Cookie CUTTER Girl
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JULIAN aKa Cookie Cutter Girl Pop Superhero
Interview With for Dave Cool for his NEW DVD
Director of the movie "WHAT IS INDIE?"
(A "Must See" Music Documentary!)
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20% off the DVD!
BONUS DISCOUNT PRICE LINK: http://www.whatisindiemovie.com/cookiecutter.cfm
When you release a new CD, how many CDs do you set out to sell?
Well all of them, of course! *wink* Seriously, I don't have a set number. I would start out with 1000, since the price drops dramatically when you purchase that amount from any large CD manufacturer.
What would you say is the ratio of CD sales
vs. Download sales for your CD releases now?
MP3 download sales have been steadily increasing every year, and I believe they will continue to do so. My Mom grew up in the age of the "45," a double sided, album single, which lead into the age of the "album," and all the wonderful cover art. I grew up in the age of the CD. We are now living in the age of the "single." Music industry professionals are now advising artists to focus on releasing "singles" rather than investing in recording expensive full length CDs.
What do you find is the most effective way for you to sell your CDs? At live shows? Online? In-store distribution?
I believe all Indie artists sell a majority of their CDs at their live shows. I HIGHLY recommend CDBaby.com for online distribution of both CDs & MP3s. In-store distribution is hard to access without securing a distributor who already has a relationship with the store chain. Shelf space is expensive and hard for indie artists to earn. On the East coast, we have a couple of good options for Indie artists: "Newbury Comics" and "Bull Moose Music." Be aware that Indie CDs have a short shelf life and will be removed by the store if they do not sell within 3-6 months.
Do you have other merchandise for sale besides CDs?
If so, what kind? Anything in particular that sells well?
Cookie Cutter Girl, Pop Superhero, is ALL about the merchandise
I LOVE creating the "merch" almost as much as the music! Selling goods at live shows is how most Indie artists pay for their tours: T shirts, boxer shorts, thong panties, jewelry, pins, key chains, posters, patches... use your imagination. I always encourage artists to be creative & make their own merch on the road. Not only can they sell it at their shows, but internet sites like Ebay.com & Amazon.com are also a great way to supplement their income. Make your merch appealing to a larger audience then just your fans and you've got a HOT PRODUCT to sell online... Schwag is also fun and enticing to include in your "Promo Packs" (promotional packages) to radio stations!
How many shows do you try to play to promote a CD?
I don't have a set number of shows, as I believe it's the QUALITY, and not the QUANTITY of shows that counts. You want to play in the HOT SPOTS of all the cities near your home. That is where your music can cannot with the most people. You also want to space your shows out to no more than 1 or 2 times a month in the same venue, unless you're SO popular that you can fill it more often. *smile*
Do you believe you have to tour to make your CD release
Yes, I definately think touring is NOT optional...
and it's not easy either!
What kind of venues do you normally play?
Cookie Cutter Girl, Pop Superhero, plays anywhere her fans are! Start small, like playing solo at cafes, and work your way up to small bars, THEN submit a "Promo Pack" to larger venues in YOUR AREA ONLY. After you've built a loyal local following, then you should consider branching out to surrounding cities and states for a small tour.
Do you play any “alternative” venues
like house concerts? Colleges/Universities?
I perform house concerts solo, as Lynn 'JULIAN' aKa Cookie Cutter Girl, and promote my CD, band and upcoming shows at each performance. Colleges are an IDEAL WAY to build a LARGE FANBASE from a SINGLE SHOW! Schools usually pay better than bars and students buy more of your merchandise than bar patrons. So why don't bands just play at colleges? The competition is FIERCE to get booked for the few shows colleges have to offer each year. Most universities belong to larger organizations, such as NACA, and do all their booking at annual conferences. You have to be an active member of the organization, and purchase booths at their many National conferences, for a chance to be booked by their schools. This can run you over $1,000 for a single conference. I've had many musicians tell me they joined, but it wasn't worth the money and they didn't get any bookings. Yet, I also know bands that make a successful living touring from one NACA conference to the next. These bands are VERY hard working, EVERY DAY, and totally committed to their success.
Do you apply to play at festivals? Music conferences?
What are your thoughts on playing them?
Cookie Cutter Girl, Pop Superhero, prefers performing at festivals over bars because the fans are more attentive to our music and merchandise. Festivals are also highly coveted by the Indie musicians who compete annually for their performance spots. CCG Pop Superhero has performed at US music conferences and garnered great publicity for doing so. You must arrive prepared for this short "showcases" by distributing 100's of promo flyers to ensure an audience for your show. You should also contact the local radio stations and newspapers, seeking interviews and press in the months prior to your showcase. Note that most music festival showcases do not pay indie artists to perform, so selling merchandise & earning publicity will be your only rewards.
Do you promote your music to radio stations?
If so, what kind of stations do you have the most success with: Online? Campus & Community? Satellite? Commercial?
Absolutely promote to radio stations... Cookie Cutter Girl, Pop Superhero, has received airplay on 500+ TV & radio stations, thanks to the magic of syndication! (Some radio shows are "syndicated" to many radio stations. So, when they play your music on that show, it actually gets played on EVERY STATION that show is syndicated to.) There are many wonderful musicians resource books listing "indie friendly" radio stations' contact information. I HIGHLY recommend the "INDIE BIBLE" (IndieBible.com/jul) as it's now in it's 8th successful year. If it's in your budget, you should ALWAYS hire a "Radio Promoter," as they have a pre-existing relationship already established with many radio stations, and have a FAR better chance of getting your song played by each station's "Music Director," who is the person you need to contact at each station. Radio Promoters can cost $100's to $1,000's, and their expertise varies greatly, so get referrals from other musicians when possible. (This may SEEM like too much money to invest at first, but consider the cost of 100's of "Promo Packs" and weekly phone calls to Music Directors. I promoted my last CD, "Cookie Cutter Girl," myself, and wish I'd hired a radio promoter, as I spent just as much money doing it on my own PLUS a LOT more of my precious time.) As I stated, I had the most success with my last CD, "Cookie Cutter Girl," by submitting it to many syndicated radio shows. Next, I went after commercial radio stations who offer an "Indie music hour" or "local music hour" weekly radio show. College campus stations are a great way to reach students as well. I found all the contact information, including the names of the Music Director, in my priceless "Indie Bible." (IndieBible.com/jul) There are literally 1000's of internet radio stations, and the hard part is figuring out which ones are worth submitting to. Some stations allow you to submit MP3s onlne, rather than mailng CDs, and I highly recommend those!
Do you have your fans request your music on radio?
If so, how do you organize that?
I have a "Radio Requests" page on my website, CookieCutterGirl.com. There I place links to each station that has my music AND links/phone numbers for fans to request it.
Do you have a street team?
If so, what do they do for you? Do you reward them?
This Pop Superhero is always working to expand her Street Team. Some bands reward their team with points they earn to purchase band merchandise.
Do you ever take out any advertising
to promote your CD or a live show?
I have not yet paid for advertizing to promote my CDs or shows, as it's simply not in my budget. I promote my music via monthly radio, magazine and newspaper interviews.
Do you ever partner up with other artists
or companies to promote each other?
I LOVE to do promotional trades with other musicians and bands. IE. If you give away my buttons at a music festival you're attending, I'll give you a free banner ad on CookieCutterGirl.com for a month. My website gets 20,000 hits a day, so this is a great deal for both of us... and I don't have to pay to have my buttons passed out OR to attend that music festival! I post my "trade offer" in music forums & get a great response.
Do you look for sponsorship with companies?
Cookie Cutter Girl, POP SUPERHERO, has been sponsored for past tours, or currently endorses, the following companies: Sam Ash Music, Minarik Guitars, Daisy Rock Guitars, Scratch Pad, S.I.T. Strings, Pure Buttons, In-Tune Guitar Picks, What Is Indie (A MUST SEE FILM for every Indie Musician!). Keep in mind when requesting sponsorship that you are taking on the role of "salesman." It's all about what YOU can do for THEM, *NOT* what they can do for you. Think about what you can offer a sponsor in return for merchandise and/or tour funding. CCG Pop Superhero offers many sponsorship levels and promotions for our sponsors: website banner ads & permanent links, featured press releases, newsletter/blog/music forum promotion, live show promotion, music & comic book conference promotion.
What % of your time would you say you spend:
a. Rehearsing? 20%
b. Writing/creating? 10% (OUCH! Can't wait to afford to hire a promoter & have more time to write music!)
c. On business (marketing/promo etc.)? 70%
What % of your money would you say you spend on:
d. Producing/recording your CD? 50%
e. Live shows/touring? 0% (Shows should, ideally, pay for themselves & eventually show a profit)
f. Marketing & promotion for your CD? 50%
Join the International Girl Power Society on the "MEET COOKIE CUTTER GIRL" PAGE of http://www.CookieCutterGirl.com to network with other women. For my fellow artists, I've also made the MEGA-DEALS page of my website a FREE resource for self-promotion. Go there and take advantage of the 100's links to FREE promotional tools. GIRL POWER!
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