So I am suffering from the mushy head syndrom, sucking up information on distribution, publicity, platforms and social networks for musicians, all the things that need to be done for a proper album release. As they say.
For digital distribution (to get the album to all the major mp3 stores), my runner-ups are CDBaby, TuneCore and Rebeat. All in all I would prefer not to get into monthly or yearly fixed payments, since I have no idea if and how much I can actually sell, so TuneCore is kinda out of the race. They charge a fixed yearly rate for an album distribution whereas CDBaby and Rebeat keep a percentage of each mp3 sold. Thinking about the long tail of selling I might maybe get off better with Tunecore in the first year, but the years to follow? Rebeat is somewhat expensive for the first signup, because you have to buy the upload software, and CDBaby additionally offers direct-to-fan tools, which could come in handy.
For direct-to-fan tools and platforms, I had a further look at Topspin, Reverbnation and Nimbit. Again, being slightly diffident with yearly payments, Topspin and Nimbit are probably not going to be my favourites. Reverbnation has some free features (digital distribution is on a fixed yearly basis), but I have to compare it against CDBaby´s features – I probably do not need both.
Bandcamp sits somewhere in the middle, it offers digital distribution on site (but not “to the stores”), and not too many features to be regarded as a direct-to-fan platform.
What I like is the possibility to sell high quality audio files for the geeks, and to have a shop to sell physical CD`s as well – with me doing the actual fullfillment. It seems to be the easiest and simplest way for a start, since I cannot predict if I sell any hardware CD at all. And Bandcamp is good enough for Amanda Palmer, isn´t it ?
I have not yet found any easy, hasslefree way of getting physical CD´s distributed from Europe without monthly payments and a nice, easygoing shop interface. Using shops from the above mentioned sites (eg CD Baby´s) with integrated fullfilment from USA seems to be a bit weird for an artist based in Europe. My Mom buying a CD from me and paying 8$ for mail ? Hm.
That said, thank you for reading. It seems that writing this entry was a start to get my mushy head a bit sorted. I should be old enough to know that this syndrome is a clear sign of to much input and too little output.
If you have any ideas regarding physical distribution I am happy to know, and comments are always welcome.