Ask Fan Landers: What Can I Do To Make My Album A Success?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

Your website is pretty solid, utilitarian. Like that Downtown Chicago in glowing reggae colors graphic. Make sure you have a few songs that are downloadable, a press photo that is downloadable (both high and web resolution) with the band members ID'd left to right, and a bio that is actually about your band. The amount of bios I get from bands where there is no useful information--the names of members, where they are from, who produced the album, what they might sound like, how many records they've made previously, how long they have been together--is staggering. If there is anything special about the album or the song that one might not instantly derive from listening--a concept, theme, inspiration, it is useful to mention that as well. Make sure your online shiz serves you well and is functional and all connected.

Since you are investing a lot of effort and (probably) money into your band at this point, make sure you have all your insurance ducks in a row. Everyone in the band should have renters insurance; having gear stolen can jeopardize your existences as a band (see also: fellow Chicagoans Nude Sunrise, currently trying to raise funds after being robbed of all their gear). Renters insurance is, like, $8-12 a month if you tack it on to an auto policy. Go visit your insurance agent and make sure you have a policy that covers your van being broken in to, and make sure the policy accurately reflects what it would take to replace all your gear. Ask all the annoying what if questions you can think of. Document your gear: take photos, get serial numbers, and any documentation on it. Make a couple copies of all that business and each of you stash one in a safe place.

All that stuff is the unsexy end of the hustle, so make sure to throw in something fun. Start a tumblog, screen some shirts, start a band zine, make a mixtape for your fans, come up with a contest that happens at your shows, play a birthday party, do an elaborately staged publicity photo or, perhaps, nurse a rivalry with another band. Everyone loves a good beef.

Good luck with your album and have a safe tour.

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