This is an excerpt from “Countdown to Maximum Exposure,” a free PDF guide written by IndieGuide.com and CD Baby for musicians who are preparing to release a new album within the next year.

Releasing a new album takes more than just duplicating discs and throwing a party. You’ve got to get the word out if you want your music to sell. But with so many methods of promotion and so many outlets for music discovery, it can be difficult to know where to focus your efforts. Stay calm! This promotion timeline will guide you through, step by step, breaking it all down into bite-sized chunks so you can get out there and start generating press and buzz.

Defining the Three Types of Media

Traditional Media – Newspapers, magazines, zines, radio, and television. Getting coverage from these outlets takes time and connections, usually 3-4 months ahead of your album’s release date.

New Media – Born out of the web, these media outlets include blogs, MP3 blogs, podcasts, video podcasts, and websites. These outlets crave immediacy. Getting on these outlets is usually about connecting with them right before and right after the album is out.

Social Media – Social media are promotional outlets built on word-of-mouth as documented over the web and mobile platforms including sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Social media is all about what’s happening now. Getting the word out about your album is a constant process that should happen all of the time.

The 12 Month Plan

Album Release Countdown: 12 to 4 months before release

Album Release Countdown: 4 to 3 months until release

Album Release Countdown: