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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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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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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An example of Music CD Cost and Payout Breakdown

attorneycross On December - 10 - 20112 COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment:

According to Moses Avalon’s 1998 Book, Confessions of a Record
Producer, the proceeds of a then-$17 CD would typically be distributed
as follows:

Retailer: $5 (29.4%),
Record label: $4.92 (28.9%),
Distributor: $2.40 (14.1%),
Giveaways: $1.80 (10.6%),
Duplication/recording: $1.10 (5.8%),
Artist royalty: 83 cents (4.9%),
Songwriter license: 60 cents (3.5%),
Producer royalty: 27 cents (1.6%),
Musicians union: 8 cents (0.4%).

Now mind you, the numbers used in our example are from years ago, but it is instructive to show you just how greedy and abusive the Major Labels have been both to recording artists/producers/songwriters as well as to the general consumer.  The physical production cost of each CD might have cost the Major Label anywhere from 6 cents to 50 cents to manufacture, yet the Labels had the price jacked up in some cases as high as $19.98 for the retail price of the CD. Of this retail pricing, the combined money paid out to the recording artist, songwriter, producer and musician was  less than $2.00 per CD sold (in our example, it was actually $1.74 per CD sold).

The saddest part about the above is that despite using numbers from over 10 years ago, nothing presently has changed in the artist’s favor in reference to those signed under major recording contracts. In fact,  it is even worst now,  because of all of the 360 arrangements that Major Labels force artists to eat in exchange for getting a deal. So the possibility of an artist making money through record royalties in 2011 remains almost non-existent despite the fact that in this year Major Record Labels and their partners will pocket millions upon millions of dollars from physical CD sales.

Sadly enough the numbers on the digital side are even worst than the physical side, but we will deal with that in a separate post.

Closing Comments:

You have to have the courage to speak to Power and refuse to bow down. That is the only way these slave deals will ever change. As long as we are fighting and competing against each other to see who will have the next opportunity to be offered the major label deal, 10 years from now…nothing will have changed. Your musical sons and daughters will be signing the same slave deal you were forced to sign. Even more sadder than that is the fact that you will own none of your music…it will be under the firm control and ownership of a Conglomerate that has long forgotten about 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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Old Media is selling this Holiday Season

attorneycross On December - 5 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: Don’t count physical product out just yet. We found just the story we had been looking for  which indicates that a number of mom and pop retail stores are selling independent movies, games, books and music cds at a very brisk rate.

The story we found deals with sales taken place in the state of Maine, but we are hopeful that this trend will be proven to be applicable for other areas of the country as well. We have provided  a direct link to the story below.  The story will take you between 5 to 10 minutes to read.

http://www.kjonline.com/news/old-media-holding-its-own-this-holiday-season_2011-12-04.html

Closing Comments:

If you can afford to do physical product (and you have a fanbase that supports you), invest in physical product and don’t just limit yourself to digital.

Your profit margins are so much better going physical over digital and additionally you can be more creative with the packaging you offer…which will hopefully entice your fans to buy your product as gifts for others.

Its crunch time for the Holiday buying season…so if you have product…push it…push it…push it….

I know times are challenging, but this is the time of year that relationships you have developed consistently over the months leading up to the holidays can pay off.

On the other hand, if you are not having a successful holiday season selling your product this year, then come up with a game plan to introduce yourself to local retail business owners and service shops such as barber shops/ beauty shops/cleaners/convenience stores/medical offices.

Get to know the managers/owners/service providers. Find out if there is a way you can put your product in their stores on consignment. Let me emphasize, don’t limit yourself to music stores or stores that specialize in selling what you do.Expand well beyond that.

So you say to me…you crazy…I am not going to do that. Well my response to your reservation is to first make the owner or manager a Fan of what you do. If you are performing, make an effort to give free passes to local retail store owners. If you have new music, give a complimentary copy to the store owner and pitch them on the possibility of placing your product near the register or checkout if they truly like your music (or whatever you do).

It won’t be a hard sell for the store owner/manager, because hopefully their customers  will just naturally ask, what is going on with this music cd or dvd or book you are carrying. And a conversation can take place from there which will hopefully lead to a sell. Your sell!!! Anything can happen!!!

One Last Thought

Develop a thick skin and go beyond your fear of rejection. You have to be willing to do what others are too intimated to do in order to give your product a fighting chance of generating a profit. That being said, don’t be a pest. If they don’t like what you do, move on to the next until you are able to make the connection.

