My new album, "Don't Check the Box!," has been out on the streets for about a week, and so far it has been getting a great deal of attention.
Most of the attention has been from my husband, who kept tripping over the boxes of CDs when they were in our front hall. Now that he has carried them up to my third-floor office, most of the attention has been coming from me (as I try not to trip), although I haven't paid enough attention to actually figure out where I should put the damn boxes away.
As for that OTHER kind of attention -- you know, reviews, web hits, album sales, downloads -- well, there hasn't been all that much of it, at least not yet. Although my mother did listen to the album--twice!!--and says she really likes it (thanks, Mom!). And yes, I do have a small coterie of faithful fans who did get right online and purchase the album the very week of its release.
To those faithful fans I have this special message: I love you both. I really do.
As it turns out, marketing is an activity for which I lack all instinct and inclination. This fact became apparent to me on my recent World Tour, which began and ended on the morning of April 27th, with a concert for the Newton Lifelong Learning Series.
It was my first full-length performance of my own material, and honestly, it went quite well. The audience (and it was a decent-sized crew!) laughed throughout, and sang along when they were supposed to sing along, and seemed generally pleased with the experience. It was enough of a success that I've already booked my first follow-on gig and I'm hoping to set up a few more shows in the fall. And yes, I did remember to bring a stack of CDs with me to sell (my first one; second one was not yet available).
But did I announce from the stage that the CDs would be available for sale? No, I did not. Did I remember to refer the audience to my website, or to tell them that I had another CD forthcoming? No again. Did I set the CDs out on a table so they'd be visible as people left the auditorium? Nope, nope, nope.
I did end up selling eight CDs after the show -- but that was only because several audience members tracked me down after the show to ask if I happened to have any with me.
I do not think that is the way it is supposed to work.
So here I am with my brand-new CD, the product of years of effort, and I am eager to share it with the world. It's not about money -- my first album had a cost-of-capital adjusted return rate over the five years since its release of negative 85% (I can calculate that because I went to business school). So I am well aware that this song-writing habit of mine is unlikely to be a viable commercial enterprise. (Luckily, I adore my day job; and luckily, it's a good deal more viable from a financial perspective.) But music and humor, and humorous music, are written to be shared; and I would like to share mine.
SO in that spirit, I created an initial marketing plan for "Don't Check the Box!" Here it is:
- Announce the album release in my blog
- Email family, friends and blog subscribers to let them know it's available
- Send word around to listserves and community groups to which I belong
- Post the album release on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook
Of course, I have now done all those things, and not much has happened. Clearly, I need a more aggressive, energetic plan, a plan with more pizzazz.
How about this revised version?
- Announce the album release in my blog!
- Email family, friends and blog subscribers to let them know it's available!!
- Send word around to listserves and community groups to which I belong!!!
- Post the album release on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook!!!
If you have better ideas, I would be thrilled to hear them.
And I really DO love you both.