The Heretic’s Comment: Before sharing my observations concerning the 2012 Stellar Awards, I want to first say congratulations to all the winners and nominees. My comments following are not meant to be disrespectful toward the winners and nominees, but it is more directed to the powers that keep them propped up.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, on this past Saturday, I made up my mind that I was going to force myself to sit down and watch the entire Stellar Awards show no matter how tempted I was to change the channel. And that is what I did. I watched the entire show and even though I had clients that were nominated in certain categories it turned out to be a tortured experience for me.

The entire affair just seemed to be an overproduced, detached and unrealistic attempt to connect christian music to an audience. And I am not talking about the audience in attendance, because it appeared that the entire audience was on the payroll of the producers of the show to make it seem like every performance was full of God’s anointing and power.

The problem that I have with the Stellar Awards is that it comes off as one big propaganda tool to keep pushing the same small crop of christian entertainment royalty as the center of the christian musical universe. Keep in mind that the small group of christian musical artists I am referring to are for the most part owned and controlled by the Conglomerates. By the way, my complaints about the Stellar Awards, is essentially the same complaint I have about the Grammy’s as well, but I boycotted watching the Grammy’s this year.

At any rate, Christian Music is so much more dynamic, powerful and impactful, then the propaganda show we witnessed in this year’s Stellar Awards.

The only way to change the old guard protecting the same group of gospel and christian artist who keep being renominated and winning year after year after year is for you and I as listeners and lovers of gospel and christian music to support (truly) support the artist we love even if they don’t happen to be a house hold name.

Support Independent Music.

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

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The E-Book version of  “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following sites:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-ebook/dp/B006D0G67M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1325093316&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-you-sign-that-leslie-warren-cross-jr/1030195081?ean=2940013453357&itm=1&usri=before+you+sign+that

Through Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114597

The print version is coming soon. We will keep you posted.

We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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We Are Back!!!

attorneycross On February - 9 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We took the first part of this year off to focus on putting the finishing touches on Cross’ book “Before You Sign That”.

Well the  Book is completed and we can now start back providing you with the insight, information and resources you can use in order to cash-flow your creative projects.

This is the first break we have taken in almost 3 years of posts and we want to thank the hundreds of you who have continued to visit our blog and utilize us as a resource library.

2012 is going to be an interesting year for creative projects. It is an election year, plus many believe it is the end of the world as we know it.

Whatever your beliefs, if you are a creative person and you plan to put out a project this year, you will have to realize that most of the country (in fact) most of the world is financially hurting and if you want people to spend their hard earned money on your project, you are going to have to give them maximum value.

Another commitment YOU will have to make is connecting YOUR project to people. It is becoming more and more apparent, that people don’t want to spend money with strangers (especially when it comes to buying music, books, films).

Fans and consumers want to feel connected to you and a part of your movement before dropping money on your project.

As a result, it is timeout for those of you who believe that you can disrespect your fans and still get them to spend money with you. It ain’t happening. They have too many choices now and they will just pass your project to go with the next.

Okay that’s it for now, but we will get back on our post schedule and we want to say again how grateful we are and appreciate all the love and support you have shown us during our time focusing on other projects.

Now let’s go make this money doing what we love!!!!

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When Free Cost Too Much!!!

attorneycross On December - 23 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comments: Andrian Brigham a true gentleman of the Music Industry shared some commentary on his thoughts on artists who give their entire album away for free and we wanted to share his wisdom with you. We have encouraged you repeatedly in this blog to establish value in your music and reinforce this value with your fanbase. If you insist are giving your music away, then what you are doing is establishing that the value of your music is $0.00. Clients and people asking advice and counsel of me argue with me all the time in trying to justify why they are giving their music away for free, but at the end of the day, if you are giving it away for free, the dollar value of your music is $0.00. That cost too much for you!!!

