Every Month I Send Out a Newsletter With 43 New Listings of Places Where You Can Get Music Reviews, Interviews, Radio Airplay etc.

You Can Also Win a Sennheiser Microphone or a Pair of Sennheiser Headphones in Our Monthly Draw!

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- April 2003 -

The Indie Bible: Independent Music Promotion
Cover Design By Bob Masse
$24.95 + Shipping

Get More Information on how to Promote
Your Music by Purchasing The Indie Bible!

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Sites Where You Can Get Your Music Reviewed
3. Radio Shows that will Play Your Music
4. Online Services that will Help to Sell Your Music
5. Sites Where You Can Upload Your Band's MP3s or Videos
6. Helpful Music Resources
7. Website Basics for the Singer/Songwriter by Valerie DeLaCruz
8. Music & Visual Design: Strive For a Perfect Union - PART I by Valerie Michele Hoskins

Independent Thinkers: Register Now at Berkleemusic.com

The craft of songwriting. The basics of business. The fundamentals of theory. This spring, you can study all these and more at Berkleemusic.com, the online extension school of Berklee College of Music. Our songwriting courses will help you generate more and better ideas, and express yourself more effectively in words and music. Our business courses will help you take charge of your career and increase gigs, airplay and media coverage. And our theory courses will give you a solid base of musical knowledge to improve your reading, writing and listening skills. Study anytime, anywhere with Berklee's award-winning faculty. Work with other independent thinkers in a rich learning environment. And take your skills to a new level with the recognized experts in contemporary music education.

Classes start April 21 and registration is open now! Visit Berkleemusic.com to enroll:
INDIE BAND MANAGER 3.0 FOR MAC & PC... THE DATABASE SOFTWARE FOR INDIES With CDBaby's 2880 college booking contacts for $99.95 this week only.

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The All-in-1 tool organizes Email Lists, Bookings, Promo, Finances... DOWNLOAD A FREE DEMO? of course... http://www.indiebandmanager.com
and qualify to win a Sennheiser E835 microphone or a pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones! You will receive ONE ballot for EVERY person that you refer.

To sign someone up, e-mail indiecontactnewsletter@yahoo.com with the word "news" in the subject heading. Put all addresses you are referring in the body of the e-mail. Once entered, your ballots will remain in for ALL future draws (PLEASE make sure that the addresses that you submit are people that will be interested in this newsletter!)

This month's winner of the Sennheiser E835 microphone (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Mike Savage, Burbank, CA

This month's winner of a pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Bret Crow, Pearland, TX

This month's winners of 1 year subscriptions to OnStage Magazine (visit http://www.onstagemag.com )
- Lynn Crisci, Augusta, ME
- Joe Ramey, McDonough, GA
- Tony Moore, New York
- Dustin Cummings, Frostburg, MD
- Eric Denby, Grand Rapids, MI
The winner of "How To Successfully Promote Your Music on the Internet" e-book by David Nevue (for more information on this book, visit http://www.promoteyourmusic.com )
- Laurence Kirby, Woodstock NY

The winner of "The Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook" e-book by Bob Baker (for more information on this book, visit http://www.thebuzzfactor.com )
- Snoovy Brown, Toronto, ON

The winners of the Musician's ToolKit CD (for more information visit https://www.bookingagentsdirectory.com )are:
- War-N Harrison, Fairfield, OH
- Barry Molitch, Woodland Hills, CA

The winner of the 3 month subscription to the Bandit Newsletter (for more information visit http://www.banditnewsletter.com ) is:
- Jason Stone, Tucson, AZ

The winner of the CD Trophy Clock (for more information visit http://www.cdstands.com/index.shtml?icn ) is:
- Patrick Obach, Dalheim, Luxembourg

The winners of the Galaris Musician's Directory (for more information visit http://www.galaris.com/GMD.html?icb ) are:
- Wicked Mike, Greyville, South Africa
- Shawn Aaron, Lutz, FL

The winners of the Sumadek (for more information visit http://www.sumadek.com/indiebible.html ) is:
- Gail Silverman, New York, NY

Rainmaker is the premier public relations firm for independent musicians, specializing in print and electronic media, Rainmaker artists attract A&R attention, augment their fan-base and garner bookings via previews, reviews, features, special events, news items, and other strategic campaign tactics. Rainmaker artists are maximizing their talents and going places. It's not all about the music...

