This is a bit of a case of the blind leading the blind, I freely confess, but from more or less the minute I started releasing albums on Song, by Toad Records people have been asking me for advice on how to do so themselves, so I have written a rough guide.
We actually did very well, both with planning and press, with our first release (although the finished CDs only arrived an hour before the launch party doors opened, so we did have our hairy moments).
This was down to two things. Firstly, and most obviously, our first release was Meursault’s debut album, which is about as good a record as any label has released in the last ten years, so having incredible material makes a big difference. Secondly, I spent about three hours sitting in the sun drinking beer with Johnny Lynch from Fence Records at that year’s End of the Road Festival, during which time he patiently explained more or less all aspects of being a record label, which was an incredible help.
So after all the help I received when I was starting out (and believe me, I am entirely aware of the fact that I am still just starting out) I figured I should at least try and pass some of that help on. So I have written what is more or less a rough checklist along with some practical advice for those looking to self-release their own albums, and for labels who are just getting started.
Click here to download Song, by Toad’s Rough Guide to Self-Releasing an Album.
As I say at the start of the document itself, please don’t take this as either definitive or authoritative. I have only been running a record label since the Autumn of 2008, and we are hardly a very big deal, so I really am just passing on what little I have learned so far. That said, if you’ve never released anything before there is a surprising dearth of really practical information out there, so maybe this’ll be useful.
And if I have made any really egregious errors or there is something which very notably lacking please do let me know, and I will keep updating it to make sure it is as close to being useful as I can manage.