|Making a Living
from Just Your Music...
Article by David Nevue - August 2008
Back to Internet Music Promotion 101
Can it be done? Can it really be done?
The answer is yes. I've
been doing it. I've been making a living from music for the last seven
years now. Living the dream. Doing music full time.
An artist friend of mine (Catherine Marie Charlton)
forwarded an email to me from Michael Laskow of TAXI. He's seeking out
musicians who are making a living doing just music and nothing else. To
quote the email...
"Have you made any significant money selling
your music digitally online or using the Internet to sell CDs? I'm
truly curious, and thinking about adding a person or two (if I can find
one) to a Road Rally panel on the subject this November.
What do I mean by significant money? Enough that you were able to quit
your day job. We've all been bombarded by the hype surrounding the DIY career path,
but as I've said in previous rants, I haven't seen much evidence of
SIGNIFICANT success. Has anybody on this list made enough money that
you can, or already have walked away from your day job? Please send
emails to firstname.lastname@example.org"
So I sent Michael an email. I'll be interested to see if I hear back.
sure many of you skeptical musicians are out there going... "yea,
right... how much is this guy REALLY making from just his music?"
When I responded to Michael, I added it all up. I was quite surprised. It was more than I expected.
you include CD sales, digital download sales, sales of my sheet music,
concert ticket sales, performance fees and royalties, I made over
$100,000 in the last 365 days. That's over 100K just doing music in the
last year. That *doesn't* include income from sales my book, How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet or any of the other materials on The Music Biz Academy web site.
lest you think I'm sitting here rolling in the dough, you need to
realize that my EXPENSES ate up almost half the income I made last year. It
costs money to make money. But when all is said and done, I'm making a
decent living just doing music.
Now you're thinking, "wait, his
expenses were over 50k just to make that 100k? Well, I don't have 50k
and there's no way I can do that!"
Actually, yes you can. You
see, I started out promoting my music online back in 1995 with NOTHING
financially. All I had was a web site and a couple CDs to sell. My only
ongoing expense when I started out was the cost of hosting my web site.
I started from there and built my music business a little bit at a
time. The more money I made online from my music, the more money I had
to invest back into my career. So it was a very gradual thing. But, by
2001, just six years after I started promoting my music online, I was
able to quit my day job working for Symantec Corp (SYMC) and start
doing "just the music."
Here's the kicker... most people think
you have to be a ROCK STAR to make a good living at music. Not true.
Guess what I do? I'm a pianist. Just a simple piano player. I write and
arrange simple, beautiful piano melodies. You can see my web site at http://www.davidnevue.com or visit me on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/davidnevue if you'd like to hear that.
I spend my days promoting my music online. I'm here at home with my
family. I get to see my kids all day. Get to practice basically
whenever I want. I book my own tours all through my mailing list and so
I get to travel and perform about four months a year as well. I am
blessed beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. Just doing music.
Just living life. Thank you Lord!
So yes, you can make a living
doing music.... providing that your music is music people want. That's
one of the key things you must have that you can't get around. Your
music must be music that people fall in love with - music they want to
own - music they want to invest in.
Now you might be saying.... "David, tell me all your secrets to making money with music!"
there aren't secrets. Just common sense and a basic understanding of
Internet marketing. And before you ask... no, I don't do consulting.
You know, a lot of people have offered me huge sums of cash to help
them with their own music careers. But I always pass on doing that.
Why? Being a consultant isn't what I want to do with my life. I'm a
musician. I have no interest in spending my days on the telephone!
I'm a musician - a professional musician. That's what I do. That's who I am.
Although I don't offer consulting for artists, I do keep up the Music Biz Academy web site. There are lots and lots of music business articles here written by not only myself, but many others in the industry that I respect. And there's my book, "How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet"
for those who want a step-by-step guide to how I do what I do. I wrote
that book - a labor of love - for all of you. Anything I would talk to
you about in a consultation is in there.
So go out there, work
hard, make music, do what you love what you do. And if you're making a
living doing music full time, drop Michael Laskow of TAXI an email at email@example.com . He wants to hear from you, too.
Have a great day...
is the founder of The
Music Biz Academy
Solo Piano Radio. He is also a professional pianist,
recording artist, full-time Internet musician, and author of the book, "How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet."