Submissions

NTSIB editorial policy: I write about the music, and music-related things, that I like. So far this includes music and books about music and musicians.

I welcome submissions! The following are the guidelines:

Books

If you have a music-related book/comic book/etc submission, please contact me at the e-mail addresses noted below. All types of books about music and musicians are welcome, but I have a special fondness for behind-the-scenes books, memoirs (especially of the hard rock/heavy metal ilk) and photography books.

Music

Type(s) of music covered: I like a wide variety of styles: indie, punk, metal, Americana, country & western, hip-hop, weird experimental noise, Balkan brass, all flavors of folk music, people banging on metal things… so don’t be afraid to send me something different.

Types of submissions accepted: Digital submissions are preferred; click here to send an email.

ALL submissions should include the following:

1. Your email subject line heading should include the word “submission”.

2. At least one photograph of the band/artist which I am ABLE TO POST, minimum size 640×420 and horizontally aligned.

3. For records/singles/tours/etc, a cover art/tour poster/etc image which I am ABLE TO POST, also minimum 640×420, and if possible horizontally aligned. If not possible: please ALSO send a band photo that is 640×420 and horizontally aligned.

4. Full names of artist/band members and the instruments they play.

5. Basic biographical information, i.e. where is the band/artist from, how long have they been a band, and what kind of music they play. If their history is complicated / long, a link to a bio page is fine.

6. A brief summation (no more than 1 paragraph) of the “special story” (how your band/artist has triumphed over great adversity / is made up entirely of elves born during the full moon / whatever) if there is one.

7. A link to streaming and EMBEDDABLE versions of your record/songs. Bandcamp and SoundCloud are your friends, learn them, love them, use them.

8. YouTube/Vimeo links for videos, if applicable.

9a. Information about embargoes (“please do not post before . . .”), i.e. when your private SoundCloud/YouTube/etc link will become public, if applicable.

9b. If I am only allowed to post one song from your record, please tell me which one it is.

10. Record release date / start of tour date, if applicable.

11. Social media links: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so on. (Please make sure the links work. Points will be deducted for dead links.)

12. Brown M&M’s test: Somewhere in the email, tell me the name of your favorite fruit. (Bonus points for knowing what the “brown M&M’s test” is without having to Google.)

Other tips:

– Your email is your “elevator pitch” i.e. what you would say to me if you had 5 minutes of my undivided attention in an elevator. Be quick, be clear, be specific, and do not waste my time with, for example, five paragraphs of quoted material from other blogs.

– Be prepared to actually talk about whatever your “special story” is – if, for example, your band is 100% Elvis impersonators (even the ladies), I’m obviously going to want to know everything about everyone’s fascination with Elvis.

– Be patient. Please wait at least a week before sending a “did you get my message???” email.

– Be aware that if you ask me for my honest opinions, there’s a chance I will tell you I think your tunes are terrible and your video is tasteless and/or boring.

– Recommended reading: This post from musician advice columnist Fan Landers that hits on a number of important points I find lacking in many submissions: The Secret to Getting Publicity for Your Band.

Also useful: This post and this post from Pigeons and Planes about best submission practices. (Though one open-ended [i.e., don't pose questions that demand an answer] follow-up is the limit.)

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