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- May 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!



HOME
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. You Don't Need No Stinkin' Labels (PART I) by Bernard Baur, Music Connection Magazine
8. Music & Visual Design: Strive For a Perfect Union - PART II by Valerie Michele Hoskins














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1,000 BANDS AND GROWING FAST! SIGN-UP FOR FREE AT WWW.BOOMBOXRADIO.COM

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 seeking artists in every other genre. To be included for free in our 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 and a Music Director will give you a call about what it takes to get worldwide airplay and our free and paid services.
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THIS MONTH'S PRIZE WINNERS

This month's winner of the Sennheiser E835 microphone (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Jim Mohr, New Haven, IN

This month's winner of a pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Alasdair Campbell, Glasgow, Scotland

This month's winners of 1 year subscriptions to OnStage Magazine (visit http://www.onstagemag.com )
- Tonya Miller, Cambridge, MA
- Chris Trahan, Lafayette, LA

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 )
- Joshua Mwanza, Bronx, 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 )
- Claus Nygaard, Frederiksberg, Denmark

The winners of the Musician's ToolKit CD (for more information visit https://www.bookingagentsdirectory.com )are: - Carrie Hewett, Hollywood, FL
- Amanda Brucki, Grand Junction, MI

The winner of the 3 month subscription to the Bandit Newsletter (for more information visit http://www.banditnewsletter.com ) is:
- Meshach Broderick, London, England

The winners of the Galaris Musician's Directory (for more information visit http://www.galaris.com/GMD.html?icb ) are:
- Maria Luisa Perez, Madrid, Spain
- Adam Reek, Minocqua, WI

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CafePress.com manufactures & ships your CDs when they are ordered. CafePress.com handles all payment processing and customer service so you don't have to!

Visit us at: http://www.cafepress.com to learn more!
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$5,000 DEMO CONTEST & Artist Showcase for Music Industry.
Submission Deadline 06/27/03 All Music Genres. www.diamondleaguemusic.com Diamond League Music Showcase takes pride in providing an outlet for unsigned talent. We offer the opportunity for Artist to present their music to Recording and Publishing industry professionals GUARANTEED!!! Ten finalist will be selected to perform and One WINNER will receive a Grand Prize of $5,000(US). http://www.diamondleaguemusic.com
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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
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2. INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the May Edition of The Indie Contact Newsletter.

Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of meeting Bernard Baur, the Review Editor & Feature Writer for Music Connection Magazine. Bernard was on a panel that I attended at a conference in Los Angeles. I enjoyed listening to Bernard speak, and when we talked after the show I asked if he had any articles that he would allow me to publish in this newsletter. He offered a well researched article that helps to dispell that nagging myth that getting signed to a major label should be the first priority of a recording artist. In this month's newsletter you can read Part I of his three part article. In addition, Valerie Michele Hoskins presents Part II of her article on what should be considered when creating your CD cover.

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 May issue of The Indie Contact Newsletter!

David Wimble
Editor
The Indie Contact Newsletter
newsletter@indiebible.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Below are the contacts that were submitted to me in April. 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

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2. SITES/PUBLICATIONS WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR MUSIC REVIEWED

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The Arizona Hip-Hop Network
Ryan "Creepz" Piercey creepz@cox.net
http://www.ArizonaHipHop.com
Your online/one-stop spot for Arizona Hip-Hop. Album Reviews, Artist Interviews,Monthly Features, A-Zona Radio, Promotion and Networking Forums, and much more.....

Goodtime Music.net
Daniel Gray info@goodtimesmusic.net
http://www.goodtimesmusic.net
We offer Indie Musicians a place to get their music reviewed. Musicians can showcase their works. GoodtimesMusic.net features many services for the Indie musician.

Plug In music
Corinne corinne@pluginmusic.com
http://www.pluginmusic.com
Feature band profiles, reviews, interviews, contests and more. Focusing on up-and-coming musicians.

Stem31
Michelle michelle@stem31.com
http://www.stem31.com
A webzine for Arizona local musicians and new music from around the world. We mostly cover metal, hard rock, alternative and emo bands.

Saint Mary Mead Zine
Laura smm@tooshytogetajob.org.uk
http://www.tooshytogetajob.org.uk
New UK zine covering pop in all its guises, esp in the synth- indie- twee-pop vein. Demos welcome!

creative-eclipse
mj@creative-eclipse.com
http://www.creative-eclipse.com
An online publication dedicated to prime forms of music and art.

