Everybody loses in a price war

A man makes a widget. And he’s the only one who makes that particular widget. To manufacture that widget cost that man a huge amount of time and money. His prodigious talent is the driving force behind the awesome widget. A company comes to him and says, “Please let me sell your awesome widget! I’ll make sure for every widget I sell for $10, you will get $5.” The man thinks that’s a perfectly fine deal because it saves him the hassle of tracking his inventory through distribution and thinking up marketing plans. Hands are shook. The man returns to his creative endeavors, delivering the product to the middleman. A few months pass. The man hears another knock on his door. “Please let me sell your awesome widget! I’ll make sure for every widget I sell for $10, you will get $5.” Now two middlemen are flogging his product and they’re both Continue reading Everybody loses in a price war

Poor Man’s Copyright or Chain of Evidence?

Get the book by Angela K. Durden by Clicking Here   Poor man’s copyright comes from the practice of writing down your idea, dating it, sealing it in an envelope, mailing it to yourself, and never opening it. It was called poor man’s because a fee was not associated with this non-government registration. It was a physical method of time/date stamping a document via a disinterested third party, i.e., the United States Post Office. The phrase poor man’s copyright is making a comeback in the music business. Why? I’m not sure. But it is actually an insulting way to describe your chain of evidence. Copyright ownership accrues as soon as your idea is down in a tangible form: written on paper or in a word processing document, or recorded as sound. The registration of that copyright happens when one goes to Copyright.gov and lets the government (and thereby the world) know of that Continue reading Poor Man’s Copyright or Chain of Evidence?

Subtexts-Part One: Should I Give Up?

Friends have been sending me a link that tells the story about a guy “you’ve never heard of”, but seems to live in some northern, cold, European country (where the furniture is sleek), and who worked his tail off (as well he should), and for the past twenty years has written ALL the worlds biggest hits. First of all, no, he has not written all the worlds biggest hits, though he has written quite a few. Okay. Second of all, yay for him. I would love that to happen to me, too. It’s called monetizing. By now, though, you know me. So when I get to reading such a story I also get to thinking about the subtext and I wonder why my friends are sending it to me. Do they want me to think that with hard work and application to my fledgling talent, there could go I? Did Continue reading Subtexts-Part One: Should I Give Up?

When I Need a Little Sympathy

I smile. That’s what I do. Everybody who knows me says I smile. I’ve always been that person everybody expects to always have it all together. When I don’t smile, I’m asked, “Are you okay, Angela?” Of course, I’ve always answered yes…no matter if I was having a rough time or not. I think I feared letting them down or discouraging them somehow. Of course, it could just be my ego talking to me, too, you know. God forbid somebody think I’m not perfect, right? Therefore, during this last season of challenges (now two weeks long), I began answering another way. “No, I’m not okay.” I began this for a couple of reasons. One: I’m not okay and sometimes I need to get a little sympathy. Two: If someone knows I need that sympathy (or advice), and they offer it, and it helps (which it usually does), then we both Continue reading When I Need a Little Sympathy

One Can Only Hope?

 Pharrell Williams’ Happy is a worldwide phenomenon. This was not by design. It was chance. The story behind this song is that it was in a movie…a kid’s movie to boot. Despicable Me 2 was great, by the way. The song was nominated for an Academy Award, then sat there like a dead duck. Radio airplay? Dream on, said the powers that be at the corporate run media giants…dream on, even for Mr. Williams. So, what did he do? He mined his catalog. He said, “Hey, how can I further monetize this song?” He made a video. Hey, if it won’t get airplay, maybe YouTube views will bring in some moolah, was the reasoning. Well, did it ever. Then people from around the world started doing their versions of it and it went completely viral. That means its spread was out of his control. We know the story. We know how Continue reading One Can Only Hope?

Routine Is Highly Underrated

Readers of this blog know I preach the value of networking after the networking. “Angela,” people constantly say to me, “you’re everywhere all the time.” What you may not know is the even more follow-up meetings I take with people I don’t know, and catch-up meetings with people that I do. I had been seeing Melissa Love around at various events, but we had never met. Finally, we were in the same spot of the room at the same time and exchanged business cards. Let’s have coffee and a chat was agreeable to both, and we did it. Halfway between us is Octane, a coffee shop where lots of techie types seem to hang out. I felt smarter simply sitting inside and hearing the roar of creativity rumble around me. As per my usual, I got there early and got work done on my projects. Thirty minutes before my meeting Continue reading Routine Is Highly Underrated

It’s lonely out there…and that’s not a bad thing

“So, there you are, telling somebody all about this awesome book (or song) you’re working on, and they are smiling and nodding, and you take that to mean tell me more, so you do, and then you realize ten minutes later the smile has not changed and the nodding is still at the same pace but the eyes are now frantic, and they have reached their limit for being polite, and they’re wondering how to escape this black-holed vortex of you called a mad genius because they don’t understand you at all in the least bit and there you are, seeing the truth and shutting up and saying, ‘So, how are YOU?’” I wrote the above as a FB post one morning after starting, writing, and finishing a song, planning my next book, thinking about another book I’m working on, getting an editing job, and making a cheeseburger pie and Continue reading It’s lonely out there…and that’s not a bad thing

How Many Silos Do You Have?

