6 Tips For A Successful Album Release

You’ve put in the work, slogged through all the rewrites, did all your mastering, and now it’s album release time. You have a show booked within the next month, so logic states you should make it the record release show and your official release date. Not so fast. If you’re looking for more exposure on your music beyond the traditional friends and family who come to every show, you need to be strategic. Your band is your business, and like any successful business you need to create a plan for your album launch. If you’ve invested your time and money into the recording, don’t you want to make sure it’s heard by as many people as possible?

Below are considerations we make for every album launch to insure the greatest likelihood of success, and they form a blueprint any artist can follow.

Set Your Release Date a Minimum of Three Months in the Future.

You should begin by announcing your release date 3-6 months in advance to meet media deadlines, create awareness, and begin building a buzz. This is the #1 mistake we see bands make. You’ve spent months, if not years, on your album and you just want people to hear it. I get it. However, as counterintuitive as it may seem, you greatly reduce the amount of people hearing your music by releasing it right away. Think about every band you’ve deemed successful and chances are they had a plan in place to build up to the release date. Since my company, Green Light Go Publicity, is a music PR firm, we often look at everything from the perspective of a music blogger, radio station or traditional print outlet. These outlets receive dozens, if not hundreds of emails per day, all asking for music to be heard. It’s literally impossible to listen to every band who submits in a given day. This means they often need weeks, if not months, before your music is heard, especially if the familiarity isn’t already there. It also means it often takes repeated attempts contacting a media outlet before that first listen happens.

Set Your Release Date on Friday.

In 2015, official release dates in the U.S. were changed from Tuesday to a global Friday release to help combat piracy. Even if piracy isn’t your top concern, this release date should be. It shows you take your band seriously and understand the standard business practice of the music industry. By adopting a Friday release date you’re also giving validity to your release.

Even if your record release show doesn’t fall on Friday, you should set a Friday release date. The show should be in support of the album first and foremost. If you are someone who has set your release date based on an upcoming show, this is the time to change that. Instead set your release date and then book a show at a credible venue in support of it.  

Target the Right Music Bloggers.

You should be sending your music to bloggers and magazines to increase your fanbase. And that begins with targeting the right media contacts. Research the best publications for your type of music and then send it to the person who seems most likely to cover it. If you want a review, send it to the music editor or reviews editor. If it’s a specific writer, drop them a line telling them why they’ll like it based on what they’ve written about. Don’t send your rock album to a writer who only covers hip hop or electronic. No matter how good your record is, he won’t be into it and most likely the only coverage you’ll get is on his wall of shame. You should also look at the level of artists being covered at the outlet. If the outlet only covers established and celebrity acts and you’re unsigned band is hovering right around 1k followers on Facebook, the chance of that outlet covering you is slim to none.

Tip: Click the box next to “publications” on our Opportunities listings page to find blogs and magazines looking for new songs to cover

Make Your ReverbNation Profile and Website Press Friendly.

There are certain things media outlets and music industry professionals look for when discovering a new band. You should make it easy for them if your aim is increased exposure. This should include hi-res publicity photos (at least 300dpi), bio, mp3s or streamed audio they can hear. The bio should have a strong story angle that is definitively you and hasn’t already been said before. It should not include things like, “sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before” or “we’re completely DIY.” If you need ideas for a great publicity photo, look at some of your favorite blogs to see what types of photos they post. It should tell a story about your band, look professional and catch attention. You want people to hear your music, right?  So, include a single or music that is most representative of your current sound. You should NOT include your entire album or EP on your website before the release date. Instead only include the mp3 you’ve already released and then password protect the album. If you’ve received press, include press quotes with the highest profile or the best quotes at the top of your page.

Set a Single Release Date.

Here’s the good news about having to wait to release your album. It doesn’t mean you have to wait to release any music. In fact, I highly recommend releasing an mp3 within three weeks to start getting the music out there and also test how people react. If you want coverage on blogs, offer at least one downloadable mp3 through Soundcloud for their readers. This is a great way to build press early to increase both fan and media interest, which increases your chance of a successful release.

Don’t Forget About Social Media.

Look at ways you can keep your fans engaged while supporting those who have supported you. Start teasing out the single and album release on your social networks and create a banner for the page. If you don’t have access to a designer or aren’t inclined yourself, Canva provides great free templates for professional looking banners. Retweet when a fan or blog says something great about your music. Involve your fans in the process by giving sneak peeks of cover art, publicity photo shoots, videos or anything else they want to know about. Pay attention to where you receive the most engagement and make sure you plan out more of the same. Ask your fans to retweet and share your Facebook posts with their friends.

