A well-written music review that positively glows about you and the unique music you make – especially if it pulls a bunch of new listeners your way – is a fantastic way to increase and maintain your market niche and momentum.
Now, let’s say you’ve just heard from a music reviewer. She or he has expressed an interest in writing about your latest release.
But before you get too excited, take a moment to ponder some questions.
Checklist of things that make you easier to write about
* How easy are you making it for the reviewer to hear your latest release?
* Do you have sound files online they can link to in the review, links that can help potential new fans hear what your new song(s) sound like?
* How about photos of you and the band?
* What kinds of biographical information – including names and dates of your releases – have you made available?
* And lastly, it’s often true that what really makes a review come “alive” are a few choice quotes by the artist – is it easy for a writer to get that, either online or via contact information for a short and sweet interview?
First questions first.
Once you’re ready to work with a music reviewer, find out if they’re O.K. with downloading your stuff. Many (like me), spend way too much time on a computer keyboard already, and much prefer receiving new music in the mail, via a CD.
Your website is fine, but what’s even better as far as online music review content are sound files located at places like Lastfm or sound cloud, or similar sites, so that your songs are just a click away.
Sure, a good music reviewer is always going to include a link to your website, that’s a no-brainer. But if you’ve made links to your sound files available, now you’ve empowered us music reviewers to include your songs right inside our review(s) — allowing potential new listeners to hear and evaluate your music for themselves.
Musicians and writers both respond to their “muse”
While I can speak only for myself, I believe most good music reviewers are motivated far more by good music and the good musicians behind that music then they are by ego. That means, most of us are are driven by our own creative “muse,” we love to write – especially about good music – and are waiting for just the right artist to cross our path so we can do our own creative “thing.”
We don’t really care that much if someone hasn’t made it “big” yet – it’s much more about, “do I resonate to this music? Will others?!”.
And, sometimes it’s the artists people haven’t discovered yet that can really be the most fun to write about – it’s a great feeling knowing something you’ve written has made a difference to a talented and deserving new (or old) artist.
Musicians and writers both have limited free time
Many music reviewers – myself included – share something else with many musicians.
We often hold day jobs! Yes, that’s right!
That means, we, like you, sometimes have a limited amount of time to indulge in our creative passion. You can make it so much easier on us if your biographical information is easy to locate online. These days, most artists include that on their website, but you’d be surprised just how many still don’t. Please don’t make us search endlessly into the night on blog pages or myspace to gather the facts we so need to do a quality job writing about you.
Song lyrics can also be extremely helpful, particularly if we’re trying to become quickly acquainted with your music. Whenever possible, include a page on your website with song titles and lyrics, particularly so we can make sure we’re quoting a song lyric correctly.
Do you have P.R. folks or folks at your record label who will build you a Wikipedia page? That’s always a Godsend for those of us working hard to produce the very best, most accurate and up-to-date review possible. A good Wikipedia page will include biographical information including date of birth, hometown, a complete discography, stuff people are interested in when deciding whether to explore your music more.
How about photos?
Personally speaking, I always like to have at least 5-6 photos of a band or musician to choose from that depict them both in portrait mode as well as in their element – performing onstage. I also usually try to include at least one good quality YouTube somewhere in my reviews.
Operator, won’t you help me place this call?
When all is said and done, phone interviews are often the best way to make a big, favorable impression on a reviewer. You’re honoring that person with a few minutes of your time to talk about what got you into music, what inspired this new release, your favorite recent concert experience and so on.
If you’re on Twitter, follow us music reviewers back. That way, if we’re interested in writing about you we can Direct message you for more information, or vice-versa.
It’s a Win / Win!
And that’s something everyone loves in the world of music.
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