Find Out About: 'The Indie Bible,' The
Recording Artists' Resource
Editor/Publisher David Wimble
David Wimble compiles and publishes "The
Indie Bible," an essential resource for Indie or
unsigned musicians seeking to promote and sell
their music. In this interview, learn more about
"The Indie Bible," how it can help your career,
how and why David Wimble first set out to create
it, and a little about this selfless advocate of
[The Aspiring Songwriter] David,
tell us about what inspired you to create "The
Indie Bible." What was your initial idea and how
did it come about?
David Wimble As is the case with a
lot of things in life, "The Indie Bible" was
created totally by accident.
In 1999, I
was in the process of recording my first CD.
During the last months of recording, whenever I
was away from the studio, I searched online for
places that might help the CD to get some
attention - radio stations that would play my
songs, publications that would review the CD, etc.
I wanted to be prepared so that there would be a
lot of places to send the CD to once it was
pressed and ready to go.
started out, I knew almost nothing about the
Internet and what could be found on it. I began my
search suspecting that I could find at least a few
websites where I could gain some sort of exposure
for my music. I began my research, and it wasn't
long before a "massive" new world opened up to me.
The number of places online that were willing to
help Independent artists was mind-boggling!
hours every day finding places that I could send
my CD to in order to get a review or airplay. I
was happily surprised to also find a lot of online
services that were willing to help sell my music.
I stored all the information about the various
services I was finding in a spreadsheet. It wasn't
a very well thought out system. It was a simple
system that helped me to keep notes on who I sent
my CD to and when. After a few months of research,
I had accumulated 1000 contacts or so.
recording of the CD was finally finished, the band
I was building (and planning on touring with)
broke up. I was heavily in debt, so the idea of
trying to form another band, and then tour around,
was not very practical. I needed to start paying
off some of the bills, and selling a few CDs a
week wasn't going to cover the expenses. I also
knew that if I was to try and put a new band
together, there was no guarantee that it would
last long enough to get any momentum going.
"life-changing" thought struck me. During the
whole time I was researching throughout the
Internet, I was wondering why I couldn't find some
sort of directory that lists the addresses of all
the helpful websites for Independent musicians.
There had to be one somewhere, but I couldn't find
anything anywhere. I did purchase a few resources
that I found in my research, but when they arrived
in the mail, I was disappointed. The books I
bought looked like they had been thrown together
pressure of this financial crunch, I wondered how
practical it would be for me to publish a resource
that would list all these places I'd been finding
(in some sort of order). A resource that would
enable musicians and songwriters to avoid spending
the incredible number of hours it took me to find
the resources in the first place. I asked the
opinion of a musician I had met from Boston, and
she said it was a great idea and that I would
probably sell a lot of them. That's all I needed
to confirm my belief that such a resource was
needed. It was at that moment that the "Indie
Contact Bible" was officially born.
point on, I began to consciously research
information that would be added into this new
resource I was about to create. I also realized
after a bit of thought that if I was to succeed at
publishing this resource, I would need to include
"all" genres of music, not just resources for the
styles of music that I enjoyed listening to. That
took some adjusting, but it turned out to be quite
fun because many new worlds opened up to me.
edition came into being in October of 1999. It was
a very low budget book that was photocopied and
had a plain white cover. Fortunately for me, even
though the book was as simple as it gets, the
value shone through to those that were trying to
get exposure for their music. People that bought
it just loved it, and the feedback was incredible!
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What is
the principle behind "The Indie Bible"?
David Wimble "The Indie Bible" is
unique because it is targeted specifically towards
"recording" artists. There are many directories on
the market, some have in the neighborhood of 30
categories of listings (venues, music stores,
lawyers, etc). "The Indie Bible" still only has
six categories, but they are categories that are
essential to the success of any artist attempting
to promote their music ... and the book delves
very deeply into each of those categories. "The
Indie Bible" was created by a recording artist,
for recording artists. You can flip to any page
and there are listings on that page that will help
you gain exposure for your music. If you're a
recording artist, there is no fluff or filler.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] How long
did it take to put together your first edition?
