Category: press

EPK Essentials: What You Need to Create a Buzz-Worthy Press Kit

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In Ye Olde Days of Yore (about 10 years ago), there was an almost magical contraption. A place where musicians would put actual printed photos, physical copies of press written about them, print-outs of their biography, tour schedule, and contact information, and an actual CD. All these pieces would be placed inside a folder (usually printed with the band’s information on it) and actually mailed to important people.

This contraption was called a press kit, and until recently, this was the standard way that bands reached out to booking agents, venues, and people in the press.

But then the internet came along, and changed all that. Bands began to compile all this information into a single webpage called an Electronic Press Kit–or EPK–that could easily be given to the same important people they used to mail everything to.

If you are a musician that is trying to get booked, or get featured in a publication or blog, chances are you will need an EPK.

We’ve outlined the things you must have in your EPK, as well as some common hosting options to consider.

The Basics

There are a few things that will be included in your EPK no matter what format or hosting option you choose.

Music

Your music should be featured prominently in your EPK. Venues and talent buyers will need to hear your music to make sure it will fit with the sound they are looking for, and writers won’t be able to write about your music unless they can hear it!

It’s standard to have your music available to stream first, and then an option to download. Most people in the music industry don’t have time to wait for your file to download, and might be wary to download an attachment from a person they don’t know. So make it easy for them to stream your music, and then give them the option to download it if they really want to.

Soundcloud is a great platform for this. It’s easy (and free) to upload your tracks, and you can even make them available for download. They also have a player that is embeddable in most websites, so you can place your music on whatever hosting option you choose.

Video

A great way to show off what  you’ve got as a musician is through video. Featuring a great live performance video or a really well done music video can make the difference between an EPK that gets passed over and one that stands out to promoters and press.

Biography

You probably already have a bio for your band. But your EPK should have at least 2 versions of that bio. A shorter version(a paragraph) that is featured prominently in your EPK, and an expanded version(4+ paragraphs) that is available by clicking through to expand the bio (or to a different page) and/or available for download.

Photos

Every EPK needs to feature some high quality, professional band photos. You should have them displayed on the site, as well as easily available for download. If you need some help on how to get really great band photos, check out THIS ARTICLE.

Press

What would an electronic press kit be without some actual press? Pick a few quotes from any write-ups you’ve gotten. Choose quotes that have lots of descriptive language, or that come from a reputable source. If you don’t have press yet, don’t sweat it. That’s what this EPK is for!

Contact Information

You need to make sure that your EPK makes it very easy to get in touch with you. Make it very clear exactly who should be contacted for booking, press, or more general inquiries.

Hosting Options

You have several options for hosting your EPK, and it’s not a bad idea (if you have time) to have multiple versions. There are three main hosting options when creating your EPK: Your own website, a third party service, or a downloadable version.

Your Website

Hosting your EPK on your website is probably the best option. You get to control exactly what content is available, and the way that it’s presented. You can click HERE for a good example of what a website hosted EPK, that includes all the important elements, can look like.

Hosting your EPK on your website gives you flexibility with some key options, like password protecting the page or files and freedom to design and customize. It also drives traffic to your website, where you can put your best foot forward for the VIPs who will be viewing your EPK.

Third Party Service

Many promoters only accept EPK submissions from sites like SonicBids and Reverbnation, especially if you’re submitting for an opportunity they’ve made available on one of those sites. These site will want the same information that you would put in an EPK hosted on your website, but the design elements most likely will not be up to you.

While we definitely recommend creating your own custom EPK on your website, using a third party service as your primary EPK has some advantages. For example, Reverbnation will show your social media stats and demographic in their EPK.

Downloadable

Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is send all your information over in one fell swoop. This is where a downloadable EPK is a good idea. You can place all your information into a Dropbox or Google Drive folder, and simply send the link to the folder instead of a web link.

This format is not going to work for every place you submit your EPK to, but even if you don’t use this format very often, it’s still a great idea to have all the elements of your EPK stored in a place that you can get to from your phone or a remote computer, in case you need to send something to someone in a hurry.
EPKs are an important tool in the indie musician’s belt. An informative and simple EPK has the potential to help your music rise above the rest, and can help you get more gig and press opportunities.

