Tuesday, August 15, 2006

CD Baby; Call the Destination, and Ask for Directions

Cd Baby is an online distributor for CD recordings. They have been around since 1998. I've wanted to get QUADRE up on their site and this week I finally had the time to take care of it. We're not up yet, but we will be soon. They sell our CDs online and take a cut of $4 per CD. We get the profit automatically when they have received $20 or more. (It goes straight to our bank account.) They take care of all the shipping and accept VISA, Mastercard, & Discover. We'll also be able to sell our CDs with credit cards at our live shows in December and March through them. In addition, they digitally distribute our CD so we will be on iTunes & all the other sites out there within the next few months or so. Here is a link to their website:


The best part is the cost. Since it is run by an 'indie' musician, the fees are very reasonable: $4/CD for hard copy sales; only 9% for digital sales; and a one-time $35 set-up fee. No monthly or annual fees. The credit card swiper at our live shows was only a $30 deposit. No monthly fees for that either. Good company with lots of good advice. The next segment is some of that advice from the owner of CD BABY, Derek Sivers.

by Derek Sivers

Work backwards.

Define your goal (your final destination) - then contact someone who's there, and ask how to get there.

Know a magazine you think you should be in? Call their main number, ask for the editorial department, and ask someone in editorial if they could recommend their three favorite publicists. Write down the publicists' names, and thank the nice editorial person for their time. (Don't waste their time asking for the publicists' contact info. You can find that on the web.) Then call each publicist, and try to get their attention.

Know a radio station you should be on? Call them and ask for the music director. Ask if they could recommend a few good radio promoters. Call the radio promoters they recommend, and try to get their attention.

Know a venue you should be playing? Bring a nice box of fancy German cookies to the club booker, and ask for just 5 minutes of their advice. Ask them what criteria must be met in order for them to take a chance on an act. Ask what booking agents they recommend, or if they recommend using one at all. Again, keep your meeting as short as possible. Get the crucial info, then leave them alone. (Until you're back, headlining their club one day!)

I know an artist manager of a small unsigned act, who over the course of a year, met with the managers of U2, REM, and other top acts. She asked them for their advice, coming from the top, and got great suggestions that she's used with big results.

In other words: Call the destination, and ask for directions.

You'll get there much faster than just blindly walking out your front door, hoping you arrive someday.

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