Please visit us @ http://www.rainmakerpublicity.com or give us a call
Toll-Free @ 1-888-965-5556

BoomBox Radio, one of the oldest Internet broadcasters, has launched its Total Independent Radio Network. We are looking for all Genres of music. Our initial streams of Rock and Country are filling quickly and we need more. We are also looking seeking artists in Rap, Urban Hip Hop, Classical, Christian, R&B, Electronic, Easy Listening, and all others. To be included for free in our soon to be searchable directory, and all the other nifty features coming on line soon, just sign up for FREE. If you haven?t signed up yet, do it today. We need more music ?every kind of music?.

Go to http://www.boomboxradio.com/sign-up.html and sign up, then send us your music and a Music Director will give you a call about our paid and non-paid services and what it takes to get worldwide airplay.
is the nation's LEADING independent CD manufacturer!

Our packages include
- a free UPC barcode
- world-wide distribution through CD Baby
- a free song review by TAXI
- 300 11"x17" posters for only $99

Learn more at http://www.discmakers.com/hl

Also visit this site to get a FREE "Musician's Guide to the Web"

Welcome to the April Edition of The Indie Contact Newsletter.

This month we have two articles by women named Valerie, and they both involve design.

Valerie DeLaCruz is a past contributor to this newsletter, and is back this month with an easy-to-understand article on how to set up your website in an attractive and professional manner.

Valerie Michele Hoskins is a songwriter and president of The Pursuit Studio. In her two-part article, Valerie provides us with helpful insights on what should be considered when creating your CD cover. Valerie discusses the role of the designer, and why the design of the cover is such a crucial element of the overall marketing process.

In other news, I'm very happy to announce that Sennheiser USA has committed to another year as a major sponsor of this newsletter... meaning that the monthly give-a-ways of a E835 microphone and a pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones will continue for another 12 months. Special thanks to Karl Winkler of Sennheiser who approved the extension!

Just a reminder that past issues (over 3 year's worth) of this newsletter can be found online at:
I've included a lot of copyright/legal contacts in the General Resource section this month. It's always a good idea for artists to be aware of the legal nature of the business....especially copyright law.

Lastly, I am currently doing research for the 2004 Indie Bible. The deadline for advertising will be mid-summer. If you would like to advertise in the 2004 edition, and reach thousands of recording artists worldwide, please contact me to reserve a space.

As is the case every month, there is a large group of new contacts listed that can help you to gain more exposure for your music. So dig in, and enjoy the April issue of The Indie Contact Newsletter!
David Wimble
The Indie Contact Newsletter

Below are the contacts that were submitted to me in March. The contacts listed are sorted into FIVE sections.

1. Publications that will review your music
2. Radio stations/shows that will play your music
3. Services that will help you to sell your music
4. Sites where you can upload your band's MP3s or videos
5. Helpful resources and promotional sites for recording artists




Music Connection
Michael Dolan MichaelD@musicconnection.com
Published every other Thursday since 1977, Music Connection magazine is a bi-weekly music trade publication catering to the music industry, its loyal fans, and support services.

Canadian Music Network
We feature three to four album reviews per week. The reviews are not of a critical nature, but will instead feature information about the album, the style, the tracks and any specialty marketing that the company is doing to back up the release.

Singer Magazine
North America's premiere publication focused solely on educating and inspiring amateur and semi-professional vocal performers, and independent recording artists.

Inside Metal
Sam Culpin inside_metal@hotmail.com
This website is one of your best sourcesfor Heavy Music. With MP3's, Videos, Photos, Reviews, New Releases, Links and more.

The oldest online community of independent women artists, was started in 1996 to promote women in music. It's run by women musicians, for women musicians.

Suzanne Glass suzanne@indie-music.com
We have feature reviews. Venue, radio, label, media and resource lists. Original articles by founder Suzanne Glass and guest authors. Exclusive discounts with other music companies. Log on and get your free listing. Then explore the massive information available at your fingertips. The ultimate little black book... all FREE for musicians! It's about the MUSIC!

Domain Cleveland
Dougless R. Esper dougless@domaincleveland.com
A booking and promotions company based in Cleveland, Ohio. We book/ promote shows as well as conduct interviews, review live shows, review recorded music, run a message board and mailing list about music, bring in national/regional/local bands of all genres, and release compilation cd's as well.