Check out Adrian’s observations about Artist who give away their entire album for free in hopes of generating buzz and let me know your thoughts:

They may be talented musicians but they’re marketing idiots! I can see giving away a song or two, but to give away complete albums in hopes of future sales is just plain dumb. We have a friend who is a rock artist and he puts out several albums a year, and keeps giving them away to get people to come to his club gigs. Now nobody will pay for them because they expect them for free. What is more important though is when you give your product away for free you establish a worth of $0. The whole purpose of a marketing and P/R campaign is to establish a value for the artist, and value is measured in how much the audience is willing to spend for you or your product. Giving away product basically tells the audience that your product isn’t worth buying. That’s what the marketing is supposed to do, give them a reason to buy it. Problem is most musicians don’t know anything about marketing or how to build their value so they fall into the “freebie” trap.

Those that have known me for a long time have heard this story many times, but for my new friends here’s something to think about. One of my good friends and really my mentor in the world of performing is a retired “super agent” to the stars. Nowadays he manages a small theater in one of Chicago’s suburbs. We have had many long and informative lunches and he has taught much about this business and how it really works. Anyway, during one of our lunches we were talking about potential acts for the theater, and I suggested one entertainer who works a lot of Chicago’s clubs and bars with his comedy/music act. Without even pausing the soup spoon to his lips he simply said “never!” I was kind of surprised as the guy is somewhat popular and has a good show. I asked why in a puzzled way. My friend calmly replied “how could I ever get anyone to spend $25 for a ticket to see him in my theater when they can wait a week and see him for free at the bar down the street?” It was true. And in the bar they can order a beer and a burger. The theater only sells bottled water.

So really, honestly, and truly what is that artist’s value to his fans? It’s $0. We know another local singer who works a couple of area restaurants. He is very talented, yet why is he working there where people don’t pay to hear him when Micheal Buble, who really isn’t as good as this guy, can fill a stadium a few miles away with ticket prices hovering around $100 a seat? Buble’s backers and management worked hard to establish that value, not by giving away his music, but through marketing, otherwise Michael would still be singing at weddings in Canada.

The day we signed the deal to make my wife’s album I did what others would think is crazy; I cancelled all of her remaining club dates. I actually took her completely out of circulation. She “disappeared” for almost two years while the album was being recorded. There would be no more “free” performances in clubs. The next time her fans wanted to see her it would be in a theater and they’d have to pay for those seats. And if they wanted a copy of her album they’d have to buy that too. The only freebie we gave out went to the radio stations and the media to get the publicity we needed to sell those theater seats. It was the press coverage and advertising that sold the tickets, not giving away our music to the fans. Just some food for thought folks!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

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3 Sites to Target your Music Marketing in 2012

attorneycross On December - 20 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comments: Music Blog Hypebot has recommended three sites to target your music marketing in 2012.

To cut straight to chase, the three sites are:

1) Facebook

2) YouTube

3) Your own website.

We have provided a direct link to the full article below. The article is short and will only take you a few minutes to read, but is worth the read because HypeBot provides good explanation on why they believes this is the best way to focus your efforts (and we agree).

http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/12/mobile-marketing-for-independent-artists-reality.html

Closing Comments:

YouTube in a lot of ways is becoming the center of the Universe to market independent music. If you don’t have a YouTube Channel, then you are setting yourself up to enter the fighting ring with one hand tied behind your back. That being said, the ultimate goal is to use social media sites as road post pointing Fans to your own website. This is the most critical aspect in marketing your music. You must invest the time, money and effort into developing, launching and maintaining your own website as the hub for your everything that you do and everything that you are attempting to sell.

Go into 2012 seeing yourself as a STORE and not just as a artist/musician/songwriter!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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The Heretic’s Comment: We ran across a great Forbes article by columnist  Zack O’Malley Greenburg discussing Mac Miller’s independent march to fame and fortune. If you want some motivation to keep you going in this brutal game called the Music Industry, take time out to read this excellent article. The article will take you about 10 minutes to complete. The link appears directly below.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2011/12/19/mac-miller-indie-music-savior-30-under-30/

Closing Comments:

Read this article!!! It will motivate you!!!

