Music is the Business

Lately I’ve been thinking a bit about the business aspect of the music I’ve been creating. Making music is all well and good, and to an extent (See “Low-Frequency Autoeroticism” for an excellent example), I write for myself as much as anyone else. But eventually, I’m going to have to start getting serious about the financial aspect of it. Actually funding the project won’t be a big deal–I have a nice job, the finish line is in sight as far as paying off school debts goes, and I have a nice windfall from my obsessive saving of money, to say nothing of the government’s rewarding people (Including those who can’t responsibly handle their money) by giving them more of it–but I’d like to try and offset the expenses nonetheless, if not wind up swimming in a mountain of money in my backyard. So to do that, I need to promote the music, and I’ve considered actually getting business cards as one method of this.

See, I’m not really a great self-promoter. I tend to shy away from the spotlight–this may be why the bass guitar is my primary instrument of choice; with rare exceptions, bass players in bands are generally underrated compared to their band as a whole (John Deacon of Queen and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin being two excellent examples)–which suits my personality but is generally counter-productive to getting my name out there in terms of the music. I figure with business cards, I can become a shady used car salesman type when I’m out and about and doing things which cause people to stop and talk to me. Generally, this tends to occur when I’m out playing DDR somewhere. You know, “Thanks, but I’m really not that good…oh, hey, have a business card, and check out my website…”

I am, sadly, completely dumb artistically, so any ideas I come up with will probably not look very good.

Then there’s the whole trademark thing. Ideally, I’d like to actually officially trademark the term “Emptyeye” as it relates to music. I know I’m not the only Emptyeye out on the net. I think I’m the only one doing stuff related to music, but it’d be nice to have the legal power behind it to make sure of that fact. You can read more on the dilemma here; I particularly love ironyengine’s smartass reply here.


1 ping

    • James on February 13, 2008 at 11:46 am

    There is a slippery slope when trying to market your passions; I have learned this from doing publicity for my book. I have found it’s best to be positive and not overbearing (obviously) and not discount your talent. “I’m really not that good…” is a terrible way to start!

    Business cards are a lot cheaper than you think. You can have them designed and printed for under 50$ in most places. As for the trademark (trademarc?) it’s not as complicated as you think either; I have “Mountainouswords” trademarked for my writing company, technically Mountainous Words Writing including:, etc.

    And one other thing I’ve learned: it’s ok to delegate design or other aspects of the CD to others more talented. If you’re hoping to simply have a personal archive of your work it’s not a big deal but if you want to make some $$ and really market yourself, you might as well do it the best you can!

    • emptyeye on February 13, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Well, it may not be clear in what I wrote, but “I’m really not that good” is in relation to my DDR skill (Which seriously isn’t that good, despite what everyone says). Not necessarily my music ability–obviously I’m pretty confident in that to say “Five minute bass solo…awesome idea for an album track!” ;)

    And yeah, I did find I could get business cards fairly cheap. And trademarking is easy enough in theory, but I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t be opening myself up to some loophole somewhere if I tried to do it myself. Did you trademark that stuff on your own, or did some attorney-type help you?

    As for the art: Don’t worry, I’m already letting someone more skilled at that handle that particular aspect. Indeed, I think that’ll be the most expensive part of the whole endeavor! Ah, the joys of DIY recording.

    • James on February 14, 2008 at 11:23 am

    I got a notorized form from the Boulder small business group, something that I was able to do via email. It’s basically a piece of paper that says I am who I say I am. I’m sure there’s something similar in CT… heck, you used to have a notory right up the road from you (there was a sign at the house next to the church).

    Good luck with it all, including the 5 minute bass solo :)

  1. […] I mentioned elsewhere, of the various things I seem to be naturally talented at, art is decidedly not one of them. In […]

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