checks coming in.

Promotion

Now the only thing you’re missing is promotion. This is probably the hardest part. Some simple promotion ideas are to sign up at websites like Soundclick, Myspace, Garageband, among many others and give away a song or two. You should also try books like The Indie Bible which lists hundreds of radio stations and other places that will play your music. There’s also sites like MusicSubmit.com that will send your music to publicity outlets to get your name out there. Other than that, you’ll have to get creative and look around. Good Luck!

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 27th, 2007 at 9:50 pm and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Releasing an Album”

  1. LIZ Says:

    I think you guys have done a great job….I always knew you guys would make it some where….sacrifices pay off and so does hard work. Dedication is the key to success…. KEEP DOING WHAT YA BEING DOING. STAY BLESSED

  2. KrisBelucci Says:

    da best. Keep it going! Thank you

  3. Aura Says:

    u guys are awesome!! gr8 job fellas

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