What's the fast lane to being able to quit my dayjob?

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I've sold one copy of my album. How can I sell a million more? Do I just need to quit the cocaine?

I'm a cocasian male and I wanna be an Internet phenomenon.

Congratulations on selling an album - I still have boxes full of my CDs, and I give them away now. As for Internet phenom - I did just earn $18.42 for online clicks and such. I have no idea how long it took me to accumulate that much - years, I guess.
But you'd be making music into, well, work - trading one job for another. That was our dilemma about 10 years ago. My wife and I were working full-time as teachers, and my kids music was starting to get a bit of local popularity, and her hand-made jewelry was selling both at festivals and online. But that meant we were working two full-time jobs, with all the promoting and management stuff.
I'm looking forward to hearing you this 50/90, @Ianuarius - I always dig what I hear from you.

You're still doing one better than me!

Of course, this past week, when I released my EP, the Everynoise website reports that there were 3,513 other albums released just that week. Not singles, full albums. (Plus, of course, there's my general inability to sing.)

So there are a lot of us giving everything we've got to our music, not in the vaguest hope of making money (or even a single sale), but just because it's fun!

So feel free to keep up with the cocaine -- I don't think that's the problem! Dirol

I suppose I just need to do something different. Wear a funny wig, you know?

According to Jonah Berger you just need to follow the STEPPS.

Go on the youtubes! Everybody on the youtubes is a millionaire!

Also - I sold one copy of my album too. It was to my biggest fan... My mom.

So... what do I do? I've already got over 300 videos on YouTube. :l

I gave away an album last fall and two people paid what they wanted. Which was very nice of them.

I then went and turned it into an EP. Still procrastinating on the album that I'll most likely give away for free.

Re: what to do. Everyone has to do something or starve. If you do something that makes you happy then you are better off than most. If you have a side project that makes you happy then you can better withstand the put food in your mouth something. Unfortunately, there is no single answer. If there were, we'd all be doing it.

Also, I have to admit that my album purchasing has gone WAY down in the last few years due to Spotify. There was a time when I would easily purchase 100+ albums each year. And many of those quickly began gathering dust.

Now, I do almost all of my listening on Spotify, and (with the exception of a very small handful of "favorite" artists) only buy albums that I've played on Spotify so many times that I feel compelled to make the full album investment. I don't generally reach that point until I've listened to a record repeatedly over several weeks (or even months).

So now I may buy 10-15 albums a year, maybe, at most. And so yes, maybe I'm part of the "problem" (if you view that as a problem). But it's simply (my) reality.

So, what's the easy way to get the album on Spotify (even if no one listens to it)? CDBaby? Do I need the big package?

I just used Distrokid, which includes Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music, YouTube, Amazon, etc., etc. $20 USD per year for the basic plan, $36 for the middle-tier plan that gives some additional (but generally non-essential) extras. I don't have a ton of experience with them as this was my first release, but it went very smoothly and I have no complaints so far.

Also, note that the $20 (or $36) per year is for as many singles / albums / EPs as you want to release. One, 10, 100, whatever -- it's a flat rate.

Just be aware that you need to keep paying the (very reasonable, in my opinion) yearly fee or they pull your music (unless you do a per-album $49 extra fee to keep your album up forever).

That one looks pretty good. Thanks for pointing me to the right direction. Smile

cdbaby is great, and it's a one off fee forever Smile $49 for an album of as many songs as you want - so you could have 100+ 50/90 songs on that one album as far as I know Smile

Plus it gets your music everywhere (you can set your own parameters).

I think you have to have fans to make money with music. Just keep doing what you are doing, and I believe you have enough talent to pull that off. In the old days, the saying was, "nobody sells records without a concert tour".

I agree with @Amanda West about CD Baby! They do everything in one place for one fee forever. All the online services (you can select which ones) plus sales on CD Baby. I bought two albums during their holiday sale for 1/2 price but have not yet used them...soon hopefully!

