20 Ways to Ensure I Won’t Hear Your New Music

Stack of CDs image

  1. Don’t bother telling me about it.
  2. Do tell me about it. Promise to send a CD, then don’t.
  3. Mail your CD in an unpadded envelope so that it will arrive broken. Count on me to report the problem to you rather than just moving on to the next thing.
  4. Make sure the CD mailer arrives postage due.
  5. Instead of using email like a civilized person, tweet me your press release…
  6. Or post to Country California’s Facebook wall…
  7. Or spam the comments section of an unrelated post on our website.
  8. Or do all three preceding steps simultaneously, like a crappy music blitzkrieg.
  9. Contact me repeatedly by email, becoming more and more angry/anxious with each passing day you don’t hear back. Do your best to guilt me into writing about you, since that’s bound to work…
  10. Make your pitch email so off-putting (unprofessional, profane, misspelled, etc.) that it completely fails to pique my curiosity – and, in fact, makes me want to actively avoid dealing with you.
  11. Cite Brantley Gilbert and Colt Ford as influences.
  12. Tag your MP3 files as poorly as possible so that I can’t put them directly into my media player without giving them some attention first. This will earn them a special spot in my ‘files in need of tagging’ folder until I have free time for such task, by which point I will have completely forgotten of their existence.
  13. Tag your files completely, but in ALL CAPS. You know how people love ALL CAPS.
  14. Make sure the zip file you send is corrupt. Hilarious!
  15. Accidentally password-protect the folder you send, without giving me any indication of what the password might be. Count on me to report the problem to you rather than just moving on to the next thing.
  16. Make sure to send all files in .m4a format, since everyone obviously loves and uses the bloated iTunes software for basic music-listening purposes.
  17. Instead of sending CDs or downloadable files, link me to a website where I can stream your music. As someone who already spends too much time looking at computer screens, I am understandably eager to stare at your poorly-designed webpage for hours while trying to write a review.
  18. Never do any research before sending me anything, and pay no mind to the fact that half of the site name is ‘country.’ All signs to the contrary, I would love to hear your new electropop record.
  19. Make your music unavailable on subscription music service like MOG and Spotify so that if I do happen to seek it out for myself, I have to purchase it outright to learn if it might be of interest to me.
  20. Make sure that all promotional shots feature you in a muscle shirt and doo-rag.

Of course, there’s still a fair chance I won’t like or write about your music once I do hear it. These are just some helpful tips for weeding yourself out even earlier in the process, based on real events and trends in the past four years of accepting music submissions.

(Seriously though, if you want to increase the chances that your music will be heard, try the following: A basic awareness of who we are and what types of music we tend to cover. A concise, professional email of introduction. Well-tagged MP3s of reasonable quality that download and unzip without any trouble. CDs sent with correct postage in suitably protective packaging. It’s not complicated.)

SHARE Twitter | Facebook + SUBSCRIBE Email | RSS

About C.M. Wilcox

A freelance writer and humorist with an abiding love of country music, C.M. Wilcox's cutting, clear-eyed take on the genre has drawn the attention of Country Weekly, The Washington Post, and The Tennessean in the years since this site began. C.M. lives near Sacramento and can be reached by email at CMW (at) countrycalifornia.com.

Things People Are Saying

  1. CM, you gave me a big hearty laugh over here, my friend. I love the repeated, “and count on my to report it” throughout the article. #12 was my favorite… although #17 is easily my biggest frustration.

  2. Beaumont says:


    Little did you know that this could be extremely helpful to someone like me…


    Also, check out my website:


    • C.M. Wilcox says:


      For anyone following along at home, empirical proof that these strategies don’t work: Beaumont’s (satirical) imitation of them landed him in our spam filter… three times in a row.

  3. ChurchsChicken says:

    I wish there were 20 Ways I Could Ensure I Won’t Hear Tim McGraw’s New Single Truck Yeah.

  4. Ben says:

    Ha, this is great. I haven’t had all of these happen personally, but I have had people try to advertise artists by spamming the comments section, and I have gotten more than a few press releases for non-country artists. I’ve also had a few folks try the guilt trip tactic, with limited success. I have not yet had a CD arrive with postage due, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Speak Your Mind


Comment Policy: Just don't be too big of a jerk, okay? It's a pretty simple rule.

Believe in Country Music?

You're in the right place. Hundreds of people are already receiving fresh, free content
automatically each time we publish. Join their ranks and never miss a thing.