Is it too late to record a Christmas single?
How to track, manufacture and promote a single in 3 weeks.
T’is the season to be jolly… and make some extra cash by releasing a Christmas single or two. This is the busiest time of year for all retail businesses and it shouldn’t be any different for bands and musicians. Of course you should have started planning your Holiday promotions in May… of last year, but for those of us who has a tendency to procrastinate, here is a crash course in how to get it done in three weeks.
Week 1: Rehearse, Record, Mix & Master
Start by picking out a song or two that you want to record. Make sure it is public domain (here is a list of public domain Holiday songs) or obtain a mechanical license from Limelight. If you wrote an original song, great! Rehearse the song(s) before going in the studio. Whether you are recording yourselves in your rehearsal space, or in a professional studio, being well rehearsed and making sure everybody knows their parts will save you a lot of time once you hit record.
Hire a professional engineer to mix and master your song(s). If you need help with this stage, you can find many studios and engineers online who can do this remotely. Our mastering suite can take care of the mastering for you.
Week 2: Graphics & Manufacturing
Create your graphics using a graphics program like Photoshop or Illustrator or an online service like Pixlr.com. Make sure you use the graphics templates provided by your manufacturing company to avoid delays in the manufacturing process. Place your CD order online and upload your files. For duplication runs it will only take 4 business days from proofs are approved till your CDs get shipped to you.
Week 3: Promote
Actually this should start in week 1.
- While you are rehearsing and recording, snap pictures and video snippets and post to your social media sites to let your fans know what is in the works, and give them a glimpse behind the scenes.
- Release drafts of your graphics to your social media outlets and website to keep the momentum going.
- Email your fans once a week with updates on how the process is going, info on when and where they can buy your new Christmas single and when and where they can see you perform it live.
- Write a press release and send it to your local paper announcing your new Christmas release.
- Update your online store to prominently display your new single and make it easy for your fans to buy it directly from you.
- Talk to your local record store, book store, trinket store and coffeeshop to see it they will let you place a small counter display of your CDs near their checkout.
- Plaster your town with posters.
Now, have some eggnog and pat yourself on the back. You just pulled off a CD release in record time. And next year, all you have to do is promote it and reorder more copies:)