Post Album Launch Crash and Burn

Alanis Morissette
Cover of Alanis Morissette

I just thought I’d share a great video post by Greg Rollett about how most album launches quickly fizzle out within a week of the launch date. He calls it “the dreaded curve” but I think the post album launch “crash and burn” also has a nice ring to it.

And what does Alanis and Metallica have to do with it? You’ll have to read on to find out.

In his video, Greg points out a common flaw for most of us out there when it comes time to promote the latest release – once the album is released publicly we drop the ball and wait for the sales numbers to come in.

Unfortunately, this ‘technique’ results in a whole lot of nothing.

It’s so easy to maintain your enthusiasm when your new music is about to be ‘born’ (a.k.a. unleashed on the masses), sustaining it once it’s not-quite-so-new anymore is the hard part. However, it’s 100% necessary to sustain your effort if you want to see real results.

What happens is we put all our hopes and expectations and have them ride on the first few days of a launch and one of two things happens – either there’s a huge surge of sales and we prematurely pat ourselves on the back and stop promoting the new disc, or we don’t see the sales that we hoped for and we give up too soon.

We figure that maybe the music wasn’t quite as good as we thought and it’s ‘back to the drawing board’ to write some more material. The problem is, your next album is going to be at least six months away and if you don’t break this cycle of ‘premature album abandonment’ – your next music launch is going to go the same way.

I know I’m guilty of this, so don’t feel bad if you’ve done it as well.

Being successful (however you  choose to define it) means being persistent even when it’s easier to pack it up and call it a day.  Even if the music isn’t quite ‘new’ to you anymore – it’s ‘new’ to all the millions of people that have yet to discover it!

metallica münchen 06.05.2009. 9
Yeah - I realize this isn't 90's era Metallica - no hate mail please.

Back in the 90’s when Metallica’s “Black” album was released and Alanis Morrissette released “Jagged Little Pill” they toured years in support of these albums. It seemed no matter how well the album sold, there were still new places to bring the music. Metallica in particular was being played on radio stations and in countries that had never even heard of them before.

If you’re sick of playing your ‘new’ songs a month or two after launch, how would you feel to be Metallica still touring for the same album 3 years later?

Anyway, before I get too far off course – check out Greg’s post on the “dreaded album release musician curve” (that’s a mouthful) and get his advice on how to avoid falling victim to the curve (or post album launch crash and burn) yourself!

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