David Wimble I think I did about
eight months of research before the first edition
was published. It came out in October of 1999, and
it had about 2500 listings in it. It took hundreds
of hours to compile. I worked on it from the
moment I woke up in the morning until the wee
hours of the next morning, when I could no longer
keep my head up. I worked for about 18 hours a
day, seven days a week for the better part of a
year. I was essentially channeling my fear and
intensity into something positive.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] How did
you publish (yourself?) and distribute the first
David Wimble A friend I grew up with
works at a print shop where I live in Ottawa,
Canada. I told him what I was doing and we worked
out a price that he would print them for. Those
that bought the first two editions will remember
that the book was only 8 1/2" by 5 1/2", had a
plain white cover, and a spiral binding. The pages
were photocopied, as well. In fact, I was trying
to sell ad space, and you could have got a
full-page black and white ad for $50.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] I actually
was one of those people who bought the spiral
bound edition, and thought it was great! In
general, David, what kinds of listings are
David Wimble There are six sections.
Each section fills a different need of someone who
has recorded a demo or CD.
section is a list of places where Independent
artists can get their music reviewed - print
publications, zines and webzines.
section is a directory of radio stations and shows
that will play Independent music.
section lists companies that will help artists to
sell their music - online vendors, Indie labels,
promotional companies etc.
section lists sites where artists can upload their
MP3 and audio files (video sites are also listed,
as they are becoming quite popular as well).
section is a potpourri of resources that are
helpful to artists and bands. There is an
incredibly wide range of resources in this site,
but one thing that is for sure, if you have
recorded music, every listing in this section can
be of help in some way (assuming that it addresses
your style of music).
section contains 39 articles that are helpful to
recording artists. These are articles written by
experts that cover many of the key areas in the
Independent music business. I sincerely want
people to avoid making the mistakes that I made,
and they can save themselves a lot of time, money
and unnecessary stress by reading the articles in
[The Aspiring Songwriter] How do you
gather the data and what guidelines do you use to
David Wimble I used the above
guidelines as far as content goes. No studios,
producers, CD Duplicators, etc. I wanted to make
sure that all listings targeted the artist that
has their CD in their hand (or will shortly have
it in their hand) and are looking to do something
with it that will gain them a bit more exposure.
It's a resource that helps artists to connect with
become a lot more critical as time goes by. The
first edition was full of many personal sites
using free web pages such as Geocities, Tripod or
Angelfire. I now avoid listing the free web pages.
The pop-ups are irritating, but also these pages,
since they were not paid for, tend to become
outdated quickly since there was no initial
investment for the owner.With .com .org .net
sites, you know there has been some sort of
investment by the site owner for both the domain
name and the service that is hosting their site,
so the odds are they are going to stick around a
[The Aspiring Songwriter] As you
mentioned, "The Indie Bible" is organized into
different sections. You begin with "Reviews of
Independent Music." Who and what are contained in
Section One and why did you place this information
first? How is the information organized and how
many are included?
David Wimble Section One contains
any publication that is willing to review
Independent music. They range from glossy
magazines, to quirky web zines. I think getting
your music reviewed is the most important thing
you can do with your music (other than playing
live). It gets your music out into the mainstream,
and is a crucial element in the process of
branding yourself. The more often someone surfing
online runs across a mention or review of your
band, the more likely they are to visit your
website and check you out.
review is like having a giant advertisement online
for your band. If you look at the Internet as a
highway, having a review posted of your band is
like having a giant billboard on a regular
highway. The traffic may vary from bumper to
bumper, a few cars passing by on a Sunday drive
(depending on how popular the site is) but one
thing is for certain, more people will become
aware that you exist.
also help you to hone your craft. Reviewers are
not the enemy. Some do it just to get a rush from
belittling people (I had a couple of doozies), but
usually the reviewer is someone that loves music
and has a lot of respect for what artists have to
go through in their attempt to make a living in
the music business.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Section
Two: "Radio Stations That Are Willing To Play
Independent Music." How did you find these
stations? How are they organized and how many
David Wimble Finding radio stations
and shows was probably the slowest chunk of
research time. I had to weed through thousands of
stations, contacting many of them when it wasn't
clear whether they accepted Independent music or
not. Basically, I just did searches, found sites
that listed radio stations around the world, and
followed up on links that I would find on websites
I was researching.
rest of "The Indie Bible," the radio stations are
sorted by format, and within each format, they are
sorted by geographic location. There's a section
for almost every style of music that you can
imagine - country, punk, metal, women in music,
classical, children's, Goth, dance, Christian,
etc. There is also a section for Internet stations
Š of which there are now hundreds. Even with all
the licensing issues that are ongoing, new
Internet stations still pop up.
practice these days is that the station will make
it clear upfront that artists that get radio
airplay on their station will NOT receive any
royalties. The simple truth is that many of these
Internet stations could not survive if they had to
pay the artist's royalties. Many artists, such as
myself, would gladly have their music played
without being paid the royalties.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Section
Three: "Services That Will Help You Sell Your
Music" What kinds of services are included in this
section and how many listings? How is the
David Wimble In Section Three, there
is a sub-section for the "Promotional Services,"
and then another sub-section for "Online Vendors
and Labels." As is the case with the rest of the
book, the vendors and labels are sorted by genre,
and within each genre by geographic location.
was originally just a listing of online vendors. I
wanted "The Indie Bible" to be a "high return"
type of resource. In other words, I didn't want to
list a bunch of labels that would most likely just
send you a rejection letter. The online vendors
will take your music and place it online for
others to buy. Most have a small setup fee, and
take a portion of each sale. Unless your music
really stinks badly, you probably won't be
refused. The online vendors are also
non-exclusive. You can start selling it online
from as many sites as you choose ... and almost
eventually morphed into any sort of service that
will help you to sell your music, including Indie
labels and promotional services. I don't really
seek these services out, but if they contact me,
I'll place a listing for them in "The Indie
Bible," as well as my monthly newsletter.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Section
Four: "Sites That Allow You To Upload Your Music
And Video Files." What kinds of sites are these
and how many listings? How are they organized?
David Wimble This section contains
any site (of quality) where artists can upload
their music files. Some are the huge sites like
MP3.com and PeopleSound, while others are smaller
sites that welcome only specific genres of music.
Most of the sites listed in this section (there
are over 400) will allow you to load your songs
for free. It's a great opportunity to get your
music heard. There's that continuous debate on
whether it is wise to make your songs available
online, and if you do whether it should be the
full song or just an excerpt. It's really up to
I recommend placing a full song online. If you
choose one song, and make it available at several
of these sites, it's great advertising. If people
like the song, at the very least they will
remember you or your band, and that's a great step
in the overall (and lengthy) process of
"branding"... which is the key to success in the
music industry. I'd be honored if someone
downloaded one of my songs and burned it to a CD.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Section
Five: "Helpful Resources for Musicians and
Songwriters." When and why did you include this
section? What kinds of information can people
expect to find? How did you determine what to
David Wimble This section really
contains resources that don't fit in any of the
first four sections. That doesn't mean that I
stuff all the remaining resources that are
available into this section. There is still a
strict criteria for getting a listing in this
section. "The Indie Bible" does not list CD
Duplicators, studios, producers, equipment stores,
merchandise stores, venues, etc. The demographic I
am targeting is the individual that has their
newly recorded CD in their hand, and is wondering
what the heck to do with it. I want to make sure
that whenever someone flips open "The Indie
Bible," whatever listing they set their eyes on
will be something that will help them to gain
greater exposure for their music.
hard to describe what is listed in Section Five,
other than helpful resources for recording
musicians looking to get their name branded and
their music heard. Often it's a site that will
place information about the band online. There are
also sites that have a lot of good articles on how
to get started in the business. There are online
music communities where artists can share
information and ideas, various forms of promotion
for artists and their music, lots of good legal
and copyright sites, press release services, and
basically, all sorts of sites that are created by
people that want to help musicians succeed.
I used to
only list sites and companies that offered their
services for free, but now I also list those that
charge a small fee, but I make sure that the price
is something that I consider to be reasonable.
Having seen thousands of sites and services go
under in the last few years, I do realize that it
is costly to run a website. Many artist services
started up with the best intentions to "fight the
man" and offer free services to musicians, but
they never lasted very long. The reality is that
you cannot survive that way. Not unlike a physical
store owner, you have to generate enough income to
pay for your rent, utilities, etc. So, I give many
of these services a lot more slack than I used to.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What
percentage of listings included in the Bible go
dead each year prior to the next year's edition?
David Wimble It's usually about 10
percent. I think last year may have been higher.