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: A short post to remind songwriters and composers that limiting your entire creative focus to always working on your next single or album is not wise , especially as it relates to generating cash-flow.

Why do I say this? Okay I will answer the question, but before doing so, I want you to think about the following:

Keep in mind that (at its heart) one of music’s most powerful qualities is how effectively it attaches itself to certain moments in our lives.

Once a particular song is attached to a life event, like a special date with a girl or guy, our first kiss, a special night, or special event, that song sticks like cement glue to the point that whenever we hear that song, (even years later) the entire scene of that previous event can come alive again.

Okay I will answer the question now. So the reason limiting your creative focus to just working on your next single or album is a mistake,  is that it positions you to miss daily opportunities to make your music come alive by attaching it to everyday life events.

So instead of just closing yourself in the studio to work on your single or album, as a creative songwriter or composer, create music in real time as life events occur.

For example, you can write words and music for a guy or girl who wants to make an immediate impression on a love interest. You don’t have to charge them a lot of money, make it reasonable so that the word will spread and prayerfully they will tell more of their friends to use your music services so your phone will keep ringing.

Or if you know of a small company that is having a special event, pitch them on letting you come up with the theme music for the event. Again, you don’t have to charge a lot of money at first, just see if you can get this particular niche  to grow, and the money will start flowing more easily.

Closing Comments:

What I have described above of course is not limited to music and can be applied to a host of creative activities. Poets, Painters, Photographers, Dancers, etc can all apply their particular art to everyday life activities and events which people will be willing to pay for if the price is reasonable.

Something for you to Think About!!! Remember you don’t have to always  hit a homerun to score….you just have to keep the ball in play long enough for you to get to the next base without being tagged out…Home plate is coming!!!!

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: Earlier today the U.S. Senate fought back a bill (filed by Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson) which would have repealed the current Net Neutrality Rules.

Unfortunately a lot of individuals in the creative community are not even aware of the fight going on concerning whether the internet will remain free and open or a closed universe.

To quickly get you up to speed (in case you are unaware or don’t understand the issues), essentially the fight boils down to a number of telecommunications conglomerates including Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T (among others) who want the power to be able to dictate what internet services and content their customers can have access through their networks.

The simplest explanation I have heard in explaining this issue is to think about  how Cable Television works.  Now, we all know that unless you pay for the Comcast or Warner Cable (or whoever) cable service fees, that you can’t (legally) access the channels that are licensed to that particular cable system.

So to help generate cash flow, Cable Providers develop all sorts of different viewing packages;  there is basic cable, specialty packages and finally premium packages. Depending on how much you are willing to pay, will directly determine what cable or premium channels you will have access to view.

So the above description is roughly how the Conglomerates (mentioned earlier) want to control what internet services and content can be accessed through their networks plugging into the internet.

Now the current federal Net Neutrality Rules state that internet access is to remain free and open and that no telecommunication company can exercise unreasonable discrimation in providing access to internet based services or content.

Quite naturally, the Conglomerates mentioned earlier don’t like this rule and thus want the current law to be repealed.

So the essence of the fight is whether the internet will remain open and unrestricted or whether the internet will be a closed universe.

Closing Comments:

The creative community has to stop sleep walking and really become engaged in the fight not to have our voices silenced, muffled or hijacked. Stay up on this issue. Put pressure on politicians. Tell others you know in the creative community. Let’s not allow them to steal our best opportunity to fight the Conglomerates on a somewhat level playing field. Give us your thoughts.

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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One of music’s reigning patriarchs, Plan to Dominate the Industry

Mr. Doug Morris, one of music’s reigning patriarchs, took over Sony in July, after 15 years at Universal. He is seen as the most capable person to secure Sony’s music division, which has been overwhelmed by internal squabbles since its merger with BMG in 2004. “So far he has been aggressive in trying to remake the company, the home of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé and Usher. “

“At 72, his age and experience summon up the inevitable charge that as part of the industry’s old guard he is ill-equipped to thrive in the digital age. Mr. Morris rejects that notion, pointing out his role in creating Vevo, the hugely successful music video site.”

“Last Friday afternoon, after months of talks, Mr. Morris signed his first major new deal, with Dr. Luke, the pop producer behind big hits by Katy Perry and Kesha. It creates a record label, Kemosabe Records, to be financed by Sony and run by Dr. Luke in Los Angeles. And, perhaps most valuably, it also gives Sony exclusive rights to Dr. Luke’s services as a producer for five years.”

As new chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment, says “My plan here is very simple, to help create the pre-eminent record company in the world.”

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

 

 

 

 

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