Info for Artists and Labels
We believe strongly in sharing information, and in supporting other folks who are trying to make cool music available, whether those people are artists or other labels.
We've made a number of resources available to help out aspiring artists and new label owners:
Info for Artists Who Are Just Starting OutWe get a lot of questions from artists who are new to the business, looking for guidance on everything from how to form a band to how to get a recording contract. Here's the best general advice I can give:
Getting Signed To RacerRacer has an open submissions policy; that means you don't have to get permission before sending us a package. You may want to read the Racer demo submission guidelines for more details.
It may be useful to know that, in general, Racer is looking for album-length, pressable-quality recordings, and that I'm very picky about lyrics - I really like clever lines and unusual phrasing that says something, preferably not something I've heard before. (That's one reason I really like to get lyric sheets.)
If you'd like to send us something, here's the address:
Feel free to send it to my attention (Kristi Wachter).
If you'd like to know more about Racer before sending something in, please feel free to ask questions.
If you're interested in getting signed to another label, you should check with that label about their submission policies and try to do a little research into the type of music they specialize in. I also strongly recommend reading some of the books in the Racer Reading List, which have lots of great advice on how to get signed to a label.
Racer's Standard ContractFor a number of reasons, we've made the text of our standard contract available (... mostly because people asked us to). Please, please, please read the contract commentary along with the sample contract itself. (The commentary file has hypertext links to the contract, so you'll probably want to start with the commentary file.)
Info for Other Indie LabelsWe haven't yet formally compiled as much info for other indie labels as we'd like. However, we do firmly believe in supporting other labels (as long as they're not vicious and nasty and try to blow us out of the water). After all, we can't possibly release all of the great music that's out there, and it's always a shame when cool music doesn't make it to the public, so it only makes sense to encourage those other labels who are working hard to bring the music they love to their fellow music fans.
Of course, we have provided the sample contract and complete commentary, which should help some. In addition, we're thinking of putting together a spreadsheet template for companies who are thinking of releasing cooperative samplers, as well as a quick rundown of our typical costs, to give other folks a starting point when trying to budget for their own endeavors. If there's something in particular you'd like to see or know about, please let me know.
If you're involved in an indie label, do yourself a favor and read How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording, by Diane Sward Rapaport. It compiles information about every aspect of releasing an independent record, and covers things like sales, artwork, and promotion in greater detail and with greater authority than I ever could.
The Racer Reading ListTwo books that I consider required reading for artists and labels alike are How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording, by Diane Sward Rapaport, and All You Need To Know About the Music Business, by Donald Passman. You'll probably be able to find similar titles in the music business section at your library. The Racer Reading List has details about all of our favorite books, including information on where you can buy them.
Other Resources for Artists and LabelsThere are a bunch of organizations, seminars, and related stuff that can be useful to you in putting your music out into the world. The Racer Resource Reference lists a number of those organizations and has contact information and WWW links for many of them.
We offer our warmest encouragement and best wishes to everyone who's working to bring great music to the rest of us.
This page was last updated on March 3, 2004 by Kristi Wachter.