Some time ago, CD Baby (a company that handled some CD distribution for me) surprised me and a lot of other artists by shutting down their online store. This meant there was no convenient online site to which I could direct fans who were interested in buying my music in digital form. While people in the U.S. could still (at least in theory) manage to buy tracks or albums through Amazon or Apple, CD Baby declined to arrange digital sales outside of the U.S.A. (where most of the people who know my music live). CD Baby also discontinued distribution of physical CDs (which had always been problematic for Canadian artists and purchasers anyhow).
After some hand-wringing and research, I finally started to reclaim my own distribution arrangements. The first step was completely redesigning my website and ensuring that fans could purchase physical or digital recordings directly from me. The new site has been up since the spring, and I am really pleased with it.
The next step was to find a better approach for digital sales. After some research it became obvious that the best available solution was Bandcamp.com, which provides for easy purchase and download of digital albums or tracks. I went through the process of registering on Bandcamp, uploading my music and setting up a home page and a page for each album.
The final step was to update my own website so that people interested in buying digital music will be redirected appropriately. This was a fussy job but is now done! So... if anyone has been champing at the bit, just waiting for a chance to buy some of my songs, let the online shopping begin! Just visit tomlips.bandcamp.com.
I launched my original website an embarrassingly long time ago, as part of the promotion of my first solo recording, Made Of Sky. It was very exciting to have an online presence for the first time: www.tomlips.ca. Imagine that!
In those days there were no shortcuts to building or updating a website. You had to know a fair amount about HTML coding, and you had to have significant design skills; or, more likely, you hired a contractor who had those skills. (I was lucky to have two gifted web designers build and then rebuild the site for me over the years.)
After the initial thrill wore off, I realized that the site was not the most flexible of tools. Because there was no user-friendly interface, making even the simplest changes without professional assistance was challenging. I quickly adopted the much easier strategy of using a separate blog to promote upcoming events. The main site linked to the blog but remained pretty static-- just an online anchor with basic information, something that Google could find.
There was a complete redesign to accompany the launch of my second CD, Practical Man. However, by the time I released my third CD, The Devil's Day Off, the website was a creaky antique. I knew it needed more than a few tweaks, but life kept intervening, and I let it limp along, sad and neglected, for far too long. But no more! The old site is dead. Welcome to my new website! This time I built it myself (with the help of new technology that makes the steps pretty easy). As a result, I feel much more connected to the site as a work in progress, and am enjoying the process of continuing to develop it.
So again, welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit. Let me know what you think.