MusicBootCamp.com

Best 800/888 Toll Free Service Under the Sun

This is the only 800 service you’ll ever need to convince anyone you mean business. MusicBootCamp.com uses it. We love it and so will you. Our favorite feature is the one that allows all your voice mail to be automatically forwarded to an email address. The files are small and the service is fantastic!

The following features are included:

  • Voice Mail & Fax: Your mailbox is designed to receive both Voice Mail and Fax Messages. Set it to receive both Voice Mail and Faxes, or limit it to accept only Faxes or only Voice Mail. The service also allows you to record a personalized voice mail greeting, specify how many seconds before voice mail answers the call, and set the maximum length of your callers’ messages.
  • Virtual Calling Card: Make calls using your toll free number as a Virtual Calling Card. Just dial any one of the Voice Mail access numbers and make outbound calls before, during or after checking your voice messages. You even have the option of using your toll free number as your caller ID. Calls within the contiguous 48 States, Canada and close to 20 other countries around the world are only 6.9¢ per minute.
  • Conference Calling: Conduct conferences with up to 25 participants any time you want for as long as you like. The regular per-minute charges apply for each conference participant that dialed your toll free number.
  • Call Blocking: Customize the area from which you want to receive calls. You can block or allow calls based on the state, area code, area code + prefix, or even a specific phone number. Calls from blocked areas/numbers can be sent to a busy signal, continuous ringing, an error message, or directly to voice mail.
  • Custom Call Forwarding: Set a schedule to automatically forward your calls to different numbers based on one or all of the following: time, day, area code, specific number or the state from which the call originated.
  • Call Notification Emails: Receive an instant email notification every time your 800 number is called. Each notification includes the Caller ID of the calling party, the number to which the call was sent, time of day, and the length of the call.
  • Maximum Call Length: Set the Maximum allowed time that an answered call can stay connected. Calls will be automatically disconnected when the specified time length is reached. If you have Voice Mail enabled, you can also set the maximum duration of your callers’ Voice Mail messages.
  • Caller ID: Choose whether to display the Caller’s number or your toll free number as the Caller ID on incoming calls. For example, if you have multiple toll free numbers set to ring the same phone, displaying the relevant 800/888 number as the Caller ID will allow you to identify which toll free number was dialed and answer the call appropriately.
  • Online Management: Online account management is included free with service and includes a variety of tools to help you track your calls such as call detail and campaign analysis reports.

Get it all here at Kall8. You’ll never look back.

Promotion

Music Submit: [PRESS RELEASE SERVICE] Music Submit sends your materials electronically to TARGETED resources that match your style of music, saving you hundreds of hours and dollars because you don’t have to do the research or send out press kits. Pricing is tiered so that getting started costs very little.


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Digital and Traditional CD Distribution

Digital Distribution

TuneCore.com: MusicBootCamp.com currently recommends ONLY one online distributor, TuneCore.com, for several reasons:

  • They do NOT take any royalties from your sales. Most other distributors take a percentage. Remember you are already paying a percentage to the retailers (like iTunes), so distributors that collect percentages basically amount to a second hand dipping into your royalty pockets.
  • Their submission and storage fees are dirt cheap.
  • There are no crazy contracts that could threaten your copyright control.
  • Sign-up is quick and painless.
  • Album submission is a piece of cake.

We feel so positive about the business paradigm of TuneCore.com, we can not in good conscious recommend any other middle-man model. TuneCore.com gives you access to all the important online retailers in the least invasive way possible. Use TuneCore, and you won’t need to mess with anyone else (no they aren’t paying us to say this).

CD Distribution

PayPal.com: Our number one pick for physical CD distribution? Do it yourself! Set up a PayPal Premier Account, get your account verified (we recommend a dedicated checking account for this purpose), then follow the directions on their site explaining how to place a button on your own Web page, such as your myspace page. When someone clicks on that button, they are prompted to pay by credit card, and you are then notified by email on where to send the CD. Pretty simple once you have it set up. We also offer PayPal setup as part of our Red Carpet CD replication package, so you don’t have to do anything yourself should you prefer to keep your hands clean.

Amazon.com: Among the Web’s largest media distributors. Note: Borders.com, CDnow.com, and even VirginMega.com have all teamed up with Amazon. We’ve seen competitors of MusicBootCamp.com list these out like it meant something significant, but it’s really just a grandiose way of saying they get you into Amazon, which isn’t difficult to do on your own anyway. Amazon has made it easier than ever to sell on their site, allowing anyone to list items for sale.

CDBaby.com: With only 5 CDs supplied by you to get going, they keep $4 per CD (which also covers the shipping to the client). You set the retail price and keep the remaining margin. We endorse CD Baby for physical CD distribution ONLY. For digital, we prefer TuneCore.com.


