35 out of 72 and losing faith

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paolob
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35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by paolob » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:43 am

Hi everyone.I’ve done a bit of math here and I must say I’m a bit disappointed. Here’s why. During the last one and a half year I’ve submitted tracks to 72 listings and I was forwarded 35 times.Out of these, not even one reply from a US company, yet, I mean, not one. And please note that I’m not chasing that million $ contract here: I mainly submitted to music libraries listings and maybe 7 or 8 to film music listings.I’ve actually had two replies, both from UK companies, of which the first resulted in nothing and the second is maybe leading simply to a couple of tracks accepted in the library with the usual 50/50 splits.Now, I’ve in the meantime submitted music to other companies by myself, simply searching with google and politely mailing them, and I’ve actually obtained slightly better results: 12 tracks with another UK company (which has already paid some money) and 5 tracks with a US one. All this without spending a cent!Sorry, but I must say this is not the way I supposed it’d have worked. I know everybody’s gonna say that one must try and try again, that it’s taking time and patience to succeed but c’mon, two 50/50 tracks out of 35 forwards…either the screeners are a bit too easy to forward or the fact that a track comes from taxi doesn’t mean that much to the company, after all.Actually there’s a third possibility that came to my mind: I’m from Italy, not from US. Do you think that could be a showstopper at all? Especially considering that the only two replies came from European libraries? Perhaps is more difficult for US companies doing business with peoples from abroad?Please forgive the negativity and thanks for any comments and /or suggestions.Ciao,Paolo

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by matto » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:37 am

Quote:Sorry, but I must say this is not the way I supposed it’d have worked. I know everybody’s gonna say that one must try and try again, that it’s taking time and patience to succeed but c’mon, two 50/50 tracks out of 35 forwards…either the screeners are a bit too easy to forward or the fact that a track comes from taxi doesn’t mean that much to the company, after all.Actually that's exactly what I was gonna say...first keep in mind that music libraries often take 6-12 months, or even longer, to get back to you, so it's quite possible you still might get something out of some of these forwards.Look Paolo, I can't judge for you whether Taxi is worth it for you but consider this:I didn't get any deals during my first year's membership, and really no "significant" deals until perhaps the third year (meaning deals that paid upfront). I stuck with it anyway, among other reasons because I felt Taxi could hook me up with companies that I couldn't approach directly (such as those who don't accept unsolicited material). It took me a few years but I now make a living writing/producing music, and without Taxi I wouldn't, so personally I'm glad I didn't give up on it during the first 2-3 years. Let's face it the music business moves like molasses, and even "overnight success" is usually years in the making. I'm still a Taxi member after almost 10 years now, and I recently got a deal that will pay me probably well over $10'000 in the first year alone, a deal I would NEVER have gotten on my own even now that I have lots more connections.I have said this many times and I will say it again...in my experience and humble opinion, you can't expect Taxi to work wonders for you, but it is, IMHO, a great long term investment in your musical career. And if you want a musical career I don't think you will get around thinking long term and making some investments.Quote:Actually there’s a third possibility that came to my mind: I’m from Italy, not from US. Do you think that could be a showstopper at all? Especially considering that the only two replies came from European libraries? Perhaps is more difficult for US companies doing business with peoples from abroad?Basically it depends on the company...I think some won't be too eager to do international business, others won't care. With todays technology it's becoming less and less of an issue. I think if somebody had two submissions they liked equally well and one guy lived down the street and the other guy overseas, they'd obviously pick the guy down the street...OTOH if your music is clearly better/more useable to them than that of a competing US writer they would pick you.Hope this helps. Again it's just my opinion, based on my personal experience, and YMMV.matto

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by paolob » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:11 pm

Hi Matt,Yeah, probably the main fault is mine. I overnight dropped a good paying live-giggin job to be able to write and I’ve been evidently too optimistic about the time it’d take too get a return out of it. OTOH, if I still was in the PlayGoToTheSleepingBusTravelSoundcheckPlayAgain routine, I surely wouldn’t produce and submit all the music I do.So I guess, as in many human activities, the problem is finding the right balance: in this particular case, between having and immediate income and still having the time to write and produce. (This, of course, hoping that what worked for you will someday work for me as well )If I’m not too indiscreet, how did you achieve that balance in those first two/three years?All the best for your enviable career,Paolo

