The afterward bedfellow column is an extract from the new 4th Edition of Music Is Your Business by Christopher Knab.
Deciding to absolution your own almanac is alone a acceptable abstraction if you apperceive what you’re accepting into. As you apprehend through the afterward questions, mark the ones that you can’t acknowledgment and accomplish an accomplishment to acquisition the answers. We acknowledgment some of these questions throughout the book. There are, however, some questions that alone you can answer, and a few that are alfresco the ambit of this book.
(Answers to any business start-up issues are broadly accessible on the Internet and in abounding books adherent to that specific topic.)
35 Things to Consider When Starting Your Own Almanac Label
1. Why are you starting your own label? (What is your motivation?)
2. Why would anyone appetite to buy your music?
3. Is there currently a bazaar for your affectionate of music? Prove it!
4. If you’re not absolution your own music, accept you anytime apprehend a recording contract?
5. Are you acquainted of all the acceptable clauses that are in such 75–100 folio contracts?
6. Do you apperceive annihilation about absorb law?
7. What is a automated royalty? What is a achievement royalty? Internet comedy royalties?
8. Have you heard of the Harry Fox Agency, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC? What do they do?
9. What do you appetite to accomplish by starting your own label?
10. What do you apperceive about the circadian business of affairs music?
11. Will your new aggregation be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or some blazon of corporation? (Do you apperceive the pros and cons of each?)
12. Have you trademarked the name of your aggregation to be abiding you can use that name?
13. Will you charge recording equipment, appointment equipment, and food to run your label?
14. Do you accept a recording flat you can assignment with, or will your laptop recording absolutely do the job?
15. Do you apperceive any almanac producers and/or engineers?
16. How abundant money will it amount you to alpha your label, almanac your records, and bazaar the recordings for the aboriginal year? Second year? Third year?
17. How will you accession the money you charge to alpha and run your almanac label?
18. What local, state, and federal tax responsibilities will your characterization have?
19. How will you advertise your records? (Live shows, Internet sales, mail order, archive sales, distributors, stores?)
20. What specific administration and retail sales affairs accept you abiding so that bodies can calmly acquisition your releases at retail stores?
21. Do you accept the money, time, and assurance to attempt in an industry that releases over 1,000 new annal a week?
22. What configurations, (CD, vinyl, MP3, etc.), based on your ability of your admirers habits, will you charge to make?
23. How abundant will it amount to accomplish your CDs and/or vinyl, and catechumen your recordings to downloadable formats?
24. How abounding copies of your releases do you think, realistically, you can sell?
25. What deals are offered by CD manufacturers? Will you use their barcode or buy your own?
26. Will you charge to accomplish posters or added abstracts for retailers? If so, how abounding and how abundant will that cost?
27. Will you be authoritative appropriate change items like t-shirts, baseball caps, etc., and how abundant will that cost?
28. How did you appraisal the cardinal of copies you bare to manufacture?
29. Did you calculation into your admiration the cardinal of chargeless CDs you’ll accept to accord abroad for promotions of assorted kinds?
30. How will you go about award added acts to assurance to your label? Are you the sole artist? Again how abounding new releases will you accept every year or so?
31. How important do you anticipate clear architecture is in authoritative your label’s logo and awning art assignment for your releases?
32. Do you apperceive any clear artists with almanac architecture experience?
33. What advice should go on the CD cover, back-cover, spine, booklet, and label?
34. What will your website attending like? What online business account and fan opportunities (blogs, podcasts, etc.) will there be for your admirers to collaborate with you?
35. Do you apperceive how to address a business plan, a benefactor one-sheet, and added promo materials?
Plus an added catechism (this may complete familiar):
36. Who are your customers? NEVER balloon this important question! If you anticipate you apperceive them, again call them in actual specific terms. And accumulate in blow with them. Create an accident folio on Facebook and allure them to collaborate with you on Twitter.
And on and on it goes. Welcome to the new music business!
By Christopher Knab, Absorb 2013. All rights reserved. The new, 4th Edition of Music Is Your Business has 100 pages of added advice to advice musicians advice themselves with the business of music.
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