30music.com
staff@30music.com
http://www.30music.com
Please keep in mind that we do our best to review everything that we receive, but due to limitations and time constraints it's sometimes not possible for our staff to get to every release. We typically do not review compilations, re-releases, anything by Audioslave, discs containing fewer than three tracks, or split releases with fewer than two tracks by each artist.

BettaWreckonize
the_dogg@bettawreckonize.com
http://www.bettawreckonize.com
If you are interested in having your CD reviewed, contact us to get our mailing address.

Dusted Magazine
dusted@dustedmagazine.com
http://www.dustedmagazine.com
Updated every day. We run new reviews on Mondays and Thursdays, new features on Tuesdays and Fridays, and new charts on Wednesdays.

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Also visit this site to get a FREE "Musician's Guide to the Web"
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YOU NEED BETTER SALES AND DISTRIBUTION FOR YOUR CD.
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.
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3. RADIO SHOWS THAT WILL PLAY YOUR MUSIC

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eoRadio - Unsigned & Limited Release Artists
Ryan Smith webmaster@eoRadio.com
http://www.eoRadio.com
We play unsigned and limited release (meaning limited or local radio airplay) Artists. eoRadio is run like a terrestrial radio station. This means our primary goal is not to act as a promotional site for any unsigned artist, but rather to provide the best in new music to a global audience.

Rockabilly Radio
Don Freeman don@45rpm.net
http://www.rockabillyradio.net
The voice of independent rockabilly artists.

Kooba Radio
Jonny Yeah contact@koobaradio.co.uk
http://www.KoobaRadio.co.uk
A UK based internet radio station who play unsigned bands exclusively. We have hundreds of listeners and our site includes a viewable playlist that links to the websites of the bands we play.

Eklektika
Kenny Kinds kennyk@blue-fortune.com
http://eklektika.blue-fortune.com
DJ Knock Knock and ya man Kenny K, bring you the best in Acid Jazz, Neo Soul, Spoken Word, Progressive Hip Hop, House and Drum and Bass. We are always looking for new artists, in these muscial genres, to showcase and if you would like to submit music, please hit us up at eklektika@blue-fortune.com. The sound is...Eklektika.

TwangCast
Mike Hays Twang4104@cs.com
http://www.TwangCast.com
Dedicated to the world of Americana Music and Real Country music. We will bring you the best new releases and the classic country and independent artists you won't hear on Top 40 Country Radio!

The Michael Anthony Show
fmyshow@hotmail.com
http://www.michaelanthonyshow.com
We play any and every genre of music by unsigned and indie artists. You may send a radio edit and the uncensored version too. My web show is totally UNCENSORED. But when I am lucky enough to have a gig on commercial radio without getting fired, I'll need that edited version.

Bumpskey.com
bumpskey@bumpskey.cc
http://www.Bumpskey.com
Independent commune on the net. Bumpskey is helping artists get exposure on the internet by broadcasting a live show featuring all independent music. They incorporate the interaction of the internet and streaming audio to get listeners to independent artist web sites. Stop in for a visit you never know what they will be up to.

WSVN Radio
WSVNRadio@yahoo.com
http://www.wsvnradio.net
Send your CD, and additional info (press kit, bio's, etc.). If you plan on sending us any of your mp3s, DO NOT SEND them to our Yahoo account. We will refer you to another email address.

totallyradio.com
Frank Ramsay frank@totallyradio.com
http://www.totallyradio.com
Internet radio offering a platform for a wide variety of under- represented music genres, e.g. alt.inde., reggae, world, electronica etc.

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Get started selling your CDs at IndieGate.com for only $20.00

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 for an all-time low set-up fee of only $20.00. It's never been this affordable to get involved with InterMixx, so let the company that's been helping the indie market grow for over 15 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!
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NYRock.com...
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
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4. ONLINE SERVICES/LABELS THAT WILL HELP SELL YOUR MUSIC

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Research-Director.com
Nick Andrews nandrews@research-director.com
http://www.research-director.com
We take advantage of our radio expertise to market independent music to stations in Canada. We use research to engage the attention of music directors and programmers.

Vision Music USA
Nick Stamoulis vision100@usa.net
http://www.visionmusicusa.com
Are you a independent musician/or in a band? We can help you with the following: Booking, Press Kit, Demo, Street Marketing, Radio Promotions, Website Design and much more. Visit our website for more information.

Lisa Reedy Promotions
Lisa Reedy reedylm@aol.com
http://www.jazzpromotion.com
A full-service radio promotions company that specializes in Jazz and related music. Solicits airplay, charting, interviews and other special promotions for artists & labels.

Davis Entertainment Publicity
Virginia Hunt Virginia@DavisPublicity.com
http://www.DavisPublicity.com
A full-service Public Relations and Marketing Solutions firm for the music and entertainment industries. We specialize in gaining awareness for up-and-coming and touring artists/bands. We work with independent acts and labels to attain maximum exposure for their music via print, radio, and television media. We also assist in organizing concert events centered around exposing new and independent music to the public.

Automatic Distribution
Robert Katavic info@automaticdistribution.com
http://www.automaticdistribution.com
Independent music distribution and online shop.

Studio Loop Records
Gareth Desmond garethd@slr.ie
http://www.slr.ie
We are a new Irish independent label with four acts on our roster. We deal in recording, publishing and management for the Territories of Ireland and England with distributioon arranged through RMG/Chart.

XSRecords
Ed Phillips efp@xsrecords.com
http://www.xsrecords.com
Independent record label with a talented roster.

Wolverine Records
Sascha Wolff sascha@wolverine-records.de
http://www.wolverine-records.de
Germany's finest Independent Punk, Ska and Swing Label (and many more other noises...) since 1992. Over 100 Releases and still counting... Check our webpage. Free Mp3s and lots of cool stuff to find!

Platenworm Recordstore / Hellworm Records
Pieter Bos pieter@platenworm.nl
http://www.platenworm.nl
We sell all kinds of independent / underground music. The Hellworm recordlabel is there too release cool bands from the Netherlands and especially Groningen the place where I live.

Clubtraxx Records
Toinet David office.clubtraxx@wanadoo.fr
http://www.club-traxx.com
Based in France, we are making electronic music, compilations, an licensing ++++ booking dj's.

Pappa E Records
Eujin Chan eujin@pappae.com
http://www.pappae.com
Producer, Remixer of quality dance, soulful jazzy vocal house music.

Fickle Fame
Torkel Skogman info@ficklefame.com
http://www.ficklefame.com
An independent record label and booking agency (for Europe) based in Sweden. Primarily releases music in the genres pop, alternative rock, punk, experimental, noise and electronica.

Creative Eclipse PR
mj@creative-eclipse.com
http://www.creative-eclipse.com/pr
Our main goal is to represent artists, bands, labels, magazines and anyone else passionate for music, arts or whatever. We offer simple and unique solutions for any press needs you might have, striving to fulfill the specific needs of each customer to the fullest extent. This concern is driven by our musical interests as we have been involved in hardcore, punkrock and independent music for a long time.

Immediatek, Inc.
paul.marin@immediatek.com
http://www.immediatek.com
We offer a software called NetBurn that allows musicians sell their music from their own websites, by downloading entire music CDs in "one click" directly to a CD burner.

Malak Christian Productions
Kenn or Nate Info@malak1.com
http://www.malak1.com
A commercially rated music production facility and independent record label featuring CD releases by some of the top independant recording artists and groups. We only sell the best in Gospel, Christian, and Inspirational music. Call us today for a current listing of Florida's best Gospel music.

lowartmusic.com
Jeff Farley info@lowartmusic.com
http://www.lowartmusic.com
We are an independant music label specializing in alternative rock and alternative ambient projects.

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Only 110 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
http://IMC2003.com
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GET YOUR MUSIC HEARD!

The Indie Bible is a world-wide directory created specifically for recording artists, and lists over 8000 places to gain exposure for your music. Visit http://www.indiebible2003.com

"All the artists I work with personally are required to have a copy." - Tim Sweeney, TSAMusic.com

Also available in most popular book and music stores including Borders and Barnes & Noble (in Canada at Long & McQuade).
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5. SITES WHERE YOU CAN UPLOAD YOUR BAND'S MP3s OR VIDEOS

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Big Shoes and Music Online (BSAMO)
info@bsamo.com
http://bsamo.com
An entertainment megaplex dedicated to promoting talented new music artist for FREE!

PYBand.com
info@pyband.com
http://www.pyband.com
A service provided to musicians, to help promote their music and get the word out. Bands can upload a limited selection of their songs and provide information to potential and existing fans regarding their status.

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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
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-------------------------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 --------------------

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6. HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR YOUR BAND

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Local Music Scenes.com
Jeff Higginbotham jeff@localmusicscenes.com
http://www.localmusicscenes.com
Local music support in scenes near you. grassroots coverage of your local music market.

