There are a lot of tasks and moving parts involved in releasing an album. Listed below is the list I use to unsure everything is in order.
Before Setting The Release Date
This part is often ignored, or addressed when its too late. Most of the items can be skipped, or addressed after the release. However, my observation has been that the artists that put effort into this stage have the most professional/successful releases. It is easy to jump the gun, but being held to a date without planning means you will have to cut corners.
I roughly do the tasks in the order they are presented:
- Album Artwork
- back (sans upc)
- cd/vinyl top
- Perform Filings
- US Copyright Registration
- Royalty Association (SESAC, ASCAP, BMI)
- Assign ISRC Codes
- Brainstorm Marketing Strategy
- Pre release hype strategy
- Day of release
- Post release promotion
- Prepare Bonus Material (singles/video)
- Gather Marketing Assets
- Set of copy for social media
- Imagery for bumpers,posts,posters etc.
- Order Merch
Setting The Release Date
Balancing these three tasks is a tricky move. Not having merch and cds at a release show should be considered a failure, and should be fiercely avoided. Pad these times, and set a date with the venue. Then get the UPC/set the date for digital release. Then apply the UPC and order the CDs. Arent you glad all the artwork is done?
- Learn ship times for Cds/Merch
- Book a venue for the release show (if you are having one)
- Upload/Set Release Date On Digital Distributor
- Order CDs
- apply UPC from Digital Distributor
On The Relase Date
- Post up a bandflare on all social media outlets
- Execute your marketing strategy