So, Monday arrived and we got the album out at last.  I actually couldn’t really sleep on Sunday night.  A bit sad, I know – kind of like a kid on Christmas, except you’re giving stuff away and eating toast for lunch.  We got the video up on Youtube, and set about a new mailout; last week plenty of blogs had posted a ‘news’ type piece about the album, so I mailed again to remind them that it was now out.
My blog strategy was thus:  I mailed everyone a week or so before the release date with a copy of the album and all the info, and suggested to them that they could put up one track for their readers to download – a little incentive to post.  As a blogger, it’s always good if someone sends you a free track to post – readers like it, it spares people the hassle of finding a clip, or (in theory anyway, see this DMCA controversy) avoids any copyright issues, because it’s sanctioned by the artist.  This worked in my favour, I think – I just let people choose any track to blog.  Normally you couldn’t do that with something you’re trying to sell, but again it’s something you don’t have to stress about with a free release.  It doesn’t matter if someone goes round 10 blogs and gets 10 different tracks – I’m giving it away for free anyway.
Then, on the day, I mailed everyone again to say the album was now out.  Some people waited until release date to post a blog, some even posted again – and as I said before, I’m massively grateful to everyone who did post about it.  It’s really encouraging how much people were prepared to get behind the release!   I don’t know if this was really the best strategy, because people who posted about the album before the release date couldn’t direct readers to a download page.  But it seems to have worked fairly well.
Once the blog post was up here, we got on Twitter to try and drum up some re-tweets.  This is (yet) another thing that was made easier and more effective by having built up somewhat of a profile beforehand – between Baobinga, myself, and the blog’s Twitter, we’ve got about 1700 followers (although no doubt there’s some overlap there) and people seemed quite up for re-tweeting the details.
It’s really fascinating how far things travel – I’ve seen the album on some blogs I had never heard of before, in foreign countries and foreign languages; people who I hadn’t sent the album to, but had obviously heard about it from somewhere and decided to run a piece on it.  It’s quite exciting to know that people in Croatia or Russia are into your stuff and finding it of their own accord.
I then did a mailout to all the people in my Facebook event – normally I hate it when people on Facebook message me concerning an event somewhere in Turkey or New Zealand that I had been ignoring, but I swallowed my pride/embarrassment and did it anyway – and then posted stuff on my wall, nudged my friends and so on.
I went on some of the forums I mentioned back in part 4, and followed up some of my posts with updates about the album now being out.
Then I started asking for favours.  I emailed a couple of people I knew who had (dance music related) Facebook groups and asked if they wouldn’t mind putting up a quick post on their page, and I emailed a few friends around the globe, asking if they could possibly post a message on their local forum or message board.
All of this, as you can probably imagine, took ages – I didn’t get it all done on Monday, and spent a fair bit of Tuesday doing it too – well, that and checking the Bandcamp stats page every 5 minutes.
I imagine you’re itching to know some download and donation figures.  Well, sorry, you’re going to have to wait until next week.  It’s a bit early to judge, I think, but what I will say for now, is that I think we’re going to see a reciprocal curve downwards – Monday and Tuesday were busy, Wednesday was quieter, Thursday quieter again.  I’m interested to see what the weekend brings.
The real challenge starts here, I reckon – building up to a certain event (like an album launch) has a logical sense to it.  You can email people and say “this great thing is going to happen on March 1st!” – it has a focus, people might blog it or note it down, you can drive a sense of momentum towards this one point.  From here, we now need be working the album and pushing people towards it on a continuous basis.  We do have some ideas for more ‘events’t though, so keep reading.
Does anyone have any feedback, by the way, about the Bandcamp process (or indeed anything else?) – I’ve been pretty impressed with it; from an artist’s point of view it’s very easy to use, it’s easy to get something looking quite professional, it seems to give people an easy way of downloading and donating, and the stats page is really comprehensive.  How did you find it?