This “why?” question is worthy of serious consideration.
Nor surprisingly, familiarity is a very important factor when it comes to selling your music. Think about it from the perspective of the consumer and listener. When you buy a CD, it’s usually because you’ve heard the music at some point. You didn’t buy it randomly.
As Andrew Dubber suggests, this is the process that’s typically involved in the purchase of music: first someone hears the music, then they like the music, then they buy the music. In short, chances are pretty good that no one’s going to buy your music if they haven’t heard it before. If they haven’t heard it yet, there’s no reason for them to like it either.
Take a moment to think about how you’re going to get people to hear your music. Are you going to utilize mediums like radio, internet radio, TV, movies or video games? Are you going to sell CDs at your shows? Are you going to market online or send out email marketing campaigns?
If you haven’t figured out how you’re going to get more people to hear your music just yet, consider offering your music for free on your website. For one thing, people like free stuff. If your CDs aren’t selling very well, then people obviously haven’t had much of a chance to hear you yet (either that or you aren’t very good). By making your music available online, you will also drive more traffic to your website. People will download your music, read your bio, and if they really like what you’re doing, they might even sign up for your newsletter and buy future releases.
Build a fan base first, and you will always have people that are interested in buying your music.
I don’t believe that you have anything to lose by giving your music away. What good is it to keep 400 CDs in your basement? People need to hear what you have to offer. It needs to get out there. Even if you end up giving away every CD you have, that’s okay, because there’s no limit to how many digital copies you could sell later.
Physical distribution is more or less a waste of time. If you focus on finding ways to get your music in the hands of more people, new opportunities will open up for you.
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.