>You may or may not know that I have a new album out. It’s called RAW MESH, and if you want to stream it, you can do so here.

In the past, when I’ve been trying to promote an album, I used to burn up a number of CD-R copies and send them to various newspapers/magazines/radio stations/labels. This was very time-consuming for me, and, more often than not, was almost totally non-productive. I got very little response from the traditional media and the CDs most likely ended up in a wastebasket, unplayed.

Given that someone like me is most unlikely to get any kind of exposure in the traditional media, this time out I decided on a different approach. I chose to prepare an electronic press kit, comprising of the entire album in MP3 format, some jpegs and a “virtual” interview. I sent the traditional media an email with a link from which they could download a zip file containing the kit. As an alternative, I also sent them the streaming link above which you’ve undoubtedly already accessed. My thinking is that since the traditional media is going to ignore the album anyway, they might as well ignore it in a manner which is cost-effective to me.

But I went a step further – I found a blog from an Irish “rock” journalist and followed all the links from that blog, sending them the same email that I’d sent to the traditional media. But I went a step even further than that. Each of those links is itself a blog, so I’m now following each of the links in those blogs. To date I’ve sent close to 500 e-mails using this methodology, with perhaps as many again to follow. Even if I conservatively estimate the average cost of burning a CD-R. printing the packaging, buying jiffy bags for each CD and posting them at €5, I will potentially have saved myself around €5k

…of course, the reason I say “potentially” is because I would never ordinarily have sent out 1000 promo packages to the traditional media. But I most certainly would have sent out 50 packages, so realistically I’ve saved myself €250. Not bad, eh?.

I think PR via blog is the way to go for me in the future. In spite of the amount of reportage the traditional media carries on downloading etc., they still insist in reviewing hard-copy albums. Since I can never raise enough sales to justify a large enough print run of CDs to justify sending a meaningful number of PR packages out, I would never have covered as much ground as I have done in the last few days alone. That’s one thing I’ll say in favour of the blogs. Almost invariably, they will insist that you don’t send them hard-copy albums -sending them MP3s or links to download/stream MP3s is perfectly acceptable to them. And that’s how I’ll be able to send out around 1000 press kits to various locations around the globe by the end of this month. For as next to nowt as matters nowt. I may have to offer up the odd free MP3 here and there, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing (I never would have said that two years ago). I’m getting some small levels of feedback even at this early stage in proceedings, about as much as I normally get from the traditional media but for a fraction of the cost and time.

But one thing has struck me in my odyssey around the blogosphere – the desire to express oneself and to self-publish has never been greater, now that the means of doing so are almost readily available to anyone with cheap internet access. And everyone has something to say – not that I’d ever guessed otherwise, but when you see blog after blog expressing opinion after opinion, most of which are meaningless (and even incomprehensible) to me, it’s all a bit overwhelming and unsettling. All those peoples’ lives out there – it’s a curious thing, but the more you see of their lives, the more you feel excluded from them – “Here’s some pix of the party at Johnny’s gaff last weekend – oh, sorry you weren’t there – you weren’t invited”.

And I have never felt so old as I do now, looking at the lives of young people through their blog windows. Here’s hoping I get to bed before the Ovaltine gets to my incontinence pants…

Only joking. For now…