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by davewalton » Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:58 am

Quote:...and I’ve been evidently too optimistic about the time it’d take too get a return out of it. Hi Paolo,Boy do I relate to that! I first joined Taxi at the beginning of 2004 and at that time, figured it would be about eight months before things started shaking loose. After a year went by with twenty-something forwards and no placements, I figured I should take another look at the whole thing. Based on some of Matto's posts at that time, I revised my outlook and my eight-month plan became an extended five-year plan. Additionally, as a result of a conversation with a mentor at the 2004 Taxi rally, I revised my marketing so that Taxi was an important part of my overall marketing plan, but not my only marketing plan. I did like you're doing, starting with simply using Google to find opportunities outside of Taxi. I'm a lot more focused with my Taxi submissions than I used to be. For me, at least, I now use Taxi to submit to a smaller number of "major league" opportunities, things that I know I wouldn't have access to on my own. Also, these have to really feel right. I pass on the things where I "might" have a chance and just focus on submitting to things that really fit me and my situation.You mentioned the word "balance". I think that somewhere, there is a balance for you between your Taxi submissions and the opportunities that you comes across on your own. That's an individual thing and finding it is not always easy. Dave

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by matto » Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:34 am

Quote:Hi Matt,Yeah, probably the main fault is mine. I overnight dropped a good paying live-giggin job to be able to write and I’ve been evidently too optimistic about the time it’d take too get a return out of it. OTOH, if I still was in the PlayGoToTheSleepingBusTravelSoundcheckPlayAgain routine, I surely wouldn’t produce and submit all the music I do.So I guess, as in many human activities, the problem is finding the right balance: in this particular case, between having and immediate income and still having the time to write and produce. (This, of course, hoping that what worked for you will someday work for me as well )If I’m not too indiscreet, how did you achieve that balance in those first two/three years?Yes well of course I relate 100%. Finding a balance between making a living and having time to write is very difficult. It is also largely dependent on your individual needs and situation. I basically went the "radical" route of living on as little as possible, the bare minimum I felt I could make do with, so that I could spend the maximum amount of time working on music. So I worked only part-time, enough to sustain myself...it was tough...in fact I would hesitate to call it "balance" ...but it worked for me.I think that you have to look at starting a career as a composer/songwriter as "starting a business", cause that's really what it is. There is no business I can think of where you could expect to turn a profit immediately. By far most businesses require a substantial investment of time, work, and money before you can expect a profit, regardless of how good you may be at it.I think we often forget this when it comes to music...and you're definitely not alone in that... Best of luck to you Paolo!(btw where do you live in Italy?...my sister lives in Montalcino in Tuscany )

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by paolob » Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:48 am

Dave and Matt,we have an old saying that goes +/- like “shared pain, almost pleasure” so I guess I should be almost happy for not being alone with the “balance” problem.Anyway, the expiration date of my second year membership is feb 2007, we’ll see what will happen in the meantime, and I think I’ll try to teach to get an immediate income, to get that balance alright. That should leave me enough time to keep on trying.Thanks for your “perspective” commentsAll the best,PaoloP.S. I live in Genova, Matt, while my uncle lives in Massa Marittima, which is about 60 miles from Montalcino, boy, such a small world!

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by og » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:27 pm

Thanks for the perspective, folks. While I've never thought seriously about making it big, say, tomorrow, I do hope to be successful in the long run. I have the same problem with time--my job and commute consume 60 hrs a week. All I can do is keep plugging, and take some comfort from the rest of y'all in the same boat.

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by nomiyah » Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:22 pm

hey move over, i'm in the boat too. (pass me a beer, caught a fish yet, etc)

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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by paolob » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:38 pm


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Re: 35 out of 72 and losing faith

Post by og » Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:17 am

I've been in leakier boats with worse sailors! Be awright, mon.

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