100 Rejections: The Art of Getting It Out There

100 Rejections 01by Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

So we’re all making art for art’s sake right? Theoretically… yes. Well, what should you do if you decide to take the leap and try to get your music in front of people who would not otherwise hear it?

Recently, I was asked by a musician friend for my opinion and advice on the best way of getting their latest music “out there.” There was debate amongst his band on a variety of issues including from how many CDs should be made (if any at all) to whether or not hiring a production crew and making a slick, shiny video would garner any additional shows or press.

He concluded his pondering by stating he’s of the mind set the only way to put your musical head above the fray is networking with dedicated persistence and/or luck.

And he’s right: persistence is definitely the key.

The past year at YabYum, as our daily submissions pile continued to grow and grow, has shown us many things. There is an old adage that an artist should expect only one acceptance for every 100 rejections. And this year has shown us just how remarkably accurate that previous statement is and how ultimately helpful it can be.

I personally applied this same idea with my own music to gain some perspective when I had to slide over to the submission side of things and sent out music to 10 different blogs. All ten were rejected or unacknowledged. Now I just have to repeat this process nine more times.

If you’re not sure how to find music publications to submit to, I would start by checking out the blogs on hypem.com and seeing which ones strike your fancy. Most blogs offer contact information to let readers (and folks looking to submit) know how to go about reaching their team. Some blogs take direct submissions by email. Others might offer an online form and upload option.

Some, like us, will use a website or program to help manage submissions, like submithub.com. Often these publications will include a direct link on their contact page that directs you to where you should send in your music.

Submitting music can certainly be a lot of work. And, if you don’t want to go through the “hassle” of looking blogs up, submitting to them, replying to them if they do actually like your music, and so on, don’t worry about it. There are a thousand other bands seeking publication at this very second who are willing to put themselves to the task of finding press so no one will notice you’re slagging.

And, just a short piece of advice, don’t rush into contacting a publication either. Become a fan and observer of the sites mentioned above first and then get to know which blogs are publishing the type of article/review you like reading in the genres that best represent your music (i.e. lurk moar). I can’t even begin to tell you how often bands could have saved themselves a rejection if they just bothered to read our contact information before they clicked on a link to send us their track. Just know who you’re sending music to and what it is that they do. A little legwork can save you a lot of grief in the long run.

We all realize your musical efforts could always be a lot “bigger”, it just requires the right people (or enough people) hearing your shit. Trouble is, we all live in this endless sea of noise. The only way to rise above is to remain persistent as you keep pushing your music toward new ears.

So I encourage you to get out there and start collecting those 100 rejections. Maybe you’ll make a worthwhile connection and maybe, just maybe, you’ll score some press for your band too.