"Nadine's one of the few people I trust in this business. She's a straight shooter and her book tells you everything a musician starting out needs to know. "

Craig Chaquicoaward winning guitarist

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Nadine Sez
Wednesday June 16, 2004  -  Keynote in Kentucky, Bands to watch, Reality check for selling CDs
  • Keynote Kick-Off in Louisville for Six Flag's Rock N Ride Music Fest
  • Bands in the News
  • Songwriter101.com is Thriving
  • My Promo Video is a Hit
  • A comment on Ronald Reagan
  • Reality Check for Selling CDs (reprinted by popular demand)

Keynote Kick-Off in Louisville for Six Flag's Rock N Ride Music Fest

This weekend I head to Louisville, Ky. (my hometown) to be the keynote speaker at the Kick Off dinner for the 3rd annual Rock N Ride, the "Mother" of all music festivals (outside of the Wild Weekend). I will also be spending some time mentoring musicians and appearing on TV and radio, culminating with a book signing at the huge 4th Street Live celebration on Friday, June 25th. Then June 26 and 27th there will be 200 bands, and 8 stages for unsigned musicians from all over, at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. I'm excited, as Louisville had turned into a hotbed of music ( like My Morning Jacket) and one of my all time favorite new artists, JKMcKnight, (who plays with wicked passion and wit), will be performing along with so many other talented musicians.. I love going around and spreading the Nadine gospel of rock and roll. Right on my Kentucky brothers and sisters. Bourbon, Bands and the Godmother! Woohoo!

Band News I've been getting an interesting array of music cross my desk lately. Blankety Blank in Atlanta is a smokin band on disc and I'd love to hear them live- they probably bring the house down!... Downboy, a very young group out of Sacramento features both an interesting female singer and oddly syncapated rock songs... Miggs, an act that has paid their dues, wrote an album of top notch rock songs and made an solid disc with famous producer Gavin MacKillop (GooGoo Dolls). Look for them promoting it all over the Bay Area...and lastly, the best promotional "come on" goes to neophyte band Addison, who offers their audience members "lifeline cards" for free problem solving.(yes there is a lawyer in the bunch but I dare you to figure out which one). I've got mine!

Songwriter101.com is thriving. I continue to post questions and answers on the driving musician questions of the day, so check out my column!...

My promo video turns out to be a hit and now we've adjusted it to play in a larger format. Click to really see it!

About Ronald Reagan--- May his soul rest in peace but everyone should remember, he tripled the national debt, supported apartheid, backed Saddam, crushed worker's rights, backed death squads in Central America, traded arms for hostages and ignored the AIDS crisis, before we fall back into revisionist sainthood history.

Reality Check for Selling CDs

(Many people asked for this to be reprinted from the May songwriting.net newsletter, so here it is for those that missed it.)

Forget the myth of radio. Commercial radio will not play your record except on local music shows. That is okay. You have many other things on which to focus your valuable time and energy, that will be more effective.

Stop asking people if they like your record. Quit trying to judge the quality of your music. If you have not given it your best shot, you would not be releasing it. Waiting for others approval can be self- defeating. You can't do anything about it now. The record is already recorded!

Instead, assess the strengths of your record and play to your strong points. What makes your talent unique? What makes the record unique? Did you record the record a special way? Do you play in an interesting style? Do you write about unusual subject matter? Do your songs have an unusual format or theme? Any guest collaborators? Whatever stands out is what you need to highlight, in order to get our attention. We cannot guess what makes you special. You have to tell us. When we think you are special, we will take a chance and listen to your music.

Websites are the # 1 resource today for record buyers. Get your website in absolute tip top shape and hook us with your home page. Be consistent in branding your image with a logo, pictures, and your own unique art form. Let your personality jump off your site and pull viewers into your domain. Have your most interesting information on the home page- do not bury it inside. If we know you are selling records or have good shows, that makes you more attractive to the buyer. Give us your most recent activities, then your history. Nothing past 2 years ago. Put info older than that on the "archive" page.

Put your "Buy CD" button right on the top of the home page and every other page on your site. Do not make viewers look through the site trying to buy your product. CDBaby is a good selling site.

Research the web for music sites that attract fans that enjoy like-minded music. Post on as many websites as you can. Use the power of the web to get people talking about your record. Email your friends about the record. Run online contests, give-aways, and activities connected to your live shows. Have sales promotions like "buy one get one free", "specially made collectors items", "signed and numbered CDs" and cross promote shows and CDs "everyone who buys a CD online gets $2 off the show or a tee-shirt".

Research your buying audience and sell your CD where they shop, live and work. Contact your local clothing boutiques, coffee houses, shoe stores, neighborhood pub or food market and see if they will carry your record for sale, on site. Appear on weekends in these places, playing live and selling your record. Think WAAAAY outside the box. It's a new world of record selling today.

If you sell through independent record stores, try to engage in some promotional activities with the store to highlight your record in the bin. A live in-store performance, or discount concert tickets with a CD purchase, will help get people's attention. Never send records to a store that is located too far away for you to play in that area.

Join with other like-minded bands and buy collective advertising on late night radio (generally very cheap) or in the regional weekly entertainment papers or monthly magazines. Pass out flyers at shows, play in the parking lot of concerts, or send messages to chat rooms talking about music. Share email lists. Go to ancillary events that draw like minded fans, whether it be monster trucks, modern dance or poetry slams, and stage some sort of promotional activity. Help host the event, entertain the crowd or serenade them as they leave.

Finally, remember, this is work. You sell records fan by fan, one at a time. It's no different now than in the 50s, when entrepreneurs were selling records out of the trunks of their cars. It's not about quantity, but quality. Appreciate every sale you make. You deserve it. Art and commerce can and do go together.

Give yourself the gift of time, be smart, make a marketing plan, then enjoy the process. Be realistic in your expectations. Selling out your shipment over a matter of months or years is perfectly okay. We live in a world overcrowded with daily distractions, different priorities, and entertainment overflow. Good luck.

Hot Hits, Cheap Demos
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