The thing I love about Mac is that he gets it. He understands that it is better to get a bigger slice of a smaller pie, than almost no slice at all from a huge pie. When you do the numbers, dollars wins over pennies. But what artists/musical groups/bands get caught up into thinking is that having the major label machine behind them will translate into them making more money. It sounds good, but in most cases it is not true. Now I grant you, if you are signed to a major label you may be able to charge a higher fee for your shows, but those days are rapidly coming to an end. Nowadays, you can’t draw people to a show just because you are an artist signed to a major label, instead people attending live shows are there because somehow they feel connected with that particular artist whether or not that artist is signed to a major label.

It boils down to your efforts to consistently connect your music to a fanbase that is loyal to you as opposed to being loyal to the record label you may happened to be signed to. We have a post called Rent-A-Fanbase versus Own-A-Fanbase that goes into this topic much deeper and we highly recommend you to read.

Find a way to get your music and products into your fans’ hearts and that will get you to the money. It is not easy….but it can happen…just read Mac Miller’s story!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

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The Wheel is still Round

attorneycross On December - 17 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We want to share a link below regarding a post we did back in 2009 discussing the importance of  maintaining your independence and ownership.

Let us know your thoughts/comments.

http://www.myspace.com/thecrossfirm/blog/511152598

Closing Comments:

OFF D GRID is a movement we are still pushing. It essentially means developing your own alternate musical universe which is not reliant on Conglomerate operated and controlled distribution/supply chains. It advocates that you create and fight an insurgency campaign to connect your music to a paying fan-base in spite of the Conglomerates’ propaganda campaign to brainwash you into believing that your only route to achieve significant success and exposure is to sell out to them!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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Strategies to move your music in 2012$$$

attorneycross On December - 16 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comments: George Howard (a Berklee Professor of Music Business/Management) contributed an article describing strategies you can use to make your music successful (whatever success means to you) for the upcoming year of 2012.

We have provided a direct link below to Mr. Howard’s article. It will take you about 10 minutes to read. Also (as we always recommend you do) if you have time to read the comments following the article make the effort to do so. In a lot of instances you can learn more from reading the comments, than you do from reading the article itself.

http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/12/7-ways-to-increase-your-odds-of-success-in-the-music-business-in-2012.html?utm_medium=email&ref=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=newseletter12_15_11

Closing Comments:

Don’t chase someone else’s musical style!!! I call this the flavor of the month syndrome. Instead, in 2012 make the determination to create the music that personally moves you and brings you enjoyment as opposed to creating music simply because you think it will sell (but it doesn’t move you)!!!

Have the courage to believe………..in YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

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The Heretic’s Comments: Vinny Ribas of Indie Connect Magazine provides some excellent insight to why you might not have been successful as you want to be in selling your music online.

A direct link to the Vinny’s post appears directly below:

http://indieconnectmagazine.com/2011/11/indie-artist-tip-day-buying-music-online/

Closing Comments:

One of the most tragic mistakes I see recording artist constantly making is thinking that creating great music will cause people to discover them.

It is only partially true!!!

It is a given that you must record and deliver great music, but you also have to make great decisions in mapping out a plan which will allow the widest possible fan-base and customer-base to discover your music.

That being said, if YOU are not good with marketing and promoting YOURSELF these days, YOU will have a very short music career as well as not make any money.

Long gone are the days when you can just be a great songwriter, singer or musician and leave the responsibility of promoting yourself to a Record Label. YOU are YOUR own Record Label, and YOU better realize that YOU are going to have to get out their and kiss some babies and shake some hands if YOU are going to make impact.

YOU are in a business of relationships….if they don’t feel connected to YOU….YOUR music will be ignored…and they won’t spend money with YOU or YOUR products!!!

Take time to read Vinny’s post. It will help you organize your efforts in generating money online!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

 

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The Heretic’s Comment: Those of you who read this blog regularly know how strongly we emphasize the importance of owning and controlling your creative content, but with that being said, there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the U.S. Congress is attempting to enforce the rights of content owners through the proposed controversial legislation known as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).

The major entertainment conglomerates from the music, books and film industries among others are all lining up to put pressure on Congress to pass this legislation which would effectively criminalize the act of posting up content which you can’t prove that you have ownership in or  license to use.