Yeah, but I'm too obnoxious for anyone to stick in a band with me. I guess I was doomed from the beginning.

Yeah. That's about the only way that I sell any CDs right now. I find gigs that usually pay little to no money and if I'm lucky I make enough in tips and CD sales to pay for the gas. I find that people are more likely to buy a CD from you if you make a personal connection with them... chat with them during a set, make jokes, thank them after you're done playing. Most of the time I run into a few really cool people at the places I play, so that part is easy. But it takes jumping a comfort zone hurdle for some folks.

Ianuarius, David Lewis's modal realism tells us that all possible worlds are actual. There is a possible world in which you sold a million copies just this morning. Since it is possible, it is actual, and since it is actual, you've already done it. In fact, there are possible and hence actual worlds in which you did it both with and without Spotify OR cocaine, if you can believe it. Much congratulations on your massive success!!! Please remember us little people!!! Smile

@TomS That's a relief. Phew. I think I've deserved a beer, then.

Yup @johnstaples I bought my recent one in the half price sale too @ $29.95 Smile

I made 16 cents this month!

@Ianuarius, you deserve an infinite number of beers in an infinite variety of pubs. Success is sweet! Also hoppy, sometimes! Smile

Hey I quite my day job! It's not the fastest path though. It involves getting really old with a good 401K. Smile Making money off music would be fun, but I'll stick with the goal of making a few people smile. That's enough for me! But I would happily accept cold hard cash... Biggrin

Save up and come to this conference/music festival next summer in Madison - several of the presenters and local musicians - like past FAWMer Beth Kille - have successfully quit their day jobs and have a strong career that includes music performance and production.


I can't perform my music alone.

owl's picture

If you find out, let the rest of us know!

@kahlo2013 have you read this article from Tone Madison on BTW? It feels pretty creepy/scammy to me: https://www.tonemadison.com/articles/things-that-are-confusing-about-between-the-waves

I have a friend who is going to the CDBaby DIY Musician conference in Nashville this year, no idea if that's more useful.

This was the first year for Between the Waves. I know people who attended the conference who really thought it was valuable. It also sounds like the plan is to even make it better in future years with more outside bands and speakers. I think it was a good start. The Tone review seems overly critical from comments I have heard from participants. I have heard about the Nashville one as well and that will likely be great. I am hoping that Between the Waves in Madison will grow and build.

owl's picture

Did you attend this year @kahlo2013? I know a couple of the people who participated, but I didn't go. I have to admit I thought the Butch Vig Skype session was super weird and offputting.

I'm a professional musician now. You won't sell much online until you have a real-world following, so my honest answer is to forget about the internet and go into live performance. I got there by following these steps:

1) Git gud.

2) Broaden your skill base, so you can do lots of different music-related things.

3) Say "yes" to every single thing you're offered (that's not a scam).

The third step is the most important.

The fastest lane to quitting your dayjob is suicide (or accidental death) but it won't help your music. Of course, you can always have your dayjob quit on you. I seem to have combined @darcistrutt's method with the departure in bankruptcy of all,and I mean all, our past clients. Go live. Work _out_ a way to perform your own stuff. But also: my CDBaby-derived streams and royalties, and occasional album sales keep me in (instant) coffee. occasional licensing fees from music libraries help a little bit with equipment (primarily software). And opera/music theatre, well...that's a continuous catastrophe curve fuelled by burning time, money and sanity.

win the lottery.

or inherit a fortune.

Get hit in a crosswalk by Bill Gates.

Re-invent the pet rock. Style after Jimi Hendrix so it works on 2 levels.

Ah, I see. And then call the band "Bill Gates' Greatest Hits"?

Well put. That lanarius is going places

Yes, but are they places he wants to go, one wonders...

cdbaby is the cheapest route.... others sound good..but you have to pay them yearly..cdbaby has sales every once in awhile... they upload to iTunes..Spotify..youtube.. several other places... @lanuarius

film/tv scenarios and cdbaby would be my answer to you

Consider selling the cocaine :P