Major upgrade in progress!

We've been hard at work over the holidays revamping the guts that power Bandzoogle. In less than a week, the way pages are built will be completely different - it'll create real HTML pages instead of pulling them from a database.

We'll keep you posted on developments! And above all, have a happy and safe new year!

Posted by Chris on 12/30/2004 | 0 comments

New music player skin added.

For those of you who have requested a more simple design for the player, we've just added one!
Posted by Chris on 12/27/2004 | 0 comments

Music player issues...

If you get a song stuck on "buffering", just change its' order, it should resolve the issue for you. If you have other issues with the player, let us know by filling out a help request.
Posted by Chris on 12/24/2004 | 0 comments

New music player added!

We've imported all the old tracks, and are now testing and debugging. Please let us know if you run into a problem with the new player!
Posted by Chris on 12/23/2004 | 0 comments

Content font changes...

We've removed the font choice option from text boxes. The reason is that design wise, having more than one content font is a big no-no. On the upside, we've added some new content fonts for you to choose from.
Posted by Chris on 12/22/2004 | 0 comments

New photo gallery features added

We added two member-requested features to the photo galleries. First, you can now change the order of the photos in the galleries. Second, we've added more flexible layouts for the gallery photos.
Posted by Chris on 12/21/2004 | 0 comments

How To Make A Press Kit

This How To article was kindly brought to you by Keif

I realize that with Bandzoogle being a web based company a lot of emphasis on whatever I discuss is placed on things that are internet related. I'm constantly suggesting how to make your site better, but this week I would like to concentrate on something that, although relevant to your website, is very important in the real world - Your press kit.

Most bands think of a press kit as the one thing that will introduce them to an A&R rep, but press kit uses go beyond that. If anything, press kits barely play any role to an A&R rep. The internet and email has nearly replaced the conventional press kit. Now all you need to do is direct someone to your website and all the info is there. While this might be true, it is still nice to have a real CD that you can pop into a home stereo or in your car. So press kits are not completely useless.

Press kits come in very handy for people in the media, agents, managers, and venues. When was the last time you saw a computer connected to the internet in a bar?

So let's talk about what a press kit should include.

Demo CD

Duh? No press kit should be without a demo CD. There are two schools of thought when trying to determine how many songs should be put on the CD. Many will tell you to put only 3 songs. Some will say put all your songs, but make sure to put the best 3 tracks first. The truth is if you include more than 3 songs you are giving too much away. Sure you might have 10 songs and feel confident about all of them, but it's not only about how good all your songs are. It's about trying to give people a reason for contacting you and asking if there is more that they can hear.

Make sure the demo is of the highest quality. It doesn't have to have been recorded in a million dollar studio, but it better sound damn good. Never give A&R reps the benefit of the doubt. Don?t think that they can see past the production quality and hear the song for what it is. I?d never give an A&R rep that much credit and neither should you.

Make sure the CD is properly labeled. Make sure the track names are clear and that there is a contact number and email address. It is so easy to separate a CD from the rest of the press kit, so label your CD!

Photograph

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

Make sure people know what you look like. It's cool and all to include live shots, but that's not the purpose of a press photo. The purpose is to allow people to put a face to a voice. Make sure you point out who is who in the photo. I've seen too many photos of bands only to ask "who's the singer?" or "who's the guitar player?"

These days computer printers can print some pretty high quality photos, but do not send photo copies or cheap prints on regular paper.

Your press photo portrays your bands image. Make sure that the appropriate message is sent across. Look at your favorite music magazines for ideas. Be very aware of the composition of your photos. Pay attention to how each member is positioned, the background, the lighting, etc. Make sure it's the standard size (8"x10") and that clear contact information (contact name, phone number, email address, web address) is at the bottom or on the flip side.

Biography

This is usually tough to do, but is a necessary evil. Make sure you keep to 500 words or less. You're not writing a book, just a short story about how the band formed and some of your more important or unique accomplishments. Avoid using general adjectives and big words.

Treat your bio how you would a hit song - hooks. You have to keep your reader interested. You have to ask yourself if what you are writing is "news worthy "?. It's about selling a story. If there is nothing interesting to be said about your band, then nothing will be said at all.

I've always included a timeline or fact sheet with my press kits for quick viewing. Sometimes interviewers do not have time to look over your whole press kit and a quick point by point fact sheet can save the day. Keep this limited to one page.

Press Clippings

If you have received any press on your band, make sure to include them with your press kit. Try to stay within any press that is relevant. Even bad publicity is publicity. Avoid including too much because you'll only overload people. If your band is listed in your local weekly paper, it doesn't constitute as press.

Cover Letter

Always include a dated cover letter. This will help to track when the package was created and sent out. It will also allow you to express to the recipient of your press kit for what reason you have sent one. Tell exactly why you sent them the package and what you want from them. Be specific. If you want a publishing and not a record deal, then state that. If you want to open for an already established local act instead of trying to headline a show of your own, then tell them. No one's a mind reader. Unless you clearly state your business people won't know what to do with your press kit. It's as good as garbage.

Make sure to include all the appropriate contacts in your letter and try to do a follow up phone call in a few weeks.

Posted by Keif on 12/17/2004 | 1 comment

New template added

Posted by Chris on 12/16/2004 | 0 comments

New music player FINAL

We've fixed a lot of little bugs that came up in testing last week. The new player will automatically replace the old one on your site on December 22 (next Wednesday). We will have a few "skins" available by then so you can choose a more subtle look if you like. The one you see here will be the "default" version. Let us know what you think
Posted by Chris on 12/16/2004 | 0 comments

New template added

Posted by Chris on 12/15/2004 | 0 comments