New York-Music-Scene.com
Eric J. Olsen eric@newyork-music-scene.com
A site dedicated to the local music scene in the New York City Area. The site provides bands a place to promote themselves, as well as the opportunity to post MP3s. There are also reviews, concert listings, contests, music resources, and more.

Country Music Source Magazine
Tim Jones countrymusicsource@yahoo.com
A bi-monthly publication dedicated entirely to Independent Country Artists, Songwriters, Labels, Publishers and Fans. We emphasize Traditional Country Music. Everything published in CMS is entirely Independent. It's a great way for any Indie Country Insider or Fan to be seen and heard. We service Radio Stations with Free copies!

Past and Present Music
Hans J. Eidisgard ane.erlandsen@get2net.dk
A monthly webzine covering all kinds of music. Each month we review 50+ CD's that are sent to us by some of the most important record- labels as well as independent artists. We review every album, EP, single, demo that we receive, and it doesn't matter what kind of music it is - we cover it all.

Reno Hard Core
Jim jim@twicemusic.com
Reviews of indie, punk rock, hardcore, metal, emo etc. CD reviews, local area show listing. Will help with booking shows in the Reno NV area.

Billy Donald's Rock Interviews Page!
Billy Donald drummerinterviews@yahoo.com
Billy Donald interviews a great array of talented veteran and up-and- coming musicians from all over the world! Includes links, diaries, and reviews as well!

Danny hughjazz08@sbcglobal.net
The best guide to Alternative-Rock Music!

Does reviews of punk rock CDs.

Laura Hamlett editor@playbackstl.com
St. Louis Pop Culture. Want to see your name in print? Send your news, updates, and pleas for publicity to us.


The Indie Bible is a world-wide directory created specifically for recording artists, and lists over 8000 places to gain exposure for your music. It has the same type of contacts as this newsletter expect a lot MORE!

Visit https://www.indiebible.com/icb

Also available in most popular book and music stores including Borders and Barnes & Noble (in Canada at Long & McQuade).
If your CD isn't for sale in CD Baby, you're losing sales! ALL CD SALES FROM mp3.com, garageband.com, iuma.com go through CD Baby. CD Baby has been featured in the NY Times, MSNBC, Wired, CNET and more. 10,000 CUSTOMERS A DAY go through cdbaby.com looking for CDs like yours. Such a popular online store, you HAVE to make sure your CD is there. They pay $20,000 a week to musicians like you (over $1 million so far!) ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO START SELLING is go to http://www.cdbaby.net Takes 5 minutes. Send them a box of CDs. They'll sell them and pay you. Real cool people. Total first-class treatment. Great CD distribution.




New Music Canada
Fresh, current, recently recorded music is what you'll find here. Independent bands, underground DJs, and just-about-to-be-discovered artists make up the eclectic sound mix on NMC. Send us your new Canadian music MP3s and we put it up on the site for everyone to hear.

PopStorm Radio
Stephanie Koles stephanie@popstormradio.com
A 24/7 internet radio station that plays a unique mix of both signed and unsigned artists, that can be classified as melodic pop, powerpop, pop rock or R&B music. An artist with at least 6 tunes can submit a CD for playlist consideration.

The Broad and Cast Network
Sam Spy artists@broadandcast.com
BCNI supports ALL new artists. We offer artists the opportunity to be featured on one show or ALL of our shows... see the site for details on how to submit your music!

Creation Steppin' Roots Reggae Radio
John Reichle jreichle@scottsboro.org
Best of classic and modern roots reggae; some emphasis placed on members of Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide, many of whom are independant artists.

In Your Ear
Rosa Corn rosacorn@sonic.net
We feature new independent music of the "alternative" flavor and traces roots back to punk/industrial/garage rock beginnings. Airs on KRCB 2nd and 4th Friday, 10pm - midnight. Host: Rosa Corn. (Rosa is also the Alternative Music Director for KRCB 91fm community radio, Sonoma County, CA.)

Scott Sosna nonsense@radiononsense.com
With over 1200 CDs and 16,000 songs in its playlist, RadioNonsense.com covers most genres to some degree. Songs are played randomly without regard to mix, meaning one can hear the Sex Pistols, Miles Davis, and the Klezmatics in quick succession! While the music leans heavily towards rock, jazz, and Cuban music, I am open to anything and love to put new music on for others to enjoy.

New Artist Radio
We will need a few things from you in order to get your music on our station. The first thing we need is your Promo Packet containing CD, Bio Photo and a letter giving N.A.R. Permission to use your material royalty free for airplay. Three songs will be placed in each artist voting booth. Artist may choose three songs or we will choose them for you. This is a free service to all N.A.R artists. If any artist at anytime would like to add more songs or exchange songs in their voting booth they can do so for .99 cents per song.

Lord Litter?s Radio Show
http://www.CyberStormRadio.com - the weekly show
http://www.radiomarabu.de - the German on demand show
Now broad/webcasting at 6 stations ALL OVER THE WORLD! Europe's best radio program that side of John Peel Shut-Ups-Website. The show presents the variety of the true indie-scene. From Country to Experimental - from Folk to Hard Rock - the show that presents YOUR music! If you want to send releases for airplay please check http://www.LordLitter.de/radioshow.html

Get started selling your CDs at IndieGate.com for FREE!

Have you wanted to get involved with the online indie pioneers at the InterMixx IndieGate, but those pesky $$$ were holding you back? Well, not any more! Sell your indie CD through the InterMixx IndieGate and get started right now at absolutely NO COST. All membership and set-up fees have been waived until further notice, so let the company that's been helping the indie market grow for over 14 years help YOUR market to grow as well! Selling through the IndieGate couldn't be simpler and we only keep 20% of each sale. Plus, we heavily advertise the store through the pages of our independent music magazine which has had a loyal readership for over 14 years, and is distributed to thousands of locations in print form, and online as a PDF publication. We also give one FREE gift to your customers for each CD they buy!!! These are just a couple of the powerful promotional tools available at the IndieGate to help you sell, and they cost you nothing!

Please visit http://www.IndieGate.com and become a Merchant Member right now!
Featuring services for indie musicians such as gig listings, cd reviews, concert reviews, more. While you're there, check out the latest music news on artists such as Eminem, Missy Elliott, Courtney Love, and David Bowie. Plus interviews with Andrew WK, Red Hot Chili Peppers, more. http://nyrock.com




Lou Galliani louskig@aol.com
An efficient, cost saving way to send your CD to radio without guess work or waste. Let us put your music into the hands of the music director you need to reach without wasting your CDs or time sending them to the wrong format. For more information and rates call Lou Galliani at 805-542-9999 or E-mail at louskig@aol.com

Online Rock
A Web-based music community for bands and musicians to promote, distribute and sell their music online.

Music & Waves
Robert Ruggeri info@omomworld.com
Italian Independent label & great "portal" to the surf scene in both MUSIC & real life!

Independent Records
We give you the backing of a record label which you can use in conjunction with other indie labels for your own distribution purposes. We can legitimately generate and assign a bar code for your music.

A site which allows Canadian artists and consumers a means by which to transact. With the inclusion of independant artists in our store we hope to provide consumers a one stop shop for all their Canadian Music needs. Our goal at is to create the diffinative online resource for Candian artists and the Canadian Music industry as well as create the ultimate resource for consumers seeking information on Canadian music.

Zach zb@sonicawareness.com
A One-Stop Promotional Site for Independent musicians. We provide services that help you increase your exposure, sell your CDs and other band related items (i.e. Vinyl, T shirts, etc.), and manufacture and create products essential to all Independent Artists (Retail Ready CD production, Merchandise Production, Graphic Design, etc.)...all at discount rates! We actively promote and recommend your music to our Listeners from all over the world!

We focus on designing unique websites for artists, record labels, venues, and any other form of media that supports them. Don't just add your band to another music database, have VersusMedia create your own web presence. We also offer our extensive music industry knowledge for audience targeting and promotion. Tired of fighting the industry alone? Let VersusMedia fight the battle for you..

Planet CD
We provide SECURE online ordering of your music, audio samples, and 2 professionally designed web pages dedicated to your music! We provide your customers with unsurpassed customer service, a free newsletter, free bumper stickers and monthly prize drawings to keep them coming back for more. Come visit us!

Junkadelic Zikmu
Nator nator@junkadelic.net
An independant label based in Paris (France). We provide beats production , artists promotion, independant distribution network over Europe, artwork etc...

Last Tango Productions
Building careers and breaking artists since 1989. National Publicity & Radio Tracking. Campus Press and Radio. Tour Support. Special Events. Video/Record Pool and Internet Promotions.

