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Have You Started Your Own Label Or Publisher?

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As many of you know, I set up a label to release my first album Serendipity. I knew beforehand that running a label takes a lot of effort and money, but it was a question of releasing the album on my own or not at all.

There was a lot of work setting everything up - getting distribution and a PR agent, EAN codes, ISRC registrations and all that.

Thankfully I'm good with design myself and my wife is a photographer, so I didn't have to spend a lot of money on designers. Making covers and webpages is, to me, also good fun.

I ran into some money trouble with Serendipity - when the record was printed, I didn't have money for PR to give it out in January 2006 as I had intended. I also was returning to my dayjob in Trolltech after 4 months of leave and I had a lot of new stuff to figure out. I finally managed to scrape money enough together to get it released in September - which turned out to be very bad timing. There was hundreds of other artists releasing their albums before Christmas and I could hardly get a mentioning in the newspapers let alone national radio.

Now I've released another artist: Bonden. That record is going much better - for many reasons: it's in Norwegian, we released it early January which was a good time and the album is also very easy-listening. There was much less setup this time, since I had most of the material ready.

An invaluable tool is an e-mail sender that can send off mails to hundreds of radios or newspapers at the same time (watch out so you don't spam).

For my own stuff I've learned that I need to be more specific in what I do. Serendipity was a very diverse record - maybe too much so. The next record will be pigeon-holed in progressive rock. It's very hard to sell something when it's a bit of this and a bit of that - still I do get good feedback on the record from those who have bought it.

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