Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman talking about social media

Be as authentic and real as possible. — Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman at MOFO Festival in Tasmania talking about, twitter, social media and music business.

Note: Poor sound quality and too much waffle.

Most people do not have a clue how to use social media. I can probably count on one hand those who know how to make effective use of social media.

A classic example of how not to is the Guildford Book Festival. No I do not want to be sent drivel, no I do not want to have retweets of moronic drivel from authors who may be appearing at your book festival, no I do not want promos of their books. If a writer has something interesting to say, yes, I’d like to hear, but if your are incapable of determining the dross from the gems, best remain silent.

Marketing is an absolute no. If you have a new album, book, out yes, I may wish to know. If it is an album, then it better be on bandcamp, as you never know, I may wish to listen to it, I may even write about it, tell my friends. But what I do not want is a few seconds lofi mp3 sample on Amazon or iTunes.

If you are on a record label, the record label controls your music, they act as gatekeepers, they can quite literally shut you out. Social media enables direct communication.

With sites like bandcamp, music can be sold direct, cut out the greedy record labels.

With twitter, can post a message, we are giving a concert in the park, tell your friends. But should not neglect traditional media like posters and flyers.

It also means artists have to work, they have to be good, they cannot churn out crap and rely on record label hype.

Big record labels are dinosaurs, but they have not yet woken up to the new reality, the message has not yet travelled from the tail to the head that they are clinically dead. But in their death throes, they lash out at all and sundry. What other industry criminalises potential customers?

No, no, no, if you have a book, do not publish on Amazon, any more than release your music on iTunes or Amazon. Publish on leanpub.

If you want to see what a band is like, no way myspace, bandcamp wins out every time. For individual tracks and work in progress, soundcloud.

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