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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

Columns, ask a publicist

Jul 30, 2014 09:30 AM

Jason Baxter

Ask A Publicist: How and Why Should I Keep Track of My Press Coverage?

Image via Henley Festival

If you’re a band that’s decided to tackle your publicity on your own, it’s crucial that you be as thorough and organized as any professional publicist would be. Beyond pitching for coverage and securing asset premieres, this means undertaking some more paperwork-y type responsibilities as well, such as keeping track of your press. Below, I’ll get into what I mean by that in more specific terms, and then highlight the reasons why this can prove helpful.

5 Reasons Why People Aren’t Buying Your Merch

Seattle band La Luz's clever – and quite popular – band shirts

Selling merch at shows is an awesome way to supplement your earnings from concerts and record sales. I’ve learned the hard way that it takes some thoughtfulness, hard work, and diligence to actually make the most of your merchandising opportunities. Here are the five most common merch-hawking mistakes and my suggestions on how to avoid them.

Columns, ask a publicist

Jul 16, 2014 09:30 AM

Jason Baxter

Ask a Publicist: What's Better, a 'Focused' Campaign or a 'Comprehensive' Campaign?

Image via PCWorld

Imagine this clichéd scenario from a Hollywood teen comedy: the protagonist’s parents are out of town and s/he wants to throw a party. They tell a few of their close friends, and those friends tell a few of their friends, and so on to the point where, on the night of the party, nearly half of their high school is there and the crowd has swollen to extreme proportions. Sometimes a publicity campaign can work this way, too – starting small and relying on word-of-mouth to create anticipation and a feeling of authentic, organic momentum.

Columns, ask a publicist

Jul 2, 2014 09:30 AM

Jason Baxter

Ask a Publicist: What Does an Album Campaign Timeline Look Like?

Secure an online outlet to premiere a full-album stream of your record (via Pitchfork)

One of the first things I learned when I began my career as a publicist was what the typical timeline for an album campaign is – in other words, the specific order of events from the moment an album is ready to be announced until its release.

What Your Band Photo Says About You

Disclosure (via Made in 1987)

Jason Baxter is the in-house publicist for Seattle's Hardly Art Records, and performs in the electronic duo USF. In a past life he was a music journalist and writes comic books in what little spare time he has.


Band photos can be tricky, but even if you’re camera-shy, they’re an absolute necessity for your press kit.  If you’re working with a label, they may subsidize a photo shoot with a professional photographer, which is the best way to guarantee you’ll end up with well-composed and useful band photographs. For some artists this isn’t an option though, and hiring a pro can seem like an unnecessary expenditure if you’ve got a friend with a decent eye and a DSLR. Either way, you’re going to want to make sure your photos satisfy these key  requirements: