THE STRATEGIC GOAL: to make albums, create merchandise, and set up distribution and sales channels

REFERENCE PAGE: IndieGuide.com/Sales

Table of Contents:

Section: Preparing Your Albums For Creation, Distribution, And Sales

Album Checklist
How To Prepare Artwork For An Album
How To Clear The Legal Rights For Your Albums
How To Get Images That Are Precleared And Royalty-Free
Top Things To Add To Your Liner Notes And Album Art
What Musicians Should Know About Soundscan And Album Sales
What Musicians Should Know About All-In-One Inclusive Music Sales Solutions

Section: Creating Physical Albums

The Three Types Of CDs Available For Manufacture: Music CDs, Data CDs, And Hybrid CDs
How To Decide How Many CDs To Make
The Five Methods Musicians Can Use To Create CDs
How To Create CDs With Your Home Computer
How To Create And Sell Real CDs Or DVDs For $0 And No Inventory And Make Money On Every Sale (Print On Demand)
How To Make A CD Or DVD Print Run Using A CD Printing House
What Every Musician Should Know About CD Cases
How To Register Your CD So When People Rip The Music, The Song Names Come Up Automatically And The Ripped MP3 Files Have The Correct Track And Artist Info
How To Make Music Download Cards
How To Create And Sell Your Music On USB-Flash-Drive Albums

Section: Selling Your Physical Albums

How To Sell Your CDs/DVDs On Consignment
How To Get Your Physical Albums And DVDs Distributed In Stores Around The World
How To Sell Your Physical CDs/DVDs Online
How To Use Online Stores Effectively

Section: Digital Distribution And Sales

How To Sell Your Music On Itunes, Amazon, And The Rest Of The Digital Distribution Outlets
How To Sell Digital Music Downloads Directly
How To Make Ringtones Out Of Your Music And Sell Them
How To Sell At Youtube

Section: Merchandise Creation, Distribution, And Sales

What Musicians Should Know About On-Demand Merchandise Sales Solutions
How To Sell T-Shirts For $0 With No Inventory
How To Make T-Shirts (Silkscreen Shirts, Photo-Print-Style Shirts)
How To Make Posters
How To Make Stickers
How And Why To Make Books And E-Books
How To Make Branded Merchandise Out Of Anything For $0 With No Inventory And Make A Profit On Every Sale
How To Sell Your Merchandise Online
How To Handle Online Ticket Sales
How To Make Money Selling Other People’s Merchandise Or Promoting Their Brand

Links and extras

Section: Preparing Your Albums For Creation, Distribution, And Sales
Album Checklist

From this section: "...make sure that you’ve done everything necessary before even contacting the digital distributor or CD manufacturer. "

How To Prepare Artwork For An Album

From this section: "Remember that printed colors are sometimes different from on-screen colors. "

How To Clear The Legal Rights For Your Albums

From this section: "Digital distribution services as well as CD manufacturers will require you to sign a release form declaring that all the music on your album is original and 'owned' by you. "

How To Get Images That Are Precleared And Royalty-Free

From this section: "There are a surprising number of photos and images that you can use for free and without paying a license to the owner (a royalty fee)."

Clipart
Getty Images
iStockPhoto

Top Things To Add To Your Liner Notes And Album Art

From this section: "When we made our first CD, we rooted through the liner notes of all the discs in our collections for ideas and eventually made a big checklist that we are sharing here. "

What Musicians Should Know About Soundscan And Album Sales

From this section: "the Billboard Hot 100 charts are all based on SoundScan numbers."

What Musicians Should Know About All-In-One Inclusive Music Sales Solutions

From this section: "Although it seems that handling sales of ringtones, getting on iTunes, and selling physical CDs online are different problems, some distributors handle all of these services for you in a single place."

CD Baby
ReverbNation
Tunecore
Nimbit
TopSpin Media
Bandcamp

Section: Creating Physical Albums
The Three Types Of CDs Available For Manufacture: Music CDs, Data CDs, And Hybrid CDs

From this section: "When you decide to make a physical album, keep in mind that you have more choices than just a standard music CD."

How To Decide How Many CDs To Make

From this section: "Are you going to promote your release to the press? New media? Are you going to target college radio or commercial radio?"

The Five Methods Musicians Can Use To Create CDs

From this section: "...there are a surprising number of options for mass-producing CDs."

Discmakers Duplicators page
Createspace
Lulu

How To Create CDs With Your Home Computer

From this section: "You can use these steps to make your discs look as professional as possible. "

Print It Fast Online
Roxio
Nero

How To Create And Sell Real CDs Or DVDs For $0 And No Inventory And Make Money On Every Sale (Print On Demand)

From this section: "If you don’t want to lay out the money for a print run, you can prepare the same materials and just sell them on demand."

Lulu
Createspace

How To Make A CD Or DVD Print Run Using A CD Printing House

From this section: "If you choose a manufacturer close to where you live, you can save money on shipping."

DiscMakers
Diskfactory
NWMedia

What Every Musician Should Know About CD Cases

From this section: "Whether you make CDs on your own or have a CD printing house do it, the CD case that you choose is important "

How To Register Your CD So When People Rip The Music, The Song Names Come Up Automatically And The Ripped Mp3 Files Have The Correct Track And Artist Info

From this section: "Ever wonder how the album name, band name, and song names get filled in automatically when you load a CD into your computer?"

