After an album is recorded, you’re done, right? Maybe if you’re Lady Gaga, but if you’re Jamie Anderson, or any other self-producing indie performer, there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m not complaining. I’d wear my weight in meat dresses if it meant getting to record my songs with the excellent band and studio I hired.
Thanks to stellar graphic artist Sally Rogers Devine, I had a great design. After proofing and proofing again, a final copy was approved and the last piece of the duplication prep puzzle was done. Oasis CD, the people who would put everything together, would do their magic on a thousand plastic discs, assemble them and ship them to the palatial offices of Tsunami Recordings.
Meanwhile, I went to Michigan for a gig with Nedra Johnson and CC Carter, and then to work at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. I had to romp in the woods with a few thousand women for a week. I know, you feel sorry for me.
My rep at Oasis assured me that the CDs would not ship while I was gone. However, the shipping department didn’t get the memo. DHL tried to deliver to my house twice while I was out of town, the second time leaving that dreaded “you must come to us to get the merchandise” note which sometimes means they ship it back if you don’t meet a deadline. Fortunately, they didn’t return it. Good thing since I was already shelling out $154 to Customs and I didn’t want to do it twice.
After a few phone calls to DHL, I was assured that they’d hold the shipment for me, so a couple of days later, I picked it up. So satisfying to finally hold the CDs in my hands!
Oasis sent an evaluation form and I was honest about the shipping mishap. I got a call from the sales manager. She not only apologized, but offered me a discount for my trouble. Now, that’s how to run a business. It’s why I’ve used them for my last few projects. Their customer service rocks.
Now it was time to ship out all those discs. First, I packaged up CDs for my Indiegogo supporters. (Don’t know what that is? It’s a great way for artists like me to raise funding. My page is here.) One of the benefits of being a supporter is that you get a first-edition signed CD. Next, I packed up the orders. I also sent CDs to all of the musicians, the graphic designer, the photographer, the engineers – anyone who had a hand in the project. Last, and certainly not least, CDs went to the media. I was careful about who got them – at three or four dollars a pop for each package, the costs could really add up.
Even though I waited for a time when I thought our tiny local post office wouldn’t be busy, a line formed behind me for each visit. (With a couple hundred packages to go out, I didn’t send them all at once.) If that had happened in the states, people would’ve been pulling out weapons or at least, their phones to call their therapists. But this was Canada, and the only person who complained (and loudly, I might add) was a cranky older lady who was probably having a bad day, anyway.
Mailing the CDs cost a whole lot more than I anticipated. I’d already blown through my budget and was prepared to cover the last couple hundred dollars with a credit card. However, an angel appeared and gave me a check that covered all of it. A friend who didn’t want to use Indiegogo dropped by the house and gave me the money. As I tried to express how grateful I was, she looked at the pile of mail in my office and with a smile commented, “I’m glad to be supporting Canada Post.”
My website’s been updated with the new album information. Hear a cut from Dare here. Order it at CD Baby, Ladyslipper, or iTunes. (If you don’t see the new album listed, be patient. It’ll appear soon.)
I’m so grateful to everyone who helped to support this endeavor. It’s expensive to put out an album and it’s nearly impossible to finance it out of a musician’s income (even if it’s supplemented with teaching and writing, as mine is). Back in the day, classical composers always had a benefactor who supported them while they did creative work. Today, it’s not quite the same, but still, supporting the arts is very important and I’m happy that so many of you understand that.
Now it’s time to go on tour and sing all those new songs. In September and October (2013), I’ll be in the Midwest, New England and Texas. In December, I’m doing a special album release concert in Ottawa, my home town, with Ken Kanwisher on the cello and other special guests. Tour details are here. I’ve got room for more gigs. Want to book me? Contact me here.
Putting out an album is a great deal of work, but it’s so worth it. While I’d love to have Lady Gaga’s staff, I never want to be her. It’s too hard to find a meat dress in my size.
Congrats Jaimie! I’m a little late…didn’t confirm my follow request so missed the news. I sure want to hear when your playing in Ottawa! Any plans to do a show at the Black Sheep or the Kaffe here in Wakefield?
I’m doing an album release concert in Ottawa on December 15. Thanks for asking! It’s a Spirit of Rasputin’s Cabaret at the Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill. Start time 3:30. With Ken Kanwisher on cello and other special guests.