Dear Band or Label,
So you've contacted us about selling your recordings. Since there are no classes on running an indie label and what indie distributors expect or need to help them sell records, this document contains almost all the information on what WE need to sell your records most efficiently, and that's the whole point, isn't it?
1. Advance notification.
--"It's out now" just plain sucks. 2 weeks before release isn't nearly enough. 4 weeks or more is great where possible. 6 weeks is recommended. If the date changes, that's fine, just notify us periodically. In the end we'll set our release date based on when we think we'll have the product. Get all your product to us at lease 2 weeks before that release date or there's a good chance you'll be bumped back to the next month's release date (for simplicity and sanity purposes - we only do one release date per month).
--With this notification, we need some info from you:
ARTIST, TITLE, FORMAT, LABEL NAME, UPC#, SUGGESTED LIST PRICE, RELEASE DATE, and some descriptive info on the band, this particular release, the packaging if it's special, etc. WHAT DOES THE MUSIC SOUND LIKE?
--We've most likely got to presale your record without hearing it, so you've got to give us that info. In short, give us all the info (& perhaps some tasty press quotes where possible) that you can find that will help US sell your records, or if you want to think of it another way, why would somebody at a store or overseas distributor buy your record from us, or anybody else, when there are hundreds of new records released each week? What you provide to us makes the difference.
--If you have multiple releases, a wholesale catalog would also be helpful.
--This is your prerogative. Please request a Price Chart for exact #s. A good rule of thumb to consider is to use the following equation: Wholesale Price = 1/2 List Price. This means that whatever price you sell to us should be about 1/2 of what you would like to see it priced in the store. A $12.98 list price CD is usually sold to distributors for $6.50, for example. We cannot control retail pricing for items that we have sold, but generally the market works to make them fairly uniform. If you're a young band that's never sold more than a few thousand records - we highly recommend that you keep your pricing at $12.98 or below for best results.
4. Proper, dated invoice.
--When you send us your goods, include an invoice that contains the following:
--Invoice to: Leeway's HGMN
--Include your label name and return (shipping/street) address. This is important for returns down the road!
--Include to whom the checks should be made payable if it is different than your label name.
--Include a PO box if you'd like it sent somewhere different than your street address.
--An item by item listing of what you have sent us with the price for each title and/or format. Also include a total for all items on the invoice. example: 100 Perpetual Groove CDs @ $7.50 = $750.00 Download an example (70k PDF file).
--We CANNOT PAY YOU without a proper invoice.
--Ship and Invoice to:
6520 Oak Grove Church Rd
Mebane NC 27302
--Please ship UPS Ground, FedEx or 1st Class Mail. Do not send Media Mail as it could take too long. You are responsible for all shipping costs.
--Please DOUBLE BOX or use box liners (i.e.. extra cardboard) when packing your shipment. Please do not skimp on packing tape. Please DO NOT USE masking tape, scotch tape, staples, glue, paste, or gluestick. While paste does taste good, none of these will hold up to shipping and handling across the country. When your box is packed, it should NOT sound like a maraca when shaken. If you are using a recycled box that has already been used, it is extremely important that you follow these instructions. While nothing is perfect, following these simple rules will help to insure that your goods arrive without damage and are not returned to you in this damaged condition at your expense. Also - try to avoid using shipping "peanuts" if possible - we hate the mess those things make (in our office and the enviroment). Old newspaper works just fine as packing material and we can recycle that.
5. Payment. (Pay attention. Read carefully. All will be made clear.)
--We generally pay on a consignment terms (that is, for what's been sold).
--If the balance due of the currently due invoice is greater than the difference between the total open balance and our stock on hand, then we will simply pay the invoice in full.
--If that difference is smaller (ie. if by paying an invoice in full we will run into a credit balance with you where we have more stock on hand than money owed) then we will provide you with a check for the amount that has actually sold.
--Payment is always applied to the oldest open invoice.
--We are not able to pay COD for anything, even if your band is now, or was at some point, on a Major Label or a Major manufactured and distributed label.
6. Type of Music We Carry.
--Our catalog is diverse, eclectic, deep, and pretty cool, we think. We primarily sell music that we like and that we think others will like (our tastes fall into the jam/improv/funk/jazz/fusion/rock/reggae/newgrass/roots/world type musics). If your music falls outside of this category (eg. urban, Hip-Hop, Country, Show Tunes, Metal, etc.) not that there's anything wrong with it), then there's not much sense in sending it - so save the postage. Browse around our online store for a bit and you should get the picture.
--Send us a one sheet, some press if you have it, and a copy of your release. Wait at least 10 days after mailing to get in touch with us. We are deluged with submissions, so be patient, polite and persistent if we have not gotten to it.
--If we choose not to carry your release or label, it is most likely not because we hate you, your band, your label, your hometown or anything else about you. It is most likely because we simply do not believe that we can successfully sell your release(s) and thus do not want to waste our time and yours trying. We are a small company with a small niche in a small market.
--If we decide that we cannot sell your release, that does not mean that somebody else won't be able to, or is at least interested in trying.
--Likewise, if we turn down one release on your label, that also does not mean that we won't possibly be interested in something else that you may put out later. Please stay in touch.
8. If you have any questions about any of this or anything else, PLEASE call us & we'll help. We want to sell your records as badly as you do, and hate returns as much, if not more, than you do. Seriously.
Leeway's Home Grown Distribution
6520 Oak Grove Church Rd
Mebane NC 27302
919 563 4923