How many silos do you have in your career? Are you: A: An artist B: A songwriter C: A publisher Don’t act like these silos are independent entities. Decisions made on how each of these are marketed, tracked, and set up (as business entities) can positively or negatively effect the others. Look at your whole farm, not the individual silos, before you make business decisions. In other words, planning and execution. Do it.

Lock the Warehouse

A guy manufactures coffee cups. Does he: A: Leave the warehouse unlocked? B: Have his salesforce go out and give away all his cups in the hopes somebody somewhere will like one of them and buy it? A guy writes songs. Does he: A: Not protect his intellectual property by not locking it up (that is, keeping track of the information that shows he owns it)? B: Give away his songs in the hopes somebody somewhere will like it enough they will go out and look for him and buy a song?

Song for Nothing. Milk for Free.

You’ve heard the saying. It goes, “Why buy the cow when I can get the milk for free?” Most people are doing a poor job of it. They are putting finished product out there for free. Ask yourself: Do I have complete songs on Reverbnation (or other portals) that people can “listen to” for free? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? STOP IT. Put partial songs on there for the “free” listens. Give a link to click on to send to the entire song for download and purchase for real money. IF you want to use that song as a loss leader (that is, no money changes hands but they get to download the song anyway), let a listener purchase the song with their email address and express permission to send them information through email notification. Why should they get your property for free?

Are You in Hobby for Yourself?

I was talking to a friend the other night and he said, “Angela, you should write a blog entitled Are You in Hobby for Yourself?” And I said, “Yes, sir. I shall do that.” Frank’s suggestion came after we were talking about all the people who say they are in the music business but are not making any good business decisions, and who then complain about the results. Shortsighted actions do not support long-term goals and farsighted actions do not have immediate results. So, let’s get down to it. Are you in the business or is this a hobby for you? Business or hobby? Whether business or hobby, it doesn’t mean the quality of your imagination or song production is not awesome. There is a ton of talent in this world, and don’t I know it. But in order to make money (that means it’s a business) one must interact Continue reading Are You in Hobby for Yourself?

Playing the Game

It does not matter what business you are in: No matter what position you occupy, you are selling. That’s not a new thought, for sure, but one that most people do not understand applies to them. However, if you are a creative, that is, you are a writer, singer, painter, filmmaker, selling is even harder. It has something to do with how our minds are wired. But also, as creatives we want people to love what we do, and by extension, love us. So if we are in a room where there is singer A and singer B, A will say some version of this to a potential customer: Hey, man, get B’s CD. [Insert here reason for recommendation not to buy A’s CD.] But A is lying through his teeth. He believes he is better than B. So why does A say the equivelent of “Don’t Buy My Stuff”? Continue reading Playing the Game

Put Your Foot In It: Part Three

There was this bird in Canada that decided he didn’t need to fly south for the winter. His flock left him behind. You see, he had a friend in Canada that told him he’d help him stay warm. “Hey, man, save yourself the long, tiring, boring trip. Stay in my crib with me.” But the days got colder and his friend didn’t have any heat. Finally he said, “Dang. I better head south.” He flew up into the sky and flapped and flapped and flapped, but no matter how much he flapped his wings, they eventually got covered in ice and he plummeted to the earth where he landed in a pasture. He was quickly freezing to death when a cow came by and dumped a giant cow patty on him. The bird was furious. For about a minute. Then the warmth began to seep into his bones and blood Continue reading Put Your Foot In It: Part Three

2013: Year in Review

When I started 2013, I had no idea it would end as it has. 2013 began with a huge frustration concerning the music business. Though I identified the problem and came up with a sweet, sweet solution, that did not mean I could make it happen. In fact, I knew by myself that I could not make it happen. Wondering about it and doubting that I had really come up with a solution to a real problem, I went to the Grammy’s in a bummed-out state. On Grammy day, I went to the pre-telecast ceremonies where the majority of the awards are given out. Four rows from the front, I watched for almost four hours as talent after talent from around the world walked up the steps and accepted their awards. And you know what each and every one of them did for me that day? They confirmed my assessment Continue reading 2013: Year in Review

Goodbye, Friend

How do you say goodbye when you don’t even know the other person is gone? You can’t. I’ve written about this before on this blog. And today, as I reached out to follow up with someone, again today another goodbye I didn’t see coming. In the music business I have met more than my share of brilliant and talented people who can make great music. And here we are. Making a song together. And the song is, as the parlance goes, killer. It has great potential for pitching to movies, TV, ad agencies, and/or artists. In other words, a potential moneymaker. Right? Right. So, what do I now have but several songs written to someone else’s music that I will have to separate from the music and take to someone else to finish. So, go on. Ask me now why it is you think people in the music business who Continue reading Goodbye, Friend

Make the Offer

Everybody wants a mentor. Everybody needs a mentor at some time in their lives; you will probably have several of them throughout your life. People are often kind and will offer to give you bits of advice here and there. Some may even sit down with you for an hour or so just to be helpful to you for whatever reason that may be. How can you show your gratitude? Easy. Offer to pay for their coffee or their lunch when you meet. Don’t pussyfoot around about it either. State categorically, up front as you sit, “I’m getting your coffee today. What will you have?” When the waitgal or waitdude comes by for the food order, don’t make them ask one or two tickets. State flat out, “Give the check to me, please.” When the person, whose brain you are picking, says “No, no, no, you don’t have to do Continue reading Make the Offer

Yes. Right. Of course. Not.

