In order to sell the books, they rely on middlemen. The web site reviewer, the newspaper editor, the magazine columnist, the radio host, the TV producer, the bookstore events coordinator, and the advertising departments for all of them, are all middlemen that need to be pitched. And, if those middlemen buy the pitch and then share the books, then—and only then—will potential readers be reached.
Replace books with album, and it’s the same thing. You rely on the music blog editor, a news paper writer, someone who knows someone who writes for Alt Press, someone at a college radio station, a well-connected promoter, the music writer – all these people you need to win over. All these people you need to appease. They are your audience now, not your fans. These middle-men are now the focus of your time and energy.
The Internet has made it possible to ditch almost all of the middle men and establish a direct-connect with readers, yet authors and publishers continue putting their eggs in the middlemen baskets. For example, instead of creating their own site, they create a Facebook page. While Facebook is a mover, it is a middleman. Authors and publishers have to rely on Facebook to connect with readers. And while it is a player today, so was MySpace. If you rely on middlemen, one of these days, you’ll get burned.
Fuck driving traffic to Facebook and making more money for Mark Zuckerberg. Fuck getting people to follow you on Instagram.
Everyday build, build, BUILD a connection with your fanbase. Get close to them. Have conversations with them. Build TRUST. Get them on your email list.
Remember, just because you post a “pre order our new album” on Facebook doesn’t mean all your fans will see it. Not everyone can keep up with the 564 people they follow on Twitter. Your “marketing” is competing with that noise.
So get your fans close to you. Get them on your email list. Reply to them on Twitter. Swap emails with them. I’ve said it before, it doesn’t scale, but neither do Spotify rates, and neither does waiting for album sales to roll back to 2000. Ain’t coming back, friends!
Go read the rest of the post, ‘Portrait of a Launch.’