Have your fingers gone NUM?
Num=No unsolicited materialâ€¦â€¦.So what do you do now? Is it a barrier or a challenge?
I read an article written by Bernard Baur in the Music Connection Magazine, Vol. XXVIII, No. 05. I recommend that you pick up a copy and read the full article.
NUM means different things to different people. For example, one music executive stated that it simply limits the amount of packages they receive in a given period of time. Another executive from an indie label stated that it can mean they have not heard of you, so call me first before you send me a package. So how do you get solicited? There are no set rules.
First and foremost, research the company you want to solicit your material, know the names of the employees, who they work with, and know the kinds of acts they like.
After youâ€™ve done your research, you must make a solid connection with the first person who answers the phone (the gatekeeper)â€¦so your next step...make the call!
As Howard Rosen, an indie radio promoter, said, â€œDonâ€™t ever forget that those assistants, receptionists, and secretaries who may be gatekeepers today could later become VPâ€™s in the company. It happens all the time in this business.â€??
Some donâ€™ts: Do not be overly aggressive to the person who answers the phone. Do not be impatient or nasty. Do not lie about who you know or what you have done. Never never curse at them!
After youâ€™ve done your homework and made the connectionâ€¦now itâ€™s time for the submission.
Some submission protocols to follow:
1. Keep it simple but powerful 2. Recheck every single recording 3. Put your best song 1st on the CD. Most listeners will not take the time to go to song 2 or 3 to listen. 4. Reduce the instrumental intros to 10-15 seconds, you usually have 30 seconds to grab their attention. 5. Do not call the company to follow-up on your demo. If they are interested, they will call you. 6. Resubmit your demo after 6 months BUT only do so if you have significantly changed. Moses Avalon stated, â€œIf someone passed on you, you may as well change your name if you want to submit to them again. People rarely change their minds about an act theyâ€™ve already heard.â€??
Finally, NUM should not stop you in your tracks. Itâ€™s about getting a fair chance.