One version of the act, has as part of its punishment, a 5 year prison sentence for a first time offender. Additionally, websites such as YouTube or Facebook which allows users to place content on their sites could be shut down (yanked from the internet) if the offending content is not removed within 5 days of posting.

The Entertainment Conglomerates are using SOPA as another way to control and police content. Either you play their game or they shut you down and possibly have prosecutors attempt to throw you in jail. These companies have not learned one damn thing. They tried this same tactic when the RIAA (Record Label Police) went after highschoolers and college kids among others for file sharing. These efforts had a negative impact on the public’s view of the major labels which still lingers to this very day.

We have told you several times in this blog that censorship of the internet is the fight taking place as we speak, but sadly most of the public is not even aware that a war is being waged.

One of my favorite bloggers Seth Godin shared a list of the companies/organizations who support SOPA. As Seth stated, we are providing the list so now you know who to complain to:

ABC
AFTRA – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
AFM – American Federation of Musicians
AAP – Association of American Publishers
ASCAP
BMG Chrysalis
BMI
CBS Corporation
Cengage Learning
DGA – Directors Guild of America
Disney Publishing Worldwide, Inc.
EMI Music Publishing
ESPN
Graphic Artists Guild
Hachette Book Group
HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C.
Hyperion
IATSE – International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories and Canada
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Kaufman Astoria Studios
Macmillan
Major League Baseball
Marvel Entertainment, LLC
McGraw-Hill Education
MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
NFL – National Football League
National Music Publishers’ Association
NBCUniversal
News Corporation
New York Production Alliance
New York State AFL-CIO
Pearson Education
Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
The Perseus Books Group
Producers Guild of America East
Random House
Reed Elsevier
SAG – Screen Actors Guild
Scholastic, Inc.
Silvercup Studios
Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Time Warner Inc.
United States Tennis Association
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Publishing Group
Viacom
Warner Music Group
W.W. Norton & Company
Wolters Kluwer

Closing Comments:

In the case of Conglomerates who are in the business of  buying content, stop giving up your ownership to these companies. Once they own your content and a law like SOPA is passed, you could possibly be thrown in jail for posting up your own music to YouTube!!! Stop this madness!!!

Are we a Police State or a Democracy??????

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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The Heretic’s Comment: The issue revolving around how recording artist should be paid from digital downloads continues to be fought out in court. In 2010 Eminem was able to win a lawsuit against Universal Music Group for how it was calculating the royalties payable to him for digital downloads (please search for our earlier post which discussed the Eminem lawsuit). And now a few weeks ago, a California Federal Judge gave initial approval for allowing a class action lawsuit to move forward against Universal Music for the same issue that was the basis of the Eminem lawsuit.

As a brief review, the essential issue that recording artists are hopping mad about revolves around Universal Music’s “fuzzy logic” in arguing that digital downloads operate as a sale and not as a licensing event.

Why does Universal Music want digital downloads to be classified as a sale and not a license, because their recording contract will allow them to pay the artist the standard artist rate (10 to 20 percent of retail) (in other words pennies on the dollar).

On the other hand, why do recording artist want digital downloads to be treated as a license, because recording contracts normally require that granting a license to a recording requires the Record Label and the artist to split the licensing fees 50/50.

So we are talking about a significant difference in the amount of money the artist can make per digital download sold based on whether the digital download is classified as a sale versus a license.

Please see the link below for further discussion of this very interesting topic. We will keep you posted on this developing issue.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/universal-music-lawsuit-rob-zombie-rick-james-256662

Closing Comments:

If you are already selling product independently and a record label offers to sign you to a recording agreement, look at the way the record label is attempting to calculate your payments for product sold. Remember, most artist who sign with major record labels never see one dime of artist royalties, so make sure that if you are able to sell enough units to pay for your recording fund that you have maximized the money you will make per unit sold.

Your best defense against the above, is to try and get the record label to pay you the biggest advance possible upfront. Unfortunately, however, advances are not what they use to be…but if you sign a recording agreement and don’t get any money up front, you are setting yourself up for the victim scenario!!!

Something to think about!!!!

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

 

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