This is based on how many dead links there were
when I was preparing the new edition. I think a
lot of people closed down their sites when the
economy in the US took a downturn.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Do you
have a CDROM option?
David Wimble There is an electronic
version of the book that I sell, which is quite
popular. It's in .pdf format and is sent by email
to those that purchase it. When I go to music
conferences, I have the same e-book on a CD.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Davie,
"The Indie Bible" also includes advertisers. What
selection criteria do you use for advertisers, if
David Wimble ALL advertisers are
welcome. However, if I thought that the business
was shady, I certainly wouldn't allow them to
is my life-blood. Unfortunately, it's not really
my niche in life to solicit ads. I'm terrible at
it. It takes a special person to be able to sell
ad space. You have to have very thick skin. As my
ad salesperson said to me, when someone says "No,"
they mean "Not today."
[The Aspiring Songwriter] How can
companies and service providers get listed in "The
David Wimble They can send me an
email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to my website and click
on the "Submit" button. There is a list of the
types of resources that qualify (as well as a list
of resources that do not qualify) at www.indiebible.com/icb.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] You offer
update packages. What are those?
David Wimble An update package is
sent out to the subscriber whenever a new edition
comes out (every Fall). The update is all the NEW
information that is going into the latest edition
of "The Indie Bible." This also includes any sites
that have changed address. What this allows the
artist to do is keep current without having to
purchase a whole new book. It's quite popular. An
update usually consists of between 1000 - 2000 new
listings, so it's easily worth the small price it
costs to purchase.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Tell me
about your monthly newsletter.
David Wimble A newsletter was a
necessary element in almost every article I read
about Internet promotion. For the first year or so
of publishing "The Indie Bible," I didn't really
think I had anything to offer musicians in a
newsletter. Then a few years ago, I thought it
might be well received if I created a newsletter
that had a tiny sampling of contacts each month. I
called it the "Indie Contact Newsletter" and each
month there are a good number of listings that are
helpful to artists trying to promote their music.
I felt I
needed something more than the contacts, so I used
this newsletter as an opportunity to educate
people, as well. I made many costly mistakes in
the promotion of my own music, and this was a
chance for me to help others avoid the same
mistakes I made. I asked many of the authors and
music people that I met and respected in the
previous two years to write an article for my
newsletter. All of the authors have been great so
far in helping out.
articles are also placed into "The Indie Bible"
... a section of the book that is becoming very
popular. The last three reviews "The Indie Bible"
has received (Performing Songwriter, American
Songwriter and The Circular Cosmic Spot) all
praise the articles that are in the last section
of "The Indie Bible" ... all which were originally
in the monthly newsletter.
boggling, traveling around the country to various
conferences and have people come up and thank me
for the newsletter. When I send it out, I have no
idea where it's going to and who is reading it Š
and how much it's helping. I do get a few emails
after each issue is sent out, and that helps a
lot. It's inspirational to have people thank me
and let me know that it's helping them.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What is
the Indie Link Exchange?
David Wimble In the early days of
trying to promote my music and my band's website,
I checked out many of the banner exchanges that
were available. Usually you had to put two banners
on your site, in exchange for having one of your
banners placed God knows where. Some exchanges
would only allow you to put their banner on your
main page. It was an exclusive contract you had to
keep or you would be removed from the exchange. It
was those sorts of goofy rules that brought on the
Indie Link Exchange.
I wanted to
create the most basic dead-simple exchange in the
world for music people. All the Indie Link
Exchange is, is a list of music sites that want to
swap links with other music sites. Their
preferences (styles of music they will and will
not link with) and type of link (banner or text)
are posted with each listing. All a person has to
do is check out the listings on each page of the
exchange and contact the people that interest
them. There's no hidden fee or agenda.
would like to check out the Indie Link Exchange
can visit it at: www.indielinkexchange.com/ile.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What is
your guarantee policy?
David Wimble My policy is to refund
the customer's money without question. I have a
lot of confidence in "The Indie Bible," and I
can't see how anyone who has recorded a CD or demo
would be disappointed. But, if they are
disappointed, they will have their money refunded.
received one of my best reviews ever by an online
publication called "The Circular Cosmic Spot." The
reviewer stated that he has never seen anything
negative said about "The Indie Bible." For any
artist looking to expose their music, I'm
confident that they will be thrilled at all the
resources that they will find in each edition.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] You have
an affiliate program. What's that about?