Springbound Music
The premier provider of burn-on-demand (BOD) compact disc manufacturing and music distribution services for emerging and established musicians. 1-877-MYMUSIC (696-8742) 1-317-245-4045 (outside the US).

DJ Catatonic catatonic109@yahoo.com
Our radio promotion program is designed to help the signed / unsigned musician achieve airtime on college radio stations in the United States. College radio DJs/stations appreciate and admire the independent artist/style. CRP's main goal is to provide college radio stations with the music they prefer to play - YOUR MUSIC!

One of the few sites that promote artists from the heart. As an artist/visitor to BandsBackStage you are welcome to use the many resources we provide to promote your music.

Nightmare Records & Distribution
Lance King Lance@nightmare-records.com
A label and distributor of indie based Melodic Hard rock, Progressive and Power Metal. We sell Wholesale and Retail Internationally.

Powderfinger Promotions
With every release comes a need for promotional support. At ADA we have many options to cover those needs. It is important to consider your goals, touring schedule and budget when creating the promotional launch of your release. With over seven years of experience, Powderfinger has the power to get your CD listened to. Powderfinger also offers customized publicity packages.

CD Pimp
Long Island's premier CD distributor for Independent artists. CDPimp seeks Independent Artists of all genres. We are particularly looking to add to Punk, Ska, Reggae, Celtic, Singer Songwriter categories.

Alma Music
Marco Broll info@almamusic.it
http://www.almamusic.it a
An independent record brand of modern conception. All with the greatest respect for artists and producers choices, with proposals embracing a wide musical range, from reggae to world music, from pop to rock, from new age to electronic music. Through its site, Alma Music promotes and sells Independent music from Italy and the rest of the world.

Jason Undergroundcuts@hotmail.com
Showcasing solid Hip Hop talent that gets lost behind the industry shuffle.

H2R Entertainment
Phil Wilson h2rent@h2rentertainment.com
We effectively promote talented artists, musicians, producers, DJ'S and songwriters to major and independent record labels, venues as well as recording studios worldwide. Our website will allow new and upcoming talent the opportunity to promote themselves by selling their CD's online for consumers to purchase.

Jeff Ridgeway jeff@cafepress.com
You can sell professional quality Audio and Data CDs with no inventory or setup costs. Full color direct printing on CDs (no labels!). Packaging options include jewel case with full color inserts or envelope. Audio CDs include streaming audio samples in your CafePress.com store. Provide your content by mailing your Master CD or uploading your content.

Midnight Records Network
Peter Tattlebaum peter@midnightnet.com
Assisting independent musicians in album promotion. A great place for you to hear and buy great new music.

Groovetracks Reords
Steve Cole info@groovetracksrecords.com
We are seeking submissions from new and existing artists, bands or songwriters who have a finished product for distribution. On acceptance of material, Groovetracks ultimate goal is to boost sales through radio airplay and the internet, and to make online samples of artists product available.

Access Music
Ken Loomis kloomis@novato.net
We are a publishing company. We primarily license our artist's music for use in feature films and nationally syndicated television shows. Our contract is non-exclusive.

Only 140 days until the IMC2003!

Philadelphia is a symbol of independence...AND just like this great country of ours was founded by a bunch of rebels seeking freedom. So too are we seeking the freedom of independence from a music industry that is no longer run by musicians for the love of music. Instead it's now run by multi-national corporations that are more concerned with profits, than with artists and the music which they lovingly create to share with the world.

Join Us...
August 28th - 31st, 2003
Sheraton Society Hill, One Dock Street, Philadelphia, PA

The Indie Link Exchange is a list of music sites that wish to exchange links with other music related sites. With over 600 current listings, it's a great way to get some FREE exposure

It's a simple one-to-one exchange of text links or banners. ALL styles of music sites are welcome! http://www.indielinkexchange.com/ile




Independent artists from all over the world can submit music and have their singles available for the listening pleasure of the masses. And the best part is it's completely free. At WiFiMP3.com visitors can get some of the best independent music from all over absolutely free with just a few clicks of the trusty mouse.

Announcing the Live365 Record Pool!

Live365 is the world's largest Internet Radio network with over 3 million visitors per month and 5,000 radio stations, programmed by people who love music.

