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Thursday, April 06, 2006 

Are you making it easy for CD reviewers to write about your music?

If not, you may be missing out on some timely, great feedback!

Let's face it- we all have extraordinarily busy days if we are working hard to succeed with whatever it is we enjoy doing. Seconds count! Budgets matter!

As a music reviewer, it means a great deal to me to save as much time as I can by not having to worry about what I refer to as 'second wasters'. Most Indie-music reviewers are volunteers, and most of us have guidelines on how to submit in place on the websites we publish our material on. Do you look for and follow those guidelines? Do you treat us as individually as you want us to treat you? If not, here are some things you can consider when sending us your projects for review. It really may matter on whether we get to you when we actually grab your CD, or later when we have time to rifle through the tons of mailing materials, useless tape and cellophane to hear your music.

The CD's I like getting the best are the ones that are in a simple envelope with a tearable material. Your CD's are not impact explosives. All you need is a simple mailing envelope, and some bubble wrap to protect the case if it's plastic. Some of the envelopes come already padded and those are fine. As long as you don't resurface them with postal tape like you are afraid someone is going to peek inside before it arrives on the reviewer’s desk.

I cannot stand the plastic mailers that fuse together like brick and mortar. They are IMPOSSIBLE to open without pain....and if Edward Scissorhands isn't nearby...you are getting tossed to the side, for now - because I can't always locate my razor blades. Please, think about the poor reviewers with arthritis and make your delivery pouch joint-friendly.

You know those really thick mailers with loose insulation in them that explodes everywhere if you tear them in the wrong place? DON'T DO IT! Please!

Don’t use staples! They are annoying, painful and if we miss one flying off it can end up in our foot. Budget friendly and simple 'manila envelopes' or plain padded mailers with reinforced tape along the opening edge are sufficient. I've never received a cracked CD case or a bent CD in my life because the CD wasn't mailed with a quilt. Remember...it's your money you are wasting. The mailers get thrown away here. If you are still having your CD's wrapped at the factory - PLEASE remove the wrappers before sending them out. It is your non-biodegradable garbage. You throw it away.

No need to send a transcript for a press kit either. We are interested in the music and enough info to fit on one or two pages about your act. So a 1-2 page bio and a CD is all we need. Again, check with a reviewer you are sending your CD to if they don't provide you with submission guidelines anywhere. I asked 10 reviewers and 9.5 feel the same way I do. But, some may want your life story.

Address the outside of the envelope properly. Let us know who you intend for this CD to go to, publication wise. And keep track of who you are sending CD's to. There are reviewers out there that write and review for multiple places. Unless you enjoy throwing money in a bonfire...don't send one CD for each zine in which you want a review published, to the same person.

Remember, we get busy and have so many CD's coming in...sometimes it can be overwhelming. And we forget who we've reviewed sometimes and where....but CD covers nag at our memory....

Peace, and Purpose!
Annette Warner
Editor - GoGirlsMusic.com
Visit http://www.coffeehousetour.com/

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    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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