Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

How to make a good press kit?


Recommended Posts

Hello, My band is at that stage. We are going in to record in a couple of weeks and after that the last step will be to make a press kit. But to be perfectly honest... I have never made one nor do I know what defines a good press kit. If you have any ideas on a GOOD press kit please let me know. We are aiming for professionalism in these aspects of the band.... Thanks in advance. Matt
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Include any positive reviews of shows or music that may have been released already, pics of the band, profiles of band members, website/mp3 info, some stickers if you have some, copies of flyers from your bigger shows, and your cd. If you have the cash, a custom printed folder with the band's name/logo is nice, but not mandatory. Again, if you have stickers, one on the front of the folder takes care of that. Be sure your contact info appears often, don't just throw one business card in there, it could get lost. I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, but that's a good start. Good luck. Peace, wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt, would this be to promote your CD, or to promote your band to clubs? I've got some ideas on the latter. Our press kit is housed in a 8.5x11 plastic "case" our booking agent picks up at an office supply store for a few bucks. It includes our CD, two photo pages of the band playing in various clubs (with plenty of "crowded dance floor" shots), a songlist that's printed with a very light photo of the band in the background (very cool), several business cards and a contact/past gig sheet, and a paper t-shirt. We have a dance contest each gig and give away a t-shirt to the winner, has the band photo on the front and on the back it says "I got "Stoned" at . It keeps the crowd there thru the last set and is free advertising for the club. Anyway, we've made a small duplicate of the t-shirt, cut out to a t-shirt outline, that's also included in the press kit. We're debating whether to include band bios (we're an interesting mix of two engineers, a schoolteacher and a nurse!) but it clutters the whole package up a bit; we're still undecided. Good luck!

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt, "The Songwriter's Market Guide to Song & Demo Submission Formats" by Donna Collingwood (Editor) is a book that comes recommended by established music professionals involved with record labels, managers, booking agents, venues, and publishers. You might wish to check the book out at your local library and thumb through it if your don't want to spend the cash. It's loaded with information that gives an outline acceptable for demo submissions to relative categories. There are some areas where if proper submission formats and procedures are not followed; the submission is as good as MARKED for file 13. It is wise to know exactly what is expected; and to know where you can be flexible and creative.... and also, to know where being creative will get your efforts trashed. Very good book to own if you don't mind spending about $14.00 + shipping and handling through Amazon. I bought mine through a local bookstore and they had to order it in anyway... I paid around $20.00 plus special order fees. Like I said before, check it out at the library... you might have to ask if they have it available, and if not at that branch, see if the can locate it on their computer at another nearby branch. It's definitely worth your time and effort.

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks and it's all good information. I would have to say that the book would probably be my best bet. I want to do it right, and I need to know where to be creative and all of that stuff. I have another general question and that it is, everywhere I go to get a show says: "send demo and press kit to..." So does that mean that I don't get the kit back? We are recording soon, have stickers on the way, and a website that is in the finishing stages. This is such a frustrating yet critical stage. Thanks again Matt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Short and sweet. To the point, no extraneous material. Tailor the text to the recipient: tell the clubs how many people you can bring; tell the record labels how many demos you've moved on your own. A photo or two, a few good press clippings, a copy of your material, said text, and CONTACT INFO. Any more than this will likely be ingored becuase the clubs only care about how much booze they can sell, not how highly your drummer ranked in the state in high school or how many axes your guitarist lays claim to.
...think funky thoughts... :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote] I have another general question and that it is, everywhere I go to get a show says: "send demo and press kit to..." So does that mean that I don't get the kit back? We are recording soon, have stickers on the way, and a website that is in the finishing stages. This is such a frustrating yet critical stage. [/quote]You can pretty well kiss the press kits goodbye unless you want to chance compromising your confidence and/or professionalism by asking for a return of the kit. You do not want a venue to view you as desperate; there are plenty of tales that float around about the starving artists..... and some bands are unemployed for good reasons. Poor performance, late arrivals, no shows, faulty equipment, unpreparedness, fitness for duty (too drunk or stoned to maintain) and etc. Venues are NOT interested in paying money to a band that is going to disappoint visitors; they hire bands using intense scrutiny. It's not a laughing matter at all when you are trying to make a living by playing out, but professionalism is a MUST in a dog eat dog industry. Popular venues have an arrogance; and also a reputation to live up to. By securing a gig with an establishment, you will have MORE than paid for the expense of the press kit; especially if it turns into repeat venue hirings. Confidence and pre-presentation is VERY MUCH a part of gaining acceptance and securing jobs; perhaps even as important as the performance itself when first getting established. If your band is truly ready to start playing gigs, then press kits will quickly pay for themselves. Allow yourself to feel that confidence and don't worry about how many press kits you'll have to sink before you get to start playing live. If you're good... you'll get a gig quickly. Make sure that you are audience ready for the first curtain call.... If you do secure a gig; I suggest that you tour the bandstand area or stage where you will be performing prior to your performance date. Make notes of where electrical supplies come in, and as to whether or not you will need to alter your stage set up due to the positioning of power supplies. Note whether your cords will be long enough to reach desired outlets and be well prepared to accommodate with adequately rated extension cords... commercial grade. Under rated extension cords may cause power surges and possibly even damage your equipment. ALWAYS CARRY A WORKING FLASHLIGHT and extra batteries, you never know when you will need one. Also it is wise to carry extra fuses for electronic equipment that uses them, just in case a fuse blows during the show... avoid panic situations, be prepared. Determine precisely how long it takes to unload and to set up your P.A. equipment and band gear. Keep in mind that showtime does not mean showing up at the club ready to unload at five minutes till. Showtime is the expected time that the band will begin to play. This means that ALL equipment must be in position, ALL soundchecks must be completed, and ALL members of the band are on stage and ready to play. Venues get highly irritated when newhires (and veterans :D ) fail to meet expectations and news travels fast about bum gigs. An important issue with me is when I hear a great band with a CRUMMY soundman or PA system. Nothing causes me to cringe any more than to hear an instrument overpowering the vocals, or to have important instruments buried so deep into the background that you can't hear them. Improperly balanced tones and especially DISTORTION to me [b]=[/b] EXIT SIGN. If your band is the best band in the world and you have lousy presentation through the sound engineering of it; it reflects bad on you as a band overall. If you do not have it together solid and SOUND... [b]Hire a soundman!!![/b] If you do not have any upfront cash to contract a soundman, you might want to shop around to see if there are any soundmen that might be willing to work for a percentage of the gigs earnings. Discuss terms prior to the fact, and whatever you do, DON'T insult him by offering him an itsy bitsy cut of the gig. He is as an EQUAL, because the delivery of YOUR performance depends on HIS skill and, often times, his equipment. Just a few tips for the beginner. Good Luck to you.