HOW THE RECORD POOL WORKS: Submit your track or album to the Live365 Record Pool and reach thousands of DJs who can easily add your track to their playlists. Setup fee is $50 per track with a $25/ month maintenance fee. It's way cheaper than shipping promo copies or demos to get your music out. Not to mention the worldwide reach!

First 20 paid track submissions to be inserted in mid-January. Act now to make sure your track gets heard! Mention "Indie Bible" to receive a 10% discount.

Go to http://www.live365.com/community/labelservices.live
-------------------------ATTENTION BANDS-------------------------
MidPoint Music Festival Announces Opening of Registration for 2003

Last year close to 10,000 music fans watched over 150 bands and solo artists perform at this three-day independent music showcase and industry conference. 2003 looks to be even bigger and better. Go to http://www.mpmf.com and register online NOW. Online registration ends Friday, April 25. See what all the noise is about!
------------------ MPMF 2003 - September 24-27 --------------------




Exists to provide musicians in the Midwest with the opportunity to connect with other musicians and working bands free of charge. It is also a site to showcase their talents and provide a wealth of resources to aid bands and individuals alike.

A unique music community serving the greater Chicago area with comprehensive coverage of both local and national touring acts. A searchable concert database, music-related contests, news, reviews, photo galleries, local artist websites and active musician classifieds are the main features.

Our mission is to ensure that music people have a compassionate place to turn to in times of need while focusing the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. MusiCares is dedicated to providing a safety net of critical assistance and to treating each case with integrity and confidentiality. Our programs provide much-needed services and resources to individuals in the music community who are confronted by a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies.

Rob cs@indiewave.net
We offer FREE web hosting for indie musicians. Each account includes form mail, mailing lists, and other interactive tools. Registration is free, so there's nothing to lose.

Copyright Law in the United States
A discussion on the copyright laws.

Copyright Your Song
The PDF form to file with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyright Your Sound Recording
The PDF form to file with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Music Law Offices
Michael McCready McCready@music-law.com
Free articles on copyright and music publishing.

Copyright and Music
This site contains generalizations based on my study of copyright law and are not meant to be construed as legal advice. If you have a question, consult a competent attorney specializing in copyrights and intellectual property law.

World Intellectual Property Organization
Site of the international organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit, through patents and copyright.

A free, interactive legal resource for those in the arts and entertainment, with an emphasis on music issues. Learn about copyright and trademark issues for your band, what it takes to get signed and more.

Canadian Copyright Act

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
Associated with Industry Canada, we are responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property (copyright and trademarks) in Canada.

Mechanical Copyright Protection Society
British organisation which licenses the recording and use of music, and oversees the collection of royalities. MCPS generates mechanical royalties by running a number of different licensing schemes. Some of these schemes are more difficult to administer than others and this is reflected in the amount of commission charged and/or the length of time that it takes to distribute royalties.

The Arts Law Centre of Australia
Arts Law gives preliminary advice and information to artists and arts organisations across all artforms on a wide range of arts related legal and business matters including contracts, copyright, business names and structures, defamation, insurance and employment.

The Australian Copyright Council


Indiemusicreview.com is a new website that empowers independent artists by offering them CD REVIEWS as well as in- depth CRITIQUES of their works by an award winning producer. Instead of funding the site with money from subscribers or advertisers, any artist may submit their disc along with a small fee. REVIEWS are posted on the site and detailed CRITIQUES are emailed directly to you. For more info, click over to http://www.indiemusicreview.com/indiebible


? 2003 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission


You can't market yourself properly anymore without a website. People want instant information, and they like to save time by searching a website when they feel like it. Here are some basics that should be part of a musician's website for maximum value. First, if you haven't already, you should register your website. This is called registering your domain name. Even if you don't put anything up on your website, you should register so that you will be guaranteed the name you want once you are ready to add content.

Here are a few good sites to register inexpensively:

It is a good idea to use the name you are best known as for your domain/website name. This is how people search for you. "Free" websites on things like Angelfire, etc. are not that great because the long URL is nearly impossible for someone to remember. Remember, the simpler the better. How would someone who heard about you look you up? And I also would not recommend putting a dash between your first and last name because if someone doesn't think of that, they will not get you in a search. By the way, the best and least cluttered search engine is http://www.google.com

Unless you are great with computers and have hours and hours of time to build your own website, I'd suggest hiring a professional. Finding a "webmaster" should be fairly easy; ask other friends, and check out other websites that you like and the name is usually listed on the homepage with an email link. I had someone build my site and then teach me how to write simple HTML (or use HTML for Dummies) and an FTP (file transfer program) so that I could update it weekly with gig dates and news. The best rule of thumb with html is to copy and paste from a page that has the format you want, and then modify the text. But I'm not going to get all technical here?this is just a primer to make sure you cover the pieces you need on a site.

