This week I was encouraged to start streamlining my processes for everything I do with my music business. I thought I would start with how to distribute your single release, globally with CD Baby for only $15. Here I have outlined my process for using the member side of CD baby, hopefully, to help those of you just venturing into publishing your own music, or for my fans who are interested in the behind the scenes kind of stuff. So here it goes.
- Record the song. I use Protools and very few studio musicians (primarily my dad and I and multiple takes). My personal studio is portable and I can record vocals anywhere. (This is another topic for a later time)
- Make sure levels are high but not clipping visually (if they clip visually they WILL clip at a high volume of play back). I always bounce an MP3 and a WAV, but you will need the WAV for CD baby.
- Register your song with your PRO (ASCAP, BMI, etc).
- Complete CD baby submission 1-2 weeks ahead of your release date in order to make sure they make it global the day you want it.
- On CD-Baby choose add new title.
- Choose the middle of the road option for $10. If you are affiliated with ASCAP or any PRO (which you should be -- another topic) they will collect your royalties, you do not need CD baby to do this to the best of my knowledge and it’s a lot less expensive and you get the same Global Distribution. You will also have to get a barcode for $5 later on in the process, just FYI.
- I suggest choosing the option of PAID distribution only (not the non paid streaming sites), but this is personal preference for the artist.
- Next, fill out all areas carefully and be sure to not make any mistakes. This will result with having to call CD baby and talk to a real human to have them fix your errors and is a time waster. You will also get to choose your release date at this time as well. If you set it up a week or so in advance, this gives you time to do advertising across social media. If you want more advertising time, obviously plan on a later date for release. The more hype you can create, the better! People love cute announcement videos but that is another discussion for marketing.
- You will need to upload an album sized JPEG which I always make a free one with Canva.com (This is a free, quick, easy, and asthetically pleasing online program). I then download the JPEG onto my computer and then upload it to CD baby.
- You will then upload a WAV file of your song. (I do not master right now because it is expensive and CD baby will give you all the ISRC embedded code you need to track your song use and sales and that is the primary purpose of mastering nowadays. However if you still want mastering done for higher volume and better EQ, you can have CD baby do it!)
- Once you submit your song, CD baby takes about 24 hours to send you a confirmation email in which you will need to log back in and check over the info you put it. Check thoroughly. (I recently submitted a song and spelt my own name wrong!) This is a nice editing feature CD baby allows before publishing your music!
- Log in and confirm. If there is an error, the fastest way to deal with it is to call and a real person can make the correction within 10 minutes. After you confirm, there is no way to change anything!
- Once the confirmation is complete, you are ready to go! Now just get busy telling the world so you can at least make up the $15 you just spent to distribute your song globally.
If you have any questions feel free to add comments. Xoxo