Need a ridiculously simple way to update fans through email and social media at the same time?

A lot more goes into releasing an album than just setting an arbitrary release date or sending it out the minute you receive the masters back. If you truly want your music to be heard, take a little extra time planning a release that will benefit from the time and energy you put into the process.


Janelle Rogers began her over 20 year music industry career working for SXSW Music and Media Conference. She then went on to work for BMG Distribution for 10 years in the alternative music department where she championed bands including Kings of Leon, The Strokes, and The White Stripes. In 2002 she launched Green Light Go Music PR as a haven of honesty, integrity and passion for underrepresented artists and labels.

6 Tips for a Successful Album Release

Dave6 Tips For A Successful Album Release


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  • Speaking Too - January 25, 2017 reply

    Thanks for the information

  • Matt Beaudry - January 29, 2017 reply

    Good Information here. Our Album Broken Beauty is going to be finished and in print soon.

  • Vincent Vidaure - February 7, 2017 reply

    Very informative and helpful guidelines to maximizing the people to hear your music and creating a big buzz before hand. Great read Janelle!

  • Mark Alexander Carroll - March 1, 2017 reply

    This is very helpful especially when you’re a singer/songwriter trying to “do it all!” – Just getting fans and non-fans to take the time to really listen to the production is hard enough. Your advice/recommendations are spot on! Thx!

  • Mark Garvey - March 4, 2017 reply

    Thank you for the great information! On The Line is about to enter the mastering stage of the first album so these are all timely considerations.

  • Morgy 2sly - June 19, 2017 reply

    Wake up call right there, that’s so true and informative , It’s time for my album preparation i.e Single to kick start now with reverbnation, this is my new home

  • TecCrowd - July 24, 2017 reply

    Every Musician need to know about this 6 tips before Releasing new album. I have learn a lot. Thanks for writing this amazing content.

  • Tom 'Ketchfish' Inglis - December 6, 2017 reply

    I’ve been playing out live for decades, a couple of years of which performance was my primary employment and now I’m at 5 years before retiring from my day job which will free me up to small city tour my music to support it directly to the public. I acknowledge that my material is a relatively small genre niche at this point and, as a chronologically gifted person, my audience is more enthusiastic about songs they first listened to 40 years ago than anything new they are exposed to today. I have only been seriously recording for about a year now and will continue doing so, building up at least 4 album length projects before I release anything other than the occasional single which I use as demo’s to book local shows and to give to my close friends, few fervent fans and co-workers in a business environment as occasional gifts.

    At the 18 month point before my initial foray onto the highways and byways of the USA, I will release 2 or 3 singles, plan a release for the first project and book short-term regional tours using local musicians to back me (spring, summer, fall). The majority of my promotional efforts will be geared toward local media, potential venues and like minded musicians in the geographical area I’m covering on the specific tour. In the early fall, I will release a second non-seasonal project and a Christmas project, much in the same manner. I’ll do a short pre-holiday tour in whichever of the first 3 geographical areas I get the most interest generated. After Christmas, I’ll hibernate to work on more material and do the groundwork for the next year’s regional tours, hopefully staying an album project ahead on a pace of 12 to 18 month spacing between releases.

    Reading your article has helped me tweak the details of my working retirement plan. Thanks!

  • Isaac - February 16, 2018 reply

    I dont think a friday release date rule has anything to do with making people think you take your band and brand seriously. Its literally just copying what some corporate entity implemented for their own business reasons. The fact is Friday is one of the worst dates to publish anything as a rule because people tend to be “out of it” on fridays getting mentally ready for the weekend. The best rule about releasing anything you want to be noticed is to not have it land on a day when it will get overlooked. There is no perfect day but the worst days are Friday and Saturday. No one gives a fuck about what the “music industry” is doing nowadays. Think of it like War. If you’re small and not some huge country sized corporation with a ton of resources then you have to act smart and be unique if you want to get noticed. Our swift movements and unexpected behavior is something that the corporate music entities cant keep up with. That is an asset. Look up Guerilla Marketing. Use your weakness as an asset. dont release on Friday

    Drzed Ndubuisi - March 3, 2021 reply

    I totally agree with you

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