The opening page is your Home Page and should open up fairly quickly (avoid FLASH and other fancy huge files that will daunt some users' machines). The quickest way to turn someone off is to have them STOP the download of your site because it was taking too long.

The Home Page should have a synopsis of what viewers will find on your website. I think it should always include a picture (still worth 1000 words), READABLE typeface (some are so small from trying to cram in so much information, that it's uncomfortable to read and again may be skipped), and "buttons" that lead to the other pages on the site. Something I am also a stickler about is having contact information right on the Home Page. I don't make people dig around for it in several layers; again they may give up or be frustrated. I have an email link to me on EACH page of my website. I also have links to my manager, publicist and booking agent, as well as telephone numbers. Try to have 800 numbers if possible. I can't tell you how many times I have been frustrated trying to contact someone right away and there was only an email link, like "info@xxxx.com."

Buttons should be VERY simple and understandable; again ease and convenience should be your first concern. Buttons you will need are:

Bio: this gives background information on you and can be used by a reporter for reviews, concert listings, etc.

News: this is the most recent stuff that has happened and new stuff about to happen. This keeps people coming back to your site to see what is new.

Music: DUH, you are a musician! There must be a place for them to hear clips of songs, either Real Audio or MP3 format. Here is where your albums are shown, track listings, anything to do with your actual music.

Order: This is how people will buy your CDs and merchandise, either by mailorder, credit card (there is a service called PayPal (http://www.paypal.com) that you can use to take credit cards if you don't hav a merchant account or a connection to other sites that sell your music like CDBaby, CDStreet and Amazon.com.

Schedule: You can use TOUR DATES, or GIGS, anything to indicate that this is where people will find out your schedule.

Reviews: This is where you will place links to sites that have reviews of your music, and you will have actual quotes from media that can be used in a press kit.

Awards: If you have enough, this can warrant its own page; if not, add this information to the Reviews page.

Mailing List: Here is where you will entice people to join your email list so you can send mass emailings when you have something newsworthy (nomination for an award; new CD release) or gig dates.

Links: Some people make a separate links page. I have sprinkled links throughout the text and logos on my site. Hypertext (underlined names or outlined pictures) again create convenience for the viewer.

Then you can add as many other buttons that are unique to your situation as you'd like. I have a button for my music video, a Journal page, and one that I've found really helpful with A&R people and publishers: Song Pitch. On this page, I have information for licensing songs and links to hear them.

Use a lot of pictures! People enjoy that more than anything. Caption them to add information and that reduces the need for a lot of superfluous text.

So go out there and build a great website that will be your calling card?.you can simply tell people you meet to check out whatever they want to know on your website. Print your URL on all materials you distribute including press releases, flyers and business cards. Include it on your CDs prominently, not buried in the liner notes, and at the end of your music video.

Valerie DeLaCruz's passionate career pursuit and professionalism has been a model for other grassroots artists. Through hard work and persistence (and talent!) she's continued to make headway in the rough and tumble music industry. To learn more about Valerie, visit her website at http://www.valeriedelacruz.com.

The Music Business Registry has been publishing the contact directories the Music Industry has relied on for over 10 years. The A&R Registry, Publisher Registry, Music Attorney, Legal & Business Affairs Registry and the Film & Television Music Guide are the four directories no Professional or Musician should be without if you are serious about your career. Each directory covers the US, Canada and UK markets and comes complete with direct dial phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, assistant names and company websites. Whether you are looking for a record deal, legal representation, a publishing deal or wanting to get your music into film and television, these are the contacts you or your manager need. For more information, sample listings or to place an order, go to our website at http://www.musicregistry.com or call us at 800-377-7411 or 818-995-7458.

"The A&R Registry is the most accurate and up-to-date A&R source I have ever seen. No producer should be without this." - Jellybean, Producer

"The A&R and Publisher Registry are the most complete and reliable information sources...assembled by someone who really knows the business." - Mike McCarty, President, EMI Music Publishing Canada


? 2003 Valerie Michele Hoskins


The images described in this article can be viewed online at: https://www.indiebible.com/valh

Visual (graphic and web) design in the music industry is about identity. Who you are, and your product or service must be well represented. What your audience, potential customer or client can expect to hear, feel, experience, or achieve must also be successfully communicated.

