Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Studio diary: part 2

Posted on 15 December 2008 Comments

Article illustration for Studio diary: part 2

Since writing part 1 of my new ‘Studio Diary’ series the other day, you might be wondering why I’ve gone so quiet. And you would be right to wonder.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to temporarily put my music-making plans on hold. The reason for this is that the book I’m writing now needs to come out a month earlier, and therefore I need to write it a month earlier. Ultimately it should result in more high-street exposure for the book when it comes out in March, but sadly I’ve had to move my recording sessions to January.

However, In the meantime, while music itself gets put on hold, I thought I’d use the opportunity to talk about how I intend to release the EP

Physical vs. digital formats

I started discussing my plans for a release format with Terris Kramer in the comments of the last post, and Pab continued it by bringing up the tempting prospect of vinyl. If you can’t be bothered to skip back, here’s a summary:

“I love [CD packaging] not only because I’m a designer [but also because] I love pouring over it when listening to an album, especially during the first listen. Unfortunately, though, even a packaging geek like me has come to realise that physical formats aren’t always a financially viable option when self-financing an album!”

Which brings me to my next topic…

Pricing ideas

I don’t intend to make any real profit from music since it’s nothing more than an enjoyable past-time, but it’d be nice to make enough to finance a decent physical release, if that’s what people want.

My intention is to release one EP (of about 5 songs) early in 2009, and then a second EP (again of about 5 songs) later in the year. The idea would be to release each EP in download-only format and sell them for a very low amount, ideally leaving you guys to choose how much you want to pay (with £1 as a minimum payment). Then, if they sell well, I’d then combine the two EPs together to form an actual physical CD album (with lovely elaborate packaging), and probably add an extra track or two.

So here’s how I imagine the release / pricing options might work…


- Early 2009: EP 1 (download only) – pay as little as you want (minimum £1)
- Mid to late 2009: EP 2 (download only) – pay as little as you want (minimum £1)
- Late 2009: Album (CD with lush packaging and extra tracks) – £10 or discounted to £5 if you bought both EPs

Your thoughts?

I’d love to know what you think of this! Do you think it sounds fair? Ultimately I’m very keen to do a physical release, as long as people will buy it! I’d like to keep the cost as low as possible for you guys, charging only as much as I need to make back the cost of producing the album. Hopefully the plan outlined above is the fairest and most honest way of achieving this.

Please voice your opinion in the comments!

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