About the Author
Tim Sweeney is an independent music consultant and one of the music industry's most respected expects in the areas of artist development, record promotion, distribution, and retail marketing. He has worked with over one thousand major label and independent artists (including some of the most successfull of all time) in virtually every musical format. In addition, he is the private consultant to the industry's leading Presidents and CEO's.
Since 1996, his free music business workshops (that he presents around the United States at his own expense), have been attended by more than 10,000 artists, musicians, songwriters and music industry professionals each year.
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A few more things before we leave the section on manufacturing. First, it's a good idea to have about 500 of your CDs sent to you without shrinkwrapping. These are going to be demo copies; they don't need to be shrinkwrapped, so there's no reason to pay for it. (And since shrinkwrapping usually costs about a nickel per CD, this should save you about $25.)
Also, ask your broker if he can have these same 500 CDs "punched." This means that the manufacturer will literally drill a hole through the bar codes of these CDs, which will make it more difficult for people at radio and the press to sell your demos as used (or even new) CDs to local record stores. Believe it or not, there are people in this world who actually steal demos and sell them for personal gain. Because there's easy money to be made, the temptation to steal demos is great, so keep the honest people honest by punching your demos. A top-notch broker shouldn't charge you extra for this service.
Incidentally, if your manufacturer doesn't have the facilities to punch your demos, you can achieve the same effect yourself by hand: just open up the CD, pull out the booklet, and clip off the upper right corner about a half-inch over and a half-inch down using a pair of scissors. "But that makes it look so ugly and unprofessional!" you say. Exactly. That's why no one will buy buy it. But music directors won't hold it against you. I promise.