A talented visual communications professional understands the power of typography and images, and knows how to use them creatively to meet these expectations. The best creative professional for your project is well-trained, familiar with your industry and your target market, and makes design decisions based on accomplishing specific objectives you have identified. One of the most primary objectives is selling your music to consumers, or music industry professionals (e.g., securing a producer, record label or distributor through a demo).

Have you ever purchased a CD solely based on the cover design, or been attracted to an artist, band, producer or record label based on their logo, poster or web site? If so, the designer has succeeded.

Design plays a part in purchase decisions. When browsing for CDs, choices are made. People usually pick up what visually attracts them and then look at the listed songs, unless they are looking for a specific artist or title. This process is the way a person gets a feel for the CD artist, mood, and messages; and ultimately, hopes to be satisfied that the CD delivers what the design and titles suggest.

The first time I purchased music based on the design was in 1977 by the group Caldera. The album cover had a colorful picture of a volcano (caldera) erupting, and I got the feeling the music by this group would erupt as potently as that volcano. As it turned out, the latin-jazz fusion album did. It was their debut album and the cover design got me to buy it.

More recently, I bought two CDs: Count Basic (www.countbasic.com), "Trust Your Instincts" (see figure 1), and Marilyn Scott, "Avenues of Love" (see figure 2). On the Count Basic cover, what grabbed me was the woman's face bolstered by the low cut dress she wore showcasing her significant cleavage, and a man behind her giving two major thumbs up! I wanted to be that woman. As for Marilyn Scott, she is standing alone on a rocky shore, looking pensively at the ground, barefooted, wearing what looks like a full-length camel hair coat. The image paired with the title created an appealing pensive and serene mood, and I was stirred to buy it.

I'm totally pleased with both purchases though they're quite different. Chalk up two more sales due to an art director, photographer, and graphic designer working as a team to successfully well-reflect an energy, style, essence, tone, and message to me about the artist and the music.

Let the Music Take Your Mind
Music is not defined as visual art, but sound does create mental imagery. One of the reasons I'm not glued to MTV, VH1 or other music video networks, is that I prefer to give my mind complete freedom to conjure its own images in response to music. Music package design (CD, VHS, DVD) is an hors d'oeuvre, an invitation, and a precursor to a total sound experience - perhaps a journey. When you work with a designer, it's important to share the imagery in your mind to help the art direction along. It's also good for the art director and/or designer to listen to the music, so there's a healthy amount of imagery to feed the creative process. Between the two, a wealth of visual ideas will emerge. Music videos have multiple images to help sell an artist and the music. A CD, poster, logo, or Web site doesn't have as many visual chances, so it's important to get it right with less visual opportunities.

Count the Ways
Music professionals use graphic design in specific ways and have definite ideas about what they want the designs to accomplish.

Neil Alexander is primarily a performer/composer, but is also active in engineering, production and programming, and has P-Dog Records, a small independent record label he uses to release his own discs.

Neil has a logo, stationery, CD packaging for his releases, packaging for a CD business card, posters to launch new releases (see figure 3), press releases, and a web site from which people can purchase directly. "I have always found that how CD packaging looks is a big part of its impact, its connection with the listener. Logos and other symbols can become part of the performer's identity. It is in my case. As with any business, consistent graphics help define the company's image and products for the consumer," Neil stated.

As for a strong web site presence, Neil had this to say: "A solid web presence is very important these days. Information (text, audio and visual) must be well organized and clearly presented. I found it desirable to hire a professional designer to put together a simple and easily navigated Web site (www.pdogrecords.com).

Next month we'll look at the design process, and some well-established design industry factors that should be considered to ensure success.

Valerie Michele Hoskins is a songwriter, soon-to-be music publisher, educator, and president of The Pursuit Studio, a visual communications creative service for art and entertainment industry professionals and businesses. Contact Valerie at: val.hoskins@thepursuitstudio.biz

A discussion group has been established on Yahoo for any questions or comments you may have about this article or experiences you want to share. Additional resource information concerning some points made here is provided. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/musicgraphicdesign ============================================
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