David Wimble The affiliate program
was started about three years ago. It was one of
the top recommendations when I was reading up on
how to market products on the Internet. Regardless
of the author, it was almost unanimous that one of
the keys to success was to set up an affiliate
system. It's been great, because it allows me to
tap into the traffic that some of these other
sites are generating. It is also an excellent tool
for branding "The Indie Bible." I travel all
around North America to attend various
conferences, and people are always telling me that
they see "this book" all over the Internet.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Now a
little about you. You're a performing songwriter.
What impact has "The Indie Bible" had you your
David Wimble I guess it's closer to
say I "was" a performing songwriter. The impact
"The Indie Bible" has had is nothing short of a
vortex sucking me up into its core, and keeping me
prisoner there for an undetermined amount of time
- four years and counting. Essentially, my whole
life revolves around "The Indie Bible." There's
just too much work and not enough hours. Hopefully
some day I'll be able to chill out a bit, but not
for a while. I guess I'll have to soon. I'm
getting married in the summer, and after four
years, I can't use my old excuses for why I have
to work, check my email, etc. There is that line
that one can cross into the world of
workaholicism. I have to learn that some things
can be put aside for a day or at least few hours.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What
genre(s) of music do you write and perform, and do
you promote your own CDs?
David Wimble The music I write is
kind of folk rock. When I'm puttering around by
myself, it can be any type of music. I have not
done any sort of promotion for about four years,
ever since "The Indie Bible" research began. Of
course, I've probably had more opportunities than
anyone on the planet because I now know hundreds
of people that could help me career along Š if I
had the time. I'm really hoping that someday I can
find the time to tap into this wealth of resources
that I've connected with.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Can we
hear your music being played on any of the radio
resources that you've listed?
David Wimble I have no idea who is
playing it. I'm sure in most cases it is buried
quite deeply in the music libraries. I haven't
really been able to follow-up with any of the
stations for about four years.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What are
you future goals, both as a performing songwriter
and as the publisher of "The Indie Bible"?
David Wimble Actually, I have a
novel that I've been writing for several years.
It's kind of a humorous look at the way humans
think, and our opinions about what life is all
about. It's a gentle look into the mysterious
world of metaphysics. With this novel, I am doing
my best to bridge the gap between the seen and the
unseen truths of life. One of my main goals is to
get this book published.
The big plan
is to continue with "The Indie Bible" and
eventually play live a little bit (as more of a
stress reliever than anything else), as well as
getting the novel published.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] How can
people purchase a copy of "The Indie Bible" and
when is the next edition coming out?
David Wimble A new edition comes out
every Fall ... usually in late October/early
November. People can purchase the book online at
my site: www.indiebible.com or in most of the popular music
and book stores such as Borders, Barnes &
Noble and Sam Ash (in Canada at Long & McQuade
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Any advice
you'd like to leave us with, David?
David Wimble One thing that I try to
emphasize when I'm talking with artists is that it
is very important to keep your expectations
realistic. For most people, the goal or dream is
to get signed to a major label (and of course with
that comes the wheelbarrows full of money).
However, the goal of the artist should be to do
the best they can attempting to become
self-sufficient. A byproduct of becoming
self-sufficient is that the labels will catch wind
of it. The major labels are becoming distributors
rather than developers. They want you to reach a
certain level, and then they will take you on and
promote you. But, you have to build that
be moving forward. Do something, however small,
every day. Don't lie in bed and stare at the
ceiling when something is put in your path. Get up
and do something, anything that is helpful to your
career. And don't listen to the thoughts that tell
you that it's hopeless. Nothing is hopeless, as
long as you keep moving forward, one tiny step at
flexible. Try to listen and look around with an
inner sense that seeks opportunity. The
opportunity is always there, but maybe not in a
form that appeals to you (or is part of your
current plan). No one goes straight from A to Z.
The path is swirly at best. Follow your instinct
the best you can, and when you sense that
something is moving you in a particular direction,
go with it.
you, David Wimble, for putting your own music
career and life on hold while you
bring us this wonderful resource! "The Indie
Bible," Fourth Edition, distributed by Omnibus
Provided by the MusicDish
Copyright © Tag It 2003 - Republished with