Between The Lines: “Your Band is a Virus” by James Moore

| August 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

by Tim Wenger

Between The Lines is a new monthly column focusing on books geared towards independent musicians. There are a plethora of them out there, and we will try to cover books written from as many different angles as possible to give you well-rounded advice on what is worth reading and what can actually help you advance your musical career. Ideas for books and/or submissions can be emailed to TWenger@ColoradoMusicBuzz.com or Colorado Music Buzz c/o Tim Wenger PO Box 2739 Littleton, CO 80161.

To kick off the series, I was contacted about reviewing the book “Your Band is a Virus” by James Moore/Independent Music Promotions. This book gives a comprehensive overview of the basics of online and behind-the-scenes marketing for independent bands. Best of all, Moore talks about how to make it happen for ridiculously cheap, and most of the time free. “Viral marketing is all about getting people to sell and advertise for you,” page 8.

The title is pretty straight forward- your band is a virus, and your goal, as the promoter of that virus, is to infect as many people with it as possible. What Moore offers are handfuls of ways to go about doing that, and some things to avoid. What he really presses throughout the book is keeping your marketing personal, direct, and to the point. “Independent musicians have reduced themselves to a horde of spammers, unable to communicate with their potential fan bases or tap into modern marketing practices,” page 5.

Moore discusses in detail the basics of SEO writing for bands, what to include on your website and press kits, and other forms of online promotion such as link exchanges and press releases. He also dives into Google listings and how to use them to generate free advertising for your band. At times, it seems odd how much he discusses MySpace given its current state of neglect by the general population, but he does talk about ReverbNation and Facebook as well.

It was interesting reading Moore’s section on dealing with the music media. I was impressed with how accurate his statements were. Bands often have it in their head that music publications are these huge conglomerates of stingy assholes with a shell that is harder to crack than a good joke to the girl you have stared at awkwardly for years. The truth is, we WANT to be contacted by your band, but we want it to be done personally and efficiently. He discusses how to make this happen, and even gives a sample email that bands can modify as they see fit. As Moore puts it, “The media are not so intimidating. They are just groups of individuals! Therefore, when you can, contact them INDIVIDUALLY,” page 26.

Everyone is burned out on spam, especially the media. Personally, I don’t even open a portion of the emails that come into my inbox at work because I know exactly what they are going to say, and I know that my co-editor, as well as everyone else in the music press, got the exact same email. Moore makes it so easy to phrase your releases that spamming won’t even cross your mind. I highly recommend this book for any band that plans on expanding their business into new markets because no one wants to play for an empty room. Pick up a copy at the website listen below.

Online: independentmusicpromotions.com

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Category: The Future

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