Cari Cole Voice Studios
Cari Cole voice@vocalmag.com
http://www.vocalmag.com
Located in the heart of New York City, specializes in private vocal technique, vocal problems, keeping singers healthy on tour and contemporary styling. Our studio has one of the very finest methodologies available for building, toning, strengthening and repairing voices. With a fully equipped Pro Tools studio for instruction on microphone technique and recording, her studio handles the challenges of the contemporary singer's career. Get your voice in the best shape of your career!

Crazewire
zach@crazewire.com
http://www.crazewire.com
The network for young and aspiring music writers. Ultimately, Crazewire is the affinity of passion and sound -- a community where musicians, journalists, fans, and wannabe-rockstars spontaneously connect, however random or constructive it may be. We are slowly empowering gifted or latent writers with the inspiration to think more articulately about music and share results with others.

Marketing Your Music
http://www.marketingyourmusic.com
An array of tips on how to call attention to your music. Sponsored by CDBABY.com.

MusiCares
Dee Dee deedee@grammy.com
http://www.grammy.com/musicares
Established in 1989 by the Recording Academy, it is the mission of MusiCares to ensure that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical or personal crisis. MusiCares' primary goal is to focus the attention and resources of the music industry on human services issues that directly impact the health and welfare of music people.

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BOOST TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE WITH THE INDIE LINK EXCHANGE!

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
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7. YOU DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' LABELS (PART I) by Bernard Baur, Music Connection Magazine
© 2003 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

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Is a label deal the only real measure of success? According to many artists, the answer is a resounding "NO!" In fact, more than a few with label experience would rather do it themselves. It's not easy, for sure, but neither is getting a record deal and making it work.

The truth is, except for what a label theoretically offers (worldwide distribution and exposure), artists can do it alone. In fact, if they want a great record deal or demand creative control, they should do it themselves.

With that in mind, Music Connection set out to see how realistic the independent route is, and if artists can find success on their own. We found that independent artists are very popular with music fans; and, that acts like The Dave Matthews Band, Godsmack, Nickelback and The White Stripes didn't depend on a record company to break them. They did it themselves and sold thousands of records, which naturally attracted hundreds of labels. Moreover, those who enjoyed independent success negotiated deals that were superior to the average deal most artists are offered. Overall, going it alone looks like a win-win situation.

To find out what it takes, MC contacted a variety of artists who took the "Do It Yourself" approach and are making it work. They are self-sufficient artists who found that they didn't need a label to live their dream. They prove that the DIY option is not only viable; it may also be the best course of action. After all, who wouldn't like to call their own shots in a market that's up for grabs?

CHOOSING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED

Sitting in a label president's office suite can be surreal, especially when he's explaining what an artist needs to do to get signed. The list is so long (covering a variety of areas) that after he finishes, you can't help but ask, " If an artist did all of that, why the hell would they need you?"

Well, some artists don't think they need an established label at all. Award winning artist, Aimee Mann, has had three major record deals but now says, "I can't recommend signing a label deal. Why should you give them all the power? Really, it's frustrating. You think labels are supposed to sell records, but they don't always do what they're supposed to. So, why deal with them?"

In response, Mann formed her own company, Super Ego Records, and became a poster girl for DIY success thanks to her Oscar-nominated song from the film "Magnolia" and the 200,000 units sold of her "Bachelor No. 2" album. Today, she claims to be happier than she ever was at a major. "Now, I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want. And, if any mistakes are made, I get to make them myself rather than have someone make them for me." One other thing Mann is absolutely certain about: She won't miss the suits reviewing her work. "You know," she laughs, "no one ever said, 'We're really excited about this! It's obviously the single!'"

Other artists choose the independent way because their music doesn't fit the usual formats or marketing schemes. Industry may love the music, but they don't know what to do with it. When he started out, Bob Malone thought he was just a day away from a deal. "Everyone seemed to love my music, but they didn't know how to market it. After a few years, I concluded that quality can be a liability. They actually told me, 'You're too good,' and I thought they were nuts."

These artists, and many others like them, decided they didn't need a record deal to do what they wanted. Instead, they struck out on their own and established their own companies and careers. They're a tough breed who work hard, but every one of the artists interviewed is happy with their decision and satisfied with their career. Because the bottom line is: they're not chasing the dream anymore - they're living it.

---- continued next month ----

=============================================
Bernard Baur is the Review Editor & Feature Writer for Music Connection Magazine http://www.musicconnection.com Bernard also works in the A&R Department for Tonos, as well as in the A&R Department for a variety of record labels. Tel: 818-755-0101 Ext.519 EqxManLtd@aol.com
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WE HAVE THE A&R CONTACTS YOU NEED!