Do you have any tips on creating an awesome EPK? Have you created one your really proud of? Share with us in the comments below or tweet @nationwidedisc




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Submitting Your Music to Blogs: The Five Blogs You Forgot

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

If you’ve been on Facebook in the last six months, you’ve seen the epidemic. All your friends are sharing blog post after blog post, and your newsfeed has become so blog oriented that you literally jump for joy when you see an actual status update.

While all these blogs may be a little obnoxious, I bet you’ve clicked on one. Or three. Or 16.

No shame! Blogs are a huge part of what makes the internet great, and they are an excellent tool for musicians. Getting your music featured in a blog can put your music in front of a whole new set of fans. There are tons of music blogs out there that are specifically dedicated to helping their readers find great new music. Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, and The Wild Honey Pie are just a few examples of some well-known music blogs.

And though working to get your music featured on a music blog is definitely something you should be doing, if you are only submitting your music to blogs that are just about music you’re missing out.

There are millions of other kinds of blogs out there that you could be submitting to. And these blogs don’t get hundreds(or thousands!) of music submissions thrown at them everyday. By pursuing blog coverage at a popular non-musical blog, you have a better chance of actually getting heard, and getting featured.

Just remember, if you are submitting to a non-music blog:

  • Look for a blog about something that you already have an interest in.  It will be easier for the blogger to feature you (and interview you!) if you are excited about what they normally blog about.
  • Look for a blog that’s related to your music. Chances are that many blog “niches” are missing a theme song. So if you’ve written a very specific song or concept album, look for blogs that write about what you wrote about!
  • Look for a regional blog. If you live in a major city, there are probably blogs that are geo-specific to you. If the blogger likes your stuff, you may even be able to sit down with them face to face about being featured on their blog.

So if you’re ready to start looking for some alternative press features, here are the top five non-musical blogs you should consider submitting to!

The Food Blog

If you love food almost as much as you love music, you can probably find a blog that appeals to your taste buds.  If you love to cook, or are passionate about vegan living, a food blog might be a great place for you to seek out a feature. There are also quite a few regional food blogs, so try finding one in your city. You could even offer to write a column for a them about the best places in your city to get great food and live music!

The Fashion Blog

Chances are that you have a specific sense of style. Whether you’re a country artist who wears a different pair of boots to every show, or a rock-a-billy songstress with a penchant for pin-up clothing, there is a good chance there is some kind of fashion blog geared toward your own clothing preferences.  Submitting your music to a fashion blog could also work if you have some kind of “trademark” piece of clothing that you wear at every show that the blogger could talk about.

The Travel Blog

If you are a touring musician, a travel blog might be a great place for you to look for press. You have the travel experience, and you might even have a song or two about your life on the road they could feature. If you enjoy writing, you might even talk to the owner of the blog about having a guest post series detailing your next tour. Then your fans would get updates about your tour, and your music would get a regular appearance on a website besides your own.

The Frugal Living Blog

It’s no secret that independent musicians don’t make truckloads of money. A frugal living blog might be a great place for you to talk about how you tour (aka travel) on a small budget, or how you keep your grocery budget low so you can save up for gear. A frugal living blog might even be a great place to release that new single you were planning on giving away, since their readers will probably be excited about getting something for free!

The Extremely-Specific Blog

I know. This technically isn’t a category of blogs. But you know yourself and your music better than anyone else. Look at your hobbies outside music and see if you can find a blog about your random obsession with Hello Kitty, or micro-gardening. Chances are there are other people who love the same things you do, and would be willing to listen to your music! Here are a few more really specific blogs to get you started brainstorming:

  • Gaming
  • Craft Beer
  • Coffee
  • Sports
  • Marketing
  • Religion
  • Lifestyle
  • Sushi
  • Crafting/DIY
  • Tiny Houses

Have you had any success submitting your music to non-music related blogs? Do you have any other ideas about what kind of blogs to submit to? Let us know in the comments below!


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