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just another thought Matt, If you are concerned about the expense of sending CD'S out in vain without reward or return; you will learn that record labels do NOT accept unsolicited materials. You can try to serve as your own manager/publisher/agent or whatever, but there are specific guidelines that MUST be adhered to throughout the process that will assure that the intended party will actually recieve your materials. Even if you can make it through the phone channels to speak with an A & R rep. and he gives you the go ahead in sending the kit.......... well, if you don't know a few secrets known to the actual Pro's in the business; then your submission will be acknowledged as ALL other entries... a bulk entry that may or may not be listened to. I'm not going to divulge this particular information because that's where the middle man comes in. Publishers, Managers, and Agents with trained knowledge CAN be worth their weight in gold if you find a good one. You will find contract offers easier, get better gigs, more stable and steady work, and often better pay and sometimes even fringe benefits. These professionals have undergone intensive training or research and they know the loop holes that open the doors. As you have spent your time in preparing to gig, so have these professionals spent time in learning the business aspects of the industry. You can't do it all, all the time. My theory is this: A small piece of a huge pie is a whole lot better that a whole pie of nothing!

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wow. Great information and thank you very much for the wordiness. Just some 411 is I work for a proffesional Disk Jockey comapany so I know the basics and now and again get stuck doing sound for "rockstar" local bands. I know what you mean about presentation and sound. Luckily I am involved with my school in aspects of sound reinforcment and recording.... personally I am a music theory major.. but the rest of the band falls into that category. As far as a sound "person" goes, this great intern for the escondido center for the performing arts offered to do our sound for free anytime because she enjoyed our music so much. That was a major compliment and help all in one. I like the short and sweat idea. Sometimes simplicity is great... i.e. (MORPHINE!!) A very minimal band that makes great music. Simplicity applies to all areas where short and sweet is a great term. Really I think business is where we need suggestion and help. We are all long term musicians that have been thrown astray in genre ridden music and are now happy to be doing somehting original. The only question is.... THE BUSINESS!!!! I think a manager and such is all in good time. Oh and btw, I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE MONEY.... simply asking a question because I am unaware to ANYTHING business related in music. Actually right now I am writing an essay that is frowning on how music has come from an enjoyable art form to a business. Thank you all and keep the info coming! Matt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt, I suggest that you start keeping a ledger of your expenses paid out if you have not done so already. Keep tabs on funds exhausted on the production of your CD; up to and including equipment purchased for home studio recording if this is the route you are taking. Otherwise, log all studio time, packaging, and etc. involved in compiling your press kit. You should even be able to claim your internet connection, and phone service... or at least a portion thereof as a business expense since you are actually using the internet for educational and promotional reasons. Definitely log ALL expenses surrounding your web site development. Software programs purchased to create or design, domain name registrations, web hosting, and contracted services from outsiders. Also, be sure that if you are doing a lot of self promotion, place yourself on a payroll and log hours the YOU have spent doing the processing. It may not be a bad idea to establish your Band as a corporation; it sometimes makes it easier to write off purchases and maintenance of instruments, sound equipment, professional memberships to organizations such as Musicians' Unions, Guilds, Composer or Songwriter Organizations, Genre Societies, MENC, and likewise. These organizations can place you in contact with people that are well versed in knowledge to help advance your career. When you DO start showing profits from performance, keeping itemized deductions will definitely be to your advantage to show loss against your earnings. I am not an accountant myself, but I would venture to say that you would be able to operate in the red for at least the first year prior to showing a return of profits... if indeed, you are established as a business. Years ago, when I was more up on the tax laws, a business could operate in the red for the first two years and then it became mandatory to show profits exceeding expenses paid out by the third year. Uncle Sam ALWAYS wants his cut; learn to work it to YOUR benefit and do not allow your band to be overcharged on taxes. Expense write-offs include things mentioned above and also the purchases or rentals of touring transportation, such as tour buses, trucks, or vans used solely for band travel and equipment hauling; also gas, mileage, and depreciation of vehicles count as deductions. Hotel lodging and accommodations, meal expenses while on tour, and etc. There are many more deductibles not mentioned; but seeking out a good accountant that is familiar with tax laws is a wise move on behalf of ANY business venture. Consider yourself a business, because when you start EARNING money.... Uncle Sam WILL be watching; especially if you hit big. I believe they can go back seven years on records... If you are showing only profits without expenses exhausted... they'll nail you to the wall. They will be able to track earnings from registers of venues played; the write-offs HAVE to be kept by the band and they must be able to back up claims with the documents. Oh yes, and I would even inquire with your accountant whether or not a portion of the expense of you education could be applied as a business expense. You did said the your were studying music theory, did you not? It's worth checking into.

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...