Artists know what it takes to ideally get from point A to point B. There is always going to be trouble along the way. We need help because we are sad. Artists are also can be needy, but it’s a DIY world.

Distributor CD Baby, besides making getting music out easy, is ever-present with the help, consonant encouragement, and useful advice. All of these extras coalesce in it’s mostly-annual DIY Music Conference with Kevin and Chris, whom I once again did not get to meet.

I saw Chris in the dunnie at one point. (This is not the time, people.)

Events like this are carry-your-own-bag in that you get what you give (or attend). Attendance doesn’t cut it. **You have to know what you want in life and art. All the rules, work, and solutions continue to basically be the same, but the processes are forever evolving.

Maybe you know what to do, but do you know how to do it? This is where the conference is most helpful.

What follows is a bit of journal entry/ collection of links for what we took from the festival.

Standouts were the Austin Kleon keynote, product: Laylo, the hilarious lady from Amazon (wish I had a pic), Spotify info session, voice coach, and YouTube info session.

Austin Kelon’s book(S) is/are required reading for artists. It’s good to know you have company is the sometimes-awful process of creativity. Every artist needs to pin this diagram (he stole from Maureen McHugh) to their wall/ cornea –or make it yer lock screen.

via Austin Kleon

Laylo is the email list/ messaging product we’ve all been waiting for. Look forward to rebuilding our list. The cross platform integration and fan-facing no-hassle interface is great. Bonus points: VP Stephanie was hilarious.

Amazon has a lot training and info, and it seems very worth the time to dig into their Artist tools. Making it up a bit here, but if you are doing anything that appeals to bit of an older demo, this may be a good way into a world and audience that’s not totally overworked. The team seems pretty small and very helpful.

Also honorable mention to Mike Warner who is one of the good guys. Need to read his book again.

Reminder to self and everyone else: you need to read, digest, and own everything Spotify has to offer artists.

And You Tube’s new organized artist site is much improved and easy to understand. Everybody on earth uses YouTube daily, so time spent here is worth every minute you can give it. Like, maybe instead of over-planning your crappy tour …

IN CONCLUSION, old rules apply. It does not exist if it’s not on your calendar.

-ed

For anyone still thinking streaming is worthless, catalogs are semi-quietly being snapped up by all sorts of equity. No longer a one time purchase, if your song catches on, it keeps paying and paying, even if there are no ads associated with it.

Live?

In what seems to be an emerging fact, the long game is putting it out there to stream. Not playing live, but 9-to-5’ing it at your desk. Sat in front of the computer to get eyes and ears on it. Trade the glory of the stage for the glory of ‘likes’ and a lot of small but growing checks.

What if people, now off the road, put the effort into listens? This is happening, and I can tell you from my own experience, it works.

Bob Dylan Sells His Songwriting Catalog in Blockbuster Deal