Everybody forgets. This is not what I’m talking about. I am talking about a consistent, overall pattern of behavior wherein one says they will do, then they don’t. Wherein others depend on someone to pull their weight, and when that someone doesn’t, others must jump through hoops to make it happen so that a larger, important project does not get delayed or cancelled and people don’t lose time and money. “Oops, I forgot” gets old after awhile.


Maybe you know, maybe you don’t, but I’ve written several novels. None are available yet. I have a big plan and I’m working it. Remember the post I wrote about timing is everything? Well, it is. And my novels’ releases are being timed. In the meantime, I just got through with Dance Floor Wars: Lucinda’s People. It is printed out (for the fourth time) and I will let the 83,000+ words percolate for two or three weeks and read it again. In the meantime, I have another novella called Collision that I will be re-reading to see if it is ready for prime time, or if it needs more editing. I’ve also pulled out The Case of the Cat-Loving Killer. It is about a third written. I’ve been finishing Dance Floor Wars: Dispatches From the Front and DFW:LP, so this other novel has had plenty of time to percolate. When Continue reading Percolating

Be Careful for What You Ask

I read a quote this morning a friend posted on Facebook, that was attributed to Maya Angelou. It says, “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” Here is a story about that. For months, everywhere I saw John (not his real name), he’d say, “I need words for my music. If anybody wants to put words to my music, I’ll give them a CD.” And what is it I have? That’s right. Words. Lots and lots of words. Finally I said, “Give me one of those CDs, John, and I’ll see what I can do.” The CD had several very nice compositions. They were well formed. Helped me, as a songwriter, know where to put the words. One of his comps led me to write a song that I felt would have potential for documentaries and film, as well as a single for download. After I Continue reading Be Careful for What You Ask

Things You Don’t Know About Me

So everybody is listing things on Facebook that other people probably don’t know about them. I’ve been reading these lists. Made me think about what it is people probably don’t know about me. Here are a few. 1. I was interviewed for a full half-hour by G. Gordon Liddy, in-studio, on his radio show one year before 9/11. 2. When I was six, I believed I could breathe under water. The belief was short lived. 3. When I was twenty, I was held hostage by an armed gunman for 45 minutes, and a month later robbed at gunpoint by a drunk man. 4. When I was two, a four-year-old boy didn’t want to let my mother have me back, so he knocked me off a high porch onto the ground and broke my arm while screaming “You can’t have her, she’s mine.” 5. Boa contrictors and pythons like me so Continue reading Things You Don’t Know About Me

Who Knew? Men and Women are Different!

I read a book called Brain Sex. Fascinating. It pretty much took two hundred pages to say the following. While I believe my summary to be completely accurate and have taken pains to translate the points for both the male and female mind, I take full responsibility for the summaries included below. If you want to confirm, read the book and review the studies. One: Men and women are different. WE HAVE PROOF! So all you social engineers and feminazis and emotional communists out there shut your pie hole and stop trying to make everybody equal because it ain’t gonna happen. Stop trying to change the other, don’t rage at the differences, appreciate the strengths of the other, and live with the weaknesses as best you can. Find a way to translate. Two: The blank look on men’s faces when confronted with a) crying women or children, b) blank anniversary Continue reading Who Knew? Men and Women are Different!

I Like Affirmation

Hurry up and wait. Push and pull. Opposing opinions and awesome validations. Glad-handers and naysayers. Promises and lies. Ups and downs. Positives and negatives. This is the life of a technology startup CEO. The CEO is me. When I told my son what I was getting ready to do, he said, “Cool, Mom.” He’s proud of me for doing this thing. He then said, “Takes a lot of courage, Mom.” He’s right; it does take courage. It’s my money, time, and reputation on the line. On the other, the fear of not bringing this solution to a beleaguered group was worse. The question then becomes: How can I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a solution for several million people in a worldwide industry and not do anything about it? I. Don’t. Have. A. Choice. I’ve read stories about people who said “I had no choice.” And I Continue reading I Like Affirmation

Words from Someone Else: Too Funny.

I did not write this. This went around around the world on FB, but was so funny, I wanted to put it here. If you never saw it, enjoy! Some folks sure can write. TYPES OF GOVERNMENTS AND BUSINESS ENTITIES SOCIALISM You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbor  COMMUNISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk  FASCISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk  NAZISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you  BUREAUCRATISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away. TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (VENTURE) CAPITALISM You have two cows. You Continue reading Words from Someone Else: Too Funny.