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Booking Your Own Gigs

Booking your own gigs is a job in and of itself. We are going to share with you some tools to make your job easier and list as many helpful resources and techniques as we can think of, but effective booking requires a certain intuition and business savvy. Let’s begin with trying to get a booking at one or more clubs.

In a bit, we are going to offer you a list of online resources where you can search venues by genre and quickly generate a tentative itinerary simply by picking up the phone and speaking with the resulting contacts in your search. But first let’s take a look at the business of engaging a performance venue. Make sure to get in touch with the person who actually does the booking for the club in your genre of music (many clubs work with various promoters who specialize in a certain genre). Once you know you are speaking with the correct contact person, get the ball rolling:

  • “Hi, I am the managing member of the Polka band, Jane’s Donut Shop, and we are interested in learning more about your venue for a possible tour date. Does this interest you?”
  • “Excellent, what is the capacity at your club?” If the club is too small, you may want to reconsider playing there.
  • “Are sound and lights provided? Can you describe the setup?” A personal note: sound at many clubs, although loud, may not be great. It may be worth investing in your own PA system.
  • “We require that all gigs be confirmed in writing. Will you be comfortable with that if you decide to book us?” If the contact says no, politely decline to pursue the matter further.
  • “Great. I’d like to send you our press kit along with a live recording (if possible, video is even better—if it’s good). I’ll contact you a couple days after you receive it and we can try to nail down a date if you are still interested at that time.”

Once you confirm that the club wants you, here are a few specific checklists you can review and combine to create your own thorough checklist of what to address with the person in charge of booking.

Booking issues aside for a moment, we found this cool Gig Equipment Checklist (stuff you should bring with you) that will help you keep your sanity and predict most mishaps that could otherwise have an adverse effect on your experience. We came across another nice one here.

Now for some good stuff. You can search some of these sites by genre.

Now, if you wish to kick it up a notch, here’s a little trick that can give you some really good booking leads. Visit Pollstar (the very best method of tracking concerts), then conduct a search for a band or artist of similar style to yours. Make sure to pick one that is doing smaller venues and not stadium shows (unless of course you think you can fill a stadium—now be real, folks). The point here is to pick a band or artist at a fairly obscure level because they are likely to be booked at venues that are interested in breaking new artists and don’t pose the same risk to the promoter or owner. This is a good inroad to booking at the right clubs for you since some other hard-working individual or business has done the deed of canvassing venues across the country that cater to your style of music. Crafty, eh? Pollstar will list the venues on a tour in a column. If you click on the venues which have an “i” within a solid circle, the resulting page will include the contact information for that venue under a header called “Related”. Even better, most of these results include a link directly to the venue Web site. For venues that do not offer any of this information, at least you still have the venue name, city and state. With that, you can simply go to Club Planet, enter the state and search for the club. We would suggest Verizon SuperPages.com, but even that wasn’t as reliable as Club Planet. Go figure. Anyway, if worse comes to worst, simply do a Google search including the club, city and state all in the search field. You’re bound to strike oil. There it is. Have fun kids!


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Making Money Making Music (No Matter Where You Live) [book]

Link From author James W. Dearing, this guide to gigging was written by a musician who not only has extensive gigging experience, but also has taught music business classes and written articles about music for several magazines. Covering much of the same ground as “Playing For Pay” (James Gibson), this book is slightly more advanced and more thorough. Topics include: Selecting a Group, Rehearsing the Act, Market Analysis, Diversifying to Maintain a Steady Cash Flow, Business Leadership, Health Hazards of Performing, and more. The writing is direct, practical, and relevant. Much like a how-to guide, this book confidently leads you through every step of the gigging process. The many short stories are useful and well-placed, providing much insight into the world of gigging. Although the author recommends playing cover material, this book will also help an original act avoid countless problems while maximizing live performance and music related income.

Playing For Pay [book]

Link By author James Gibson, this is a great introduction to the world of gigging. The emphasis here is on playing cover material, but any musician looking to maximize their income from live performances will benefit from the information presented. Topics include: Developing Your Marketing System, Setting Up Your Business, Networking, Money Matters, Publicity and Selling, and more. This book is great for a beginner, but even an experienced professional will find plenty of good ideas to increase gigging income. The focus is not on becoming rich and famous, or even getting a record contract, but on understanding what your client (employer) is looking for and making sure they get it. The writing is easy to understand and even though much of it is common sense, these guidelines are the foundation for maximizing your gigging income. When you’re ready to give up being a “starving musician” who is “paying dues”, let this book be your guide to increased profits and better business relationships.

Confessions of a Record Producer [book]

Link This amazing piece of work was written by Moses Avalon, a recording engineer/producer with extensive major label credits and decades of music industry experience. It’s a compilation of actual scams, shady business practices, and mishaps covering nearly every area of the industry. Other educational topics include: The Musician’s Union, Publicity, Royalties, The Spec Deal, Letters of Direction (LOD’s), Getting Credit Where Credit Is Due, The Mercy Signing, and more. The stories are short and well organized, making them even more potent. Never has a music business book been so educational and so hard to put down. Not only will you understand the rip-offs and how to avoid them, but you will learn to think like the rip-off artists (your best chance of eternally outwitting them). The writing is not mired by negativity, but rather filled with optimism, hope, and a good dose of humor. This is a painless way to learn the hard lessons of the music business and prepare yourself for a long and prosperous music career.

All You Need To Know About the Music Business [book]

Link Written by Donald S. Passman, a two-decade veteran of entertainment law, this book attempts to tell you everything worth knowing about the music business. Obviously it falls short, but it’s a fantastic effort. Topics include: Picking a Personal Manager, Picking a Business Manager, Picking an Attorney, Publishing Companies, Touring, Merchandising, Record Deals, Film Songwriter Deals, and more. For most, this will be more of a reference book than something to read from cover to cover. Although the author is also a musician, the emphasis here is on business and music law, rather than the creative aspects of the music business. Topics are broken down into small pieces and explained the way an attorney would explain the finer points of a contract. If you would really like to understand the inner workings of the music business, read this from cover to cover (recommended in small doses). Those with the patience and dedication to get through this book and learn the material will have a great advantage over a majority of the people in the music business.

Tim Sweeney’s Guide to Releasing Independent Records [book]

Link This is a no-frills crash course in releasing independent records (CD’s). The book is so well-focused and direct that you can breeze through it in no time. It almost seems as if something is missing because there are no music industry stories or quotes from music industry pros. Topics include: Finding a Great Engineer, Planning the Release, Making Your Press Kit, Distribution, Expanding the Promotion, Playing Live, Getting Paid, and more. You’ll find out how major labels operate and learn how to make their strategies and techniques work for your independent release(s). The authors clearly have a vast amount of music industry experience and they don’t mind sharing industry practices and secrets. Best of all, the information is easy to understand and immediately useful – even for someone with little music industry experience.

Start and Run Your Own Record Label [book]

Link Many people dream of having their own record label. This book by Daylle Deanna Schwartz lets you know what you’ll be in for. Topics include: Signing Artists to Your Label, Creating Your Product, How Record Distributors Operate, Getting Product into Stores, Getting Radio Play, and more. The author actually started and ran her own record label for 5 years and she provides much useful information. The writing style is somewhat informal and a bit sloppy at times, but it’s well worth the read. Just when the author starts to seem self-absorbed with her experiences, she cleverly redeems herself with advice and stories from others in the record (CD) industry. To round things out, there’s a chapter on using the internet to promote and market your product. Even if you just plan to release a CD for your band, this book will give you a lot of great ideas and increase your chances for success.

Music Law: How to Run Your Band’s Business [book]

Link Written by attorney, Richard Stim, this book clearly and quickly explains a wide spectrum of legal matters. Topics include: Copyright and Song Ownership, Publishing, Album Artwork, Taxes, Band Partnership, Attorneys, Managers, Sample Clearance and more. Of course, it contains plenty of ready to use “must-have” contracts (hard copies with blanks plus a floppy disk of templates) and legal advice, but it also features some great non-legal advice to help keep your band running smoothly. It turns out that the author is also a musician and has a wealth of information to pass on about recording studios, touring, releasing an independent CD, and many other things that are essential for a band. There are no long-winded stories, just short segments that flow in a logical order. A beginning musician may find this book a bit intimidating at first, but stick with it and soon it will all make sense. No matter what level of experience you have, this book will help you save money and stay on top of band business. More than that, it might even prevent your band from breaking up prematurely.

Music Business Handbook and Career Guide [book]

Link This book by David Baskerville, PhD is an ASCAP award winner and provides a great overview of the music business. It seems to cover every side of the business and may help you find your niche, but don’t expect it to map out your career path. This is a reference book and not so much a “career guide” as it is a list of career possibilities. You won’t find any opinion or filler—just facts and examples in concise, straightforward form. Plenty of charts and definitions are included, as well as advice from a seasoned music business professional. It’s a bit overwhelming as a cover-to-cover read, but taken in small doses it is easy to digest.

Major Label Contract Clause Critique [book]

Link This Web page breaks down the scariest parts of a standard recording contract in a language most people can understand. Its insights are invaluable in decoding the mess that ensues when you sign with a major label. Have fun!

Music Business DIY [free]

Link Hosted by Bemuso, this Web page lists a detailed, step-by-step set of instructions on how to get your business act together, good stuff if you are serious about going the idie route! The depth in which Bemuso goes to on each relevant item is pretty astounding. If you don’t read this page and its contents, you should just quit the music business right now. This site could save you years of research.

Courtney Love Manifesto [free]

Link This is an archive of a major document Courtney Love once hosted on her Web site, detailing typical corruption in an average record deal—that is until she dropped her case and settled out of court! No doubt removing this document from her Web page was part of the settlement. Fortunately, Salon.com graciously hosts the archive.

 

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