Read the following on Bob Lefsetz’s always interesting blog, The Lefsetz Letter, and had to reprint it here–mainly because the band in question is actually pretty good and I want you to check them out.
Subject: Re: The Complete Clip
I want to thank you in the way your advice brings encouragement to bands like ours trying to forge a living in this new world of music. Your thoughts, or maybe they are rants, have really encouraged us to be creative in how we are going about building a fan base without a major label. I wanted to share 2 things we have done that have actually met with some success.
First we adopted the policy at our shows that fans could name their own price for our cds. We tell them that normally they are this price but we know times are hard. So just name your own price for the cds and you can have them for that. We just want you to have to music. And you know what. We are finding that our average price per cd has actually increased since we started doing this. Sure you have people giving you $3 but we have been amazed at the people who will give us $20. We are going to start doing this with all our merchandise at shows as we find it really builds good will.
We also started a new campaign called ‘A Single Revolution’. sarahmacband.com In constantly reading your blog you are always talking about how we are getting back to an era like the 60′s. Well, I remember as a kid being able to buy single 45′s. And also remember that a lot of bands didn’t even put these 45′s on an album. So over the next year we are releasing 1 single every 4 to 6 weeks but we are trying to be creative in the release.
We agree that sales of cds are evaporating these days and that is not going to change. But can you creat a desire for a physical cd by only having a limited number? Well, we decided that we would try this and only press 100 physical cds of the song. Each of these cds would be numbered and signed by the band. We would also have extras on the cd that you could only get with the purchase of the physical cd. Each cd would cost $10, which seems like a lot and also appears to run contrary to our normal cd marketing of name your price, but we promise that there will never be anymore pressed and the 100 physical copies would be it. So we try to add value to the purchase to make it worth the $10. We will then use the proceeds from the sale of the first cd to press the second cd thereby making all the purchasers of the first cd our record lable for the second cd and giving them liner credit on the second cd. Then we will repeat this for each successive cd.
For the people who don’t want to spend $10 for the physical cd we have sent an email to our email list saying they can download the song for free from our website for 2 weeks. After that we will put it for sale on iTunes and other places but we want to get it to places at leass than 99 cents a pop.
We just released our first single and have almost sold out the first run of 100 cds. So we are hopeful that maybe this will have some traction but who knows. Ultimatley this may not be a good idea as only time will tell. But I wanted you to know that your blogs are encouraging bands like us to be creative in how we do things. And we agree that first we have to bring a good product which only comes as a result of a lot of hard work. But once you think you may have something you need to think outside the box if you want to succeed and last in this business.
So thanks for your inspiration and keep writing brother, because it keeps me fired up and always thinking.
Kudos to Charlie for thinking out of the box, trying a couple of different ways to get the music out there and into the hands of both fans and new listeners.
To check out the band’s music and get some for yourself, go to www.saramacband.com