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Should You Give Away Your Demo CDs For Free?

There has been a lot of discussion over this issue but I donít know why.  It is a no brainer.  Of course you should give your demo CDs away for free and here is why.  The explanation can be summed up into three words:  Hear, Like, and Buy.  These three steps have to be accomplished in this order or you will not sell very many CDs.  You cannot skip any of these steps because it wonít work if you do.  If you really stop and think about it, you will see that most professional mainstream artists are promoted using this model. 


First, letís discuss the first step.  People have to hear your music.  People will not buy music that they have not heard.  I donít care how cute you are, how well you speak, or how interesting you may be; not very many people are going to buy music that they have not heard.  This is why you have to get a lot of people listening to your music at the same time.  The more people that listen to your music, the better the chances you have of getting a lot of people liking your music.


Next, now that people have heard your music, some of them have to like it as well.  Not everyone will like it but some of them will.  This is why it is imperative that you get as many people to listen to your music as possible because the more people that listen, the more people that like. Once you have got a large amount of people liking your music, you can now concentrate on getting them to buy your music.  Remember; donít waste time trying to get all of the people who heard your music to buy, instead spend time persuading those that like your music to buy.  You will have a better chance at getting those whom already like your music to buy it from you then you will those who have only simply heard  it.

#3 BUY

Lastly, you need people to buy your music.  Now, all you have to do is make sure you have the music available for sale.  Make sure that you let all of your fans know where and how to purchase your music.  Make sure that you remind them over and over again.  Donít be annoying, but donít be afraid to remind people about purchasing your music.

Why CDs?  Canít I Just Give Away Downloads?

Yes you can give away downloads but in my opinion, it will not work as well.  You need quality listeners, not fly by night listeners.  When you offer a download for free, a person may download it but the song stays tucked away on their hard drives, never to be heard from or shared again.  It is too much trouble for them to download a song, find a blank disc, burn the song to a disc, and then take it out into the world.  A CD can easily impact other listeners because your fans will play it in their cars and home stereo systems.  People will remember your name easily because it is printed on the CD and they may glace past your name as they flip through their CD booklets. One CD can affect many.  The only problem with free CD promotion is that you have to give out a large number of CDs in order to make a real impact but in order to go where many canít, you must be willing to do what many wonít.

"By Kelvin Butler"  Kelvin Butler is the author of this blog.  He also is part owner of KBJ Records.com, a website that caters to the working class musician by offering affordable services in cd duplication, cd mastering, graphic design and more.  Learn about his very affordable cd duplication offers at


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