Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


June 22, 2011

7 Ways to Destroy Your Music Career - The Video

Tired of experts who always put a positive spin on everything? Great. Here are seven simple steps you can take right now to completely ruin your music career!



This is a brand new video version of a 7 Ways to Destroy Your Music Career blog post I ran about a year and a half ago. If you want to read (and pass along) that text version, you'll find it here.

What do YOU think of my seven tongue-in-cheek steps to failure? What would you add to the list? I welcome your comments.

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:52 AM   9 comments


June 20, 2011

The Jonathan Coulton, Amanda Hocking Success Formula


These two simple sentences from Bob Lefsetz really drive home a vitally important point:

"Only the best and the brightest, the top of the elite, make it in the democratic Web/self-publishing world. Without all the marketing, without all the hype, all you've got is the naked product -- and it had better be damn good."

Brilliant!

What inspired Lefsetz was a New York Times article on 26-year-old author Amanda Hocking. Over the last several months she's become the poster child for self-publishing success in the book world.

After writing several novels and honing her writing chops in obscurity since she was in elementary school, Hocking decided to write in a specific genre (paranormal romance) and in a style that she felt had potential commercial appeal.

Still, traditional publishers rejected her over and over again. In the spring of 2010, she self-published her first novel as an ebook on Amazon (which is fairly easy to do). She started getting a steady trickle of sales right away.

As sales grew she wrote and submitted more novels to the Kindle store and other online ebook retailers.

Things snowballed far beyond her wildest expectations. It's been reported she made about $2 million USD last year. And she recently signed a $2 million deal with a major book publisher for a three-book series.

Of course, as Lefsetz points out on his blog, there are not a lot of Amanda Hockings out there. In the indie music world, the same can be said for success stories like Jonathan Coulton (who grossed a half million dollars last year as an unsigned, independent artist).

It would be easy to write off both of these examples as flukes and discredit their success instead of celebrate it (and, believe me, MANY people do). But not honoring what led to their good fortune is shortsighted.

Here are the traits that Coulton and Hocking share:
  • They are both prolific; they have created a vast body of work over the years
  • Through years and countless hours of effort, they have honed their craft and created music and books that a certain slice of the population deems "damn good"
  • They have been willing to use the Internet and the digital tools available to them to connect with an audience
  • They create even more music and books to feed the appetite of their existing audience, which further grows their fan base and income streams
There's your modern day formula for success -- at music and anything else, for that matter!

To reinforce these steps, here's the "business model" that Jonathan Coulton recommends:

"You need to work extremely hard, make music that is great, and find people to buy it from you. The end."

What are YOUR thoughts on these modern DIY success traits? I welcome your comments.

-Bob

P.S. Here are links to the Bob Lefsetz blog post, the Amanda Hocking article, and Jonathan Coulton's blog.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:59 AM   2 comments


June 13, 2011

Meet Kendra, My New Assistant!

For more than two decades, I've prided myself on living the DIY (do it yourself) ethic that I preach. Years ago I made a decision to create and run a business that I could operate by myself, working from home without a staff, office space or much overhead.

I feel very blessed that I attained that goal.

Over the past few years, as my publishing and teaching efforts have grown, my girlfriend (and very significant other) Pooki has taken on a few responsibilities. But the bulk of the workload still fell on my shoulders (plus, she has her own interests that I encourage her to pursue).

All of this led to my current situation:
  • Working a LOT of hours on all aspects of the business
  • Feeling like I'd hit a ceiling on the impact I can have and the number of people I can reach as a one-man show
So in recent months I began entertaining the idea of getting help ... which led to a perfect solution and the ideal person to step into a new role in my life.

Meet Kendra Wright!

I asked Kendra to write her own introduction, and she came up with this clever Q and A. I hope you take a moment to read it and welcome her to this new adventure!


How did you meet Bob?

I have to say I'm pretty resourceful when it comes to finding ways to meet people. I'm a networking master. If I want to connect with someone, I'll make it my personal mission to find a way in.

I was reading Bob's blog and Twitter feed for a while before I realized we lived in the same city. In the summer of 2009 I found out Bob was giving a workshop for aspiring authors at an expo in St. Louis. I showed up determined to meet him.

I remember Bob asking how everyone found out about the speaking engagement, and I told him I had been online stalking him for a while. We laughed about it, and the rest is history.

Nearly two years and a few projects later, now I'm his right-hand gal.

What projects are you looking forward to working on with Bob?

Helping him get some downtime! Seriously! If you knew the massive amount of projects Bob has in the works on a daily basis, your head would explode. I have to take notes just to keep up with him.

He works hard, and he works a lot. He loves it, but he also needs some time to chill and recharge his batteries. So I'm looking forward to helping lighten the load for him. I'll know I'm doing my job well when he finally takes a day off.

Who
are you? How did you get into the music world?

I’ve been working with the local St. Louis music scene for about six years now. I have a Bachelors in Media Studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

I’ve done everything from artist management, image consulting, production work and PR to branding, merchandise and driving rock stars around the city. (Ask me about the time I got lost in East Saint Louis with the Reverend Horton Heat in my car.)

In my free time I enjoy reading, finding new adventurous things I haven't done (I just gave skydiving a go), hanging out with my pooch, traveling, and volunteer work. I'm addicted to anything with sugar, anything Apple, and only wear slip-on shoes.

I'm also the most organized person on the face of the earth, which is why Bob and I make a great team; his world can be pretty chaotic!

A few pet peeves: Cold weather, arrogance, awkward silence, and books with bent front covers.

Favorite guilty pleasure: My apple products and organization.

Song you could listen to on repeat forever: "4am" by Our Lady Peace.

How can you help me, Kendra?


Bob is a busy guy! Really, "busy" is stating it lightly. Even though he tries to answer every email personally, he just can't always get around to it.

If you have a truly important message, and you don't want it to get lost in the shuffle of Bob's crazy world, feel free to shoot me an email at Kendra AT bob-baker.com. If it makes it to my inbox, there's a much better chance it'll actually get on Bob's radar.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:13 PM   8 comments


June 08, 2011

Facebook + Bandcamp = I Had No Idea You Could Do This!

This past week — completely by accident — I discovered a surprising way to use Facebook and Bandcamp to share and sell music on the world's most popular website.

Did you know this was even possible?

I just created this video tutorial that walks you step by step through what it is, how I did it, and how you can too.




Was that helpful? I welcome your comments below.

Bob
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posted by Bob Baker @ 7:10 AM   13 comments


June 01, 2011

48-Hour Sale: 4 Music Titles Only $9.95 - Ends Friday, June 3

Sorry, the 48-Hour Sale Is Now Over

Here's the nudge you've been looking for ...

Get 33% to 50% Off these four music marketing resources - now till 12 Noon EST on Friday, June 3.

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Killer Music Web Site Critiques
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Perhaps you've been browsing all the music marketing books and resources available here ... but haven't made up your mind about which titles to get.

Now would be a good time to move ... and save 33% to 50%.

Note: The regular prices still show on the individual sales pages. But when you click "Add to Cart" the sale price will display ...

But only until 12 Noon Eastern on Friday, June 3.

So start saving now!

-Bob
Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:29 AM   0 comments