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Avoid Stupid Mistakes Bands Make

Band members often must perform their own promotion and management, especially when they first get started. This typically includes releasing an album, which involves manufacturing and selling the CDs. A band must also plan the strategy it will pursue after releasing the album. These requirements provide multiple opportunities for the band to make mistakes.

Ordering too many CDs

Bands typically distribute their album on a Compact Disc-Recordable, but order too many discs. The quantity of CDR media in your initial order should be just enough to cover your initial sales in your hometown and the CDs you will sell on your release tour. Verify the actual manufacturer of the CDs as this is more important than the brand in determining quality. Make sure they are using high quality blank CDs in the process. More on this here.

Printing Your CD Labels

It is generally better to have a commercial printing company make custom printed CDs for you, even when you have a small order. You will need to replace the ink cartridge after no more than 50 labels, and you will also need them to dry for 24 hours. In addition, the time required to print the CDs makes it unlikely that printing your own labels will be profitable.

Booking the CD Release Show Before you Have the CD

It is essential that you actually have the CDs before you even book your album release show. Many bands perform a release show or even do a release tour without have a single CD. This defeats the entire purpose of these performances.

Ordering CDs Too Late

CDs typically take two weeks to arrive after you order them. Ensure you order your CDs so they arrive several weeks before you actually need them. This will allow you time to correct manufacturing mistakes. This rule also applies to any merchandise that you wish to sell at the release show.

Making Album Art Too Complicated

Many bands also experience substantial delays in their album release due to cover art. The images must be in the correct format and it can require a surprising amount of time to determine the correct dimensions for the artwork. Ensure that you are able to pay for the artwork before you place an order. Artists and photographers typically expect payment upon delivery.

No Digital Strategy

Another common mistake in an album release is failing to make the album available in digital format such as a stream service. Fans who don’t buy CDs at the release show may want to buy it later. A major digital distributor like iTunes should have the album when you release the CDs. You should also sell your digital music from your own website with services such as Bandcamp, Paypal and Topspin.

No Post-Release Strategy

An album release should be the beginning of your band’s marketing strategy, rather than the end. Establish the percentage of CDs you will use for promotional purposes and create a schedule for making videos. Create relationships with people who blog about music. It is essential that you maintain buzz about your music before your next album release.


Many problems with an album release are related to the CDs themselves. Most of these problems are easily avoided with a modest amount of planning. A few simple marketing techniques can help you make the most of your album release.