AllMusic
Gracenode
FreeDB
FreeDB Applications

How To Make Music Download Cards

From this section: "The biggest problem that musicians deal with in face-to-face situations is how to hand their music to people."

DiscMakers
Nimbit
Cashmusic

How To Create And Sell Your Music On USB-Flash-Drive Albums

From this section: "Although flash drives cost more than CDs and download cards, you are giving a better value to the fan, and the flash drive itself is an item that your fans can use after they’ve transferred the files."

Premium USB
Custom USB

Section: Selling Your Physical Albums
How To Sell Your CDs/DVDs On Consignment

From this section: "Consignment helps you even if you don’t sell a single CD..."

How To Get Your Physical Albums And DVDs Distributed In Stores Around The World

From this section: "Most distributors are aimed at labels, rather than independent bands."

CD Baby

How To Sell Your Physical CDs/DVDs Online

From this section: "When you evaluate online CD stores, imagine that you’re a fan, not a musician. Ask yourself where you’d go to buy music."

CDBaby
Nimbit
Bandcamp
Amazon

How To Use Online Stores Effectively

From this section: "Once you decide which online stores to use, adopt the following techniques to get the most out of your new storefronts."

Section: Digital Distribution And Sales
How To Sell Your Music On iTunes, Amazon, And The Rest Of The Digital Distribution Outlets

From this section: "Perhaps the biggest irony of digital music stores is that, even though they’ve opened their shelves to indies, they dislike dealing with them directly."

ReverbNation
CDBaby
Nimbit
Routenote

How To Sell Digital Music Downloads Directly

From this section: "Keep in mind that music fans will be more reluctant to work with new merchants. In general, they are more likely to want to buy music from stores they know."

CDBaby
Vibedeck
Nimbit
Bandcamp

How To Make Ringtones Out Of Your Music And Sell Them

From this section: "Ringtones sprung up from nothing years ago to turn into a multibillion dollar business."

TuneCore
Myxer.com is now out of business.

How To Sell At Youtube

From this section: "YouTube, with its partner program, allows musicians not only to share in the ad revenue for any videos in the channel but also to put up links and set up a store to feature merchandise."

Topspin

As of now, CafePress now has merchandise sales as well.

Section: Merchandise Creation, Distribution, And Sales
What Musicians Should Know About On-Demand Merchandise Sales Solutions

From this section: "Whether you want to sell T-shirts, posters, stickers, or other merchandise like mugs, watches, and so on, there are services that will handle all of these merchandise options for you, often for free."

Spreashirt
Zazzle
Cafepress
Printfection

How To Sell T-Shirts For $0 With No Inventory

From this section: "If there’s one thing that’s difficult for indie bands, it’s predicting how many people will want to buy their merchandise."

Districtlines
Spreashirt
Zazzle
Cafepress
Printfection

How To Make T-Shirts (Silkscreen Shirts, Photo-Print-Style Shirts)

From this section: "Of course, to sell a lot of T-shirts, you should have cool designs that people will want to buy. The easiest way to find out what people want is to use print-on-demand sites first—which cost nothing—and then invest in an inventory when you find out what works."

Bandwear
One Hour Tees
Bandmonster

How To Make Posters

From this section: "Commercial printers have gotten so advanced that it’s become easy to make high-quality posters, even in very low quantities."

Zazzle
Cafepress
DiscMakers
Bandwear

The Non-Designers Design Book

How To Make Stickers

From this section: "Stickers are more effective than they have ever been in the past because you can put your Web site address and even QR codes on them that easily bring up your information in mobile devices. This can lead a fan to whatever you have to offer."

On Demand:
Zazzle
Cafepress

Bulk:
DiscMakers
Stickerguy
Bandwear

How And Why To Make Books And E-Books

From this section: "...since books can also be merchandise items just like anything else, you should keep them in mind as a sales item."

Lulu
Createspace
Lightningsource
Bookbaby

How To Make Branded Merchandise Out Of Anything For $0 With No Inventory And Make A Profit On Every Sale

From this section: "You can literally slap a brand on everything you can imagine and put it up for sale: clocks, license plate holders, iPad cases, Christmas ornaments, and even G-strings (before you ask, yes, we’ve made some with our logo on them)."

Zazzle
Cafepress
Printfection
PR Store
Branders

How To Sell Your Merchandise Online

From this section: "...any business on the Web that is trying to handle the sales of physical items deals with the same issues. Fortunately, there are businesses that can handle this for you."

Toto Merch
Amazon Webstore
Yahoo! stores
ProStores

Musician Focused fulfillment vendors:
Nimbit
Topspin

How To Handle Online Ticket Sales

From this section: "Even if you are playing smaller venues, you can still sell tickets and make money off of the ticket sales."

Nimbit
Songkick

How To Make Money Selling Other People’s Merchandise Or Promoting Their Brand

From this section: "Some companies will pay you to promote their brand and help them sell
their merchandise."

Sonicbids