Releasing your own record can be done and done successfully! In the prior article, four tips were discussed on how to do just this; investors, group contracts, work for hire and a budget for advertising, distribution and promotion.
Let’s discuss some more crucial steps to take in releasing your own record without dealing with major labels and their recording contracts, music contracts and various music business contracts.
1. Don’t get me wrong, even though you are running the show, music business contracts will still be involved, in fact, they must be! To release a record you will need a producer at some point, that’s a given. These producers, especially if they is an outsiders, need to sign music business contracts of some sort. In this you need to determine how cost is handled, if advances will be paid to the producer and if royalties are to be paid. Get this done ahead of time so there is not confusion in he future!
2. Whether you are using cover songs or your own songs, you need to make sure the copyright info is correct for every single song. If you use any songwriters or publishers, the credits for those people need to be properly displayed as well.
3. As I mentioned above, there are music business contracts that involve producers. In these music business contracts, it needs to plainly state how the producer’s credits will be displayed on the album. In addition to this, if you are doing any duets or recording with signed artists, then you need to ensure their names are mentioned along side a "Courtesy Of" and the name of their label.
4. Are you aware of ASCAP or BMI? Some artist affiliate themselves with these companies so when their original songs are played, they can be monitored and essentially protected.
5. Have you thought about obtaining bar codes for your CD’s? Your distribution company may already provide this service, but if not, make sure you ask for it. Make sure this bar code is original and printed on your CD cover.
6. Copyrighting is really a no-brainer. As soon as you record your own songs or produce your own albums, you need to file the proper copyright forms such as Form SR, Form PA and Form VA. Go to the Copyright’s website and print the forms and mail them in! The protection is as simple as that.
You are right, releasing your own album can be stressful but it is a great way to ensure everything is done to your standards. Many artists do it and so can you if you so desire. And I hope the above tips help you along the way!