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
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8. MUSIC & VISUAL DESIGN: STRIVE FOR A PERFECT UNION - PART II by Valerie Michele Hoskins
© 2003 Valerie Michele Hoskins

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

Sweet Sight of Success
When working with a designer, there are definite criteria to use for assessing quality and success. There are well-established design industry factors for every product: logos, posters, CDs, business cards and stationery, advertising, and Web sites. To cover each one specifically in this article would take too long, so these are some of the main criteria to help judge a design's success: 1) It must be unified with the product or service's content or identity. This creates a sense of family, of belonging, and it's immediately apparent; 2) There's an information and visual hierarchy. This means there's a focal point or image that grabs your attention first, and then your eye is led around the design in the order of what's important sequentially; 3) The design has graphic impact and is distinctive and/or memorable. There are many designs competing with yours for attention (lots of demos are sent out to producers, record labels and distributors), so yours must be a major contender; and 4) It must be appropriate for who you want to attract and the environment in which it will be presented. A poster or CD for a country audience will not have the same look and feel presentation as for a heavy metal one.

Who can forget the strong identity between the Stones and that bright, red tongue sticking out logo? It's a very powerful example of a highly successful pictorial visual logo. The logo formats are logotype, initials, pictorial visual, abstract visual, and combination, and a well-trained designer is knowledgeable about them all. The Stones logo has graphic impact, is distinctive and memorable, and is appropriate for it's rock audience.

For a web site, success is measured by whether your goals for establishing it are being met. Does it reflect your identity? Are you making sales? Is your visibility increasing? Is it easy for users to navigate and locate what they want? Are there lively and beneficial discussions or information being shared? Are people returning multiple times to your site?

Once you and the designer decide on the success criteria for your project, the real fun begins: designing it.

The Design Process: What You Can Expect
Professional art directors and designers will have processes to assist them creatively. In terms of process, there will be an initial consultation during which lots of questions are asked. Some design studios may use a creative brief form. The questions on the form are designed to crystallize and solidify your identity and vision, so you and the designer are clear about it. Both get a copy, and sometimes you'll be asked to sign it to approve the accuracy before concept development production begins. You'll be asked to sign a contract and to return it with a retainer (a retainer is a portion of the total cost for the project that must be paid up front before any work begins).

The first thing you'll see is thumbnails: anywhere from 4-10 tiny creative ideas sketched out. You'll review them and choose one or two on which the designer will focus and create more detailed drawings called rough compositions. Sometimes, if a designer feels very secure about the creative direction of your project, the thumbnail stage will be bypassed, and you'll first see about three roughs. The roughs may be hand-drawn as closely as possible to what a final version would be (see figure 4), or they might be created on the computer.

You review the roughs, and choose one to be developed further (see figure 5). You may receive up to three versions and you choose your favorite: it will be your final design. The designer will work with you to fine-tune it. Once you approve it, it is ready to be printed. If it's a web design, it will be implemented and programmed. You pay the balance due, and the process is complete.

Budget, Low Budget, No Budget
Pricing for different types of projects can range vastly depending upon the business structure and the length of time the business has been operating. The business can be a design studio, freelance or consultant, or a print shop franchise like Kinko's and have years of experience or be newly established in the industry.

If you're interested in reviewing industry standard fees for graphic design, web design, or illustration, take a hike to Barnes and Noble bookstore and glance through the "Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines," published by The Graphic Artist's Guild of America. It's the creative professional's bible, and includes everything you always wanted to know about fees, contracts, copyright, and other professional issues. The fees quoted are based on nationwide surveys distributed to creative professionals. Standard fees are not cheap. The visual communications creative field is a highly valued, for-profit industry, so fees reflect our need to make a living at what we do. When someone gives you an estimate, make sure it details every service being provided to justify the cost.

When the estimate is too rich for your blood, there are other options to consider. A few include: 1) Supply your own photos and/or illustrations (see figure 6). Photography and illustration are specialties requiring additional compensation; 2) Personally coordinate printing and CD or other types of duplication. Our time is money so coordinating printing for your project and getting your CD duplicated will cost you more; 3) Barter for pro bono service. We may reduce the fee or work for free if you'll do some things for us in return; 4) Contact your local college or university and request a referral to a recent graduate or current senior student. There are some extremely talented young people who are eager to get client experience and build their portfolio; or 5) Explore a business-education partnership project relationship
(see www.portfolios.com/pursuitgallery).

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Who are you? Whom you want to attract? What do you want to accomplish? A marriage between sight and sound can only have a positive impact on your career. Successful visual design is the key.

=============================================
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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