In the age of streaming, more singles and EPs are being released than albums for various reasons. The first reason is that albums are costlier to make and production takes a longer time. Singles and EPs, on the other hand, are quicker and cheaper to make and are a great way to test new styles. The release process is no different than the production process on this front. With singles and EPs, it is easier to customize the release process and make it as engaging as possible. Here are five steps to prepare your single or EP for a release:
Set a release date and work backwards
While singles typically don’t require a huge planning effort, EPs should be planned at least three months ahead of time. As a rule of thumb, you should finish mastering and have the songs ready for release before starting any promotion. This will help you concentrate on marketing your EP or single, rather than dividing your attention between the creative and business side of your efforts.
Once you have the music ready to go, the first step is to set a release date. Make sure that the release date is at least three months in advance. Then, work backward from there.
Create a cover and title
The second step is to create the title of your EP. Once you have selected a title, you can start working on the cover. You can work with a graphic designer, but if you have a concrete idea or a photo that is ready to go, you can also do it yourself. There are many professional-level design applications online.
The cover should be the first thing that is ready to go, as it will be your main visual component during the promotion effort. Moreover, it might be useful to create a music video or lyric video that is visually consistent with the EP.
Write a press release and reach out to media
The third step is to write your press release. When you reach out to any kind of media, the most important component of your outreach will be your press release. For this reason, it should contain all the necessary information about you and your release that a journalist might need.
Your press release should not be longer than a page. Keep it simple, to the point, and informative. Take out any sentences that do not provide new information for the journalist. Make sure the press release includes the EP or single’s cover, the title, the release date, and any information about the concept behind the release. Since EPs consist of a few songs, you can also talk about the songs individually, which is great especially if they have interesting inspirations or stories behind them. I highly suggest doing an internet search to read the press releases of some of your favorite artists.
When your press release is ready, do some research about which publications might be interested in your release. A great way to get successful results from your research is to find publications that wrote about similar artists. Chances are that the same publications might be interested in your work as well. In many cases, journalists stray away from any release that is not a full album, but there are exceptions of course. If a journalist finds your story interesting to write about, then there’s a chance it might get published. The key is to have an interesting angle that the journalists might be interested to write about.
Another aspect of getting published is to have a real relationship with the journalist. Even if you haven’t met them in real life, you can still follow them on social media, read their posts, comment on their pictures and make sure they know who you are when you send them the initial email.
Reach out to your email list
The fourth step is to reach out to your email list. Your email list is one of your most valuable assets, as it gets you to reach out (hopefully) to your most loyal fans. Your biggest fans are the ones who will make the initial purchase, come to your shows, and most importantly, they will be your advocates and the main engine behind the word of mouth marketing of your brand. Make sure that they know that a release is coming before anyone else.
Announce it on social media
The fifth and final step is to announce the release of your EP or Single on social media. I would refrain from announcing the release too far ahead or too close to the release date. Typically, two weeks to a week is a good time to announce your release unless you have a very detailed plan with a lot of interesting visual material and information to share. You want to keep your audience aware, but not overwhelmed. So a good rule of thumb would be to post every other day once you make your announcement.
These are the five steps to prepare your single and EP for release. EP and single releases are innovative and open for customization so you can experiment with new steps and add some more features to your release strategy. It is all about your objective in the end. So feel free to discover more ways you can prepare further.