Saturday, February 2, 2008

How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

This book is a gold mine of information. Author David Nevue has poured more than a dozen years of research and experience into this how-to book for independent musicians.

A pianist and composer, David starting working for a software manufacturer in 1993, and not long after the Internet began appearing on the horizon. He saw this as a way to promote his music, putting up a web site in 1995. But he only sold two CDs that first year.

“I put my energy into testing new and creative ways to market my music online,” he writes. “I knew I was on to something when I started selling four and five CDs a week. That gave me the idea to write this book, the first edition of which came out in November of 1997.”

In 2001 he accomplished his long-term dream -- quitting his day job. Ever since he’s been doing “the music biz" on the Internet full-time. By 2006, he was making $6,000 a month in total sales just from the Internet (that doesn’t include gigs and CD sales at gigs). This income is from sheet music, books, partnerships, advertising and other revenues in addition to the CD sales. “Everything I do online is related to the music business I love,” he writes.

“Of course, money isn’t everything. There’s still the question of using the Internet to advance your music career. I’ve been able to generate a lot of publicity for my music online, and as a result not only do I sell CDs, but I often receive requests to have my music used in independent film and media projects. I’ve negotiated three distribution deals overseas as a result of someone finding my music online.”

He also was approached by NBC to have his music used for a made-for-TV movie and has photographers who want to use his music for their web sites.

“Finally, I’m playing a lot more gigs in a lot more places as a direct result of marketing my music online and, as you know, the more you play live, the more doors get opened up for you. You, like me, can use the Internet to create a huge amount of exposure for your music. The more exposure you generate, the more likely you are to gain new fans, sell more music, get more gigs and, of course, make those contacts you want to make within the music industry.”

This is important because many musicians want to be signed by major labels. “But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that record labels aren’t looking for fly-by-night musicians to turn into stars. They are looking for musicians who are already DOING THE WORK. They are looking for artists who have created a huge fan base, sold thousands of CDs and played sold-out shows all ON THEIR OWN.

“What I’m saying, in a roundabout way, is this: If you want to make it big and get signed to a major label, the best way to do that is to forget about being signed to a major label and do the work yourself. Your goal should not be to ‘get signed,’ but to bring yourself to a point to where you don’t NEED the backing of a major label anymore.

“If you are seeking only FAME, then yes, you need the backing of big money to help you achieve that. But if you’re just wanting to do music full-time and be the quintessential artist, that’s something you can do all on your own, and the Internet can help you reach that goal. I’m living proof of that.”

David does caution that promoting your music successfully on the Internet is hard work. “The Internet is not a shortcut to success -- it’s simply another tool, one that can be very effective in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.”

He says creating a web page to sell your music is not enough; that the average musician sells between two to five CDs a year from their web site. “Sales that low do not justify the expense of putting your music online.”

In the book he shows you what marketing ideas worked for him, and which to steer away from. “I will show you how to target an audience MOST LIKELY to buy your music. I will show you how to convert visitors to your web site into sales, and how to increase your fan base. I will show you how to sell more CDs, and how and where to distribute your music online. I will also tell you what not to waste your time and money on.”

Because the Internet changes so quickly, David updates the book annually and offers readers a “Lifetime PDF Update” option.

I’m impressed with how much information David has gathered through persistence, trial and error, business savvy and, of course, lots of time. It’s amazing that he’s gotten it all in a 160-page book. Check it out at

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