Read these guidelines carefully, then prepare your materials to send. We need:
- CDR (or online link)
- A brief letter with contact info including
- Track titles
- Relevant background info
- Marketing ideas
Landmark Center 522
75 W 5th St
St. Paul, MN 55102
Generally, we need to get a physical copy of the CD, rather than links to URLs or files to download. In our old-fashioned way, the actual disc will get passed around the office for everyone to listen to. It’s much easier to lose emails with links or files.
Once we’ve listened to the CD, we will either approve or decline the project. Bug us if you haven’t heard a peep for a month. Prepare for an honest answer based on our opinion of the fit of the project rather than your personal worth as a human. If we decline, look around for other options; more specialized labels, a more DIY approach…
Once you’ve been approved, we’ll need a finalized, mastered CD. You can get the mastering done or else we have people who can do an amazing job for a cut rate.
If we’re doing the artwork, we’ll need all the materials for your design, including:
- Liner notes (well-proofed and in digital format)
- Tray card info (with track names, track times, performer names, all credits)
- Artwork (sketches or ideas are welcome, as are printed photos or high-resolution scans, drawings, textures, etc.)
Regardless of the album’s design, we’ll also need artist photos, a bio, and a draft of a one-sheet.
Once the design is underway, we will send PDF proofs for your comments and approval.
On our end (once we know the size of the print job), we will estimate a budget, complete paperwork, prepare a contract, edit the one-sheet, and work with you on a marketing plan. We will also contact you by phone to discuss expectations about your release and get information from you about promotional contacts, events, and other ways we can tie the whole roll-out together.
Once we’ve received the CDs from the manufacturer (approximately 3 weeks), we begin to divvy them up like so:
- 400 go to the artist to use as needed
- 200 are used for promotional mailing from innova to press and radio
- 300 go to distributor
- 50 go to distributor for promotional purposes
- The remainder are stocked at innova for order fulfillment and spot promo. Remember they all belong to you so you can request more at no cost (other than shipping) or we can trade back and forth if one runs out of stock first.
Prior to the album’s release, we highly recommend setting up at least two Google Alerts (one with the album title and one with the artist’s name) to catch any reviews or radio play posted online. We also do this for releases and will forward along whatever we hear to you, the artist.
A page will be set up on innova.mu for the release including all the info from the one-sheet. As reviews come in, we will clip them and include them on this page as an archive of all the glowing praise you’ll be receiving.
On or near the album’s release date (depending on circumstances), we will follow up with promotional contacts to ensure they’ve received the album and have gotten to listen to it.
As a label, we take out periodic ads in various publications and we use these ads to highlight new releases. Also, releases are featured on ACF’s website and will receive promotional pushes on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and other new and emerging social media websites.
For your part, the time leading up to the release date is the time to:
- Prepare and mail release announcements to personal emailing and mailing lists
- Let us know about any press you’ll be handling yourself
- Send complimentary copies to people who helped
- Plan a release party
- Encourage local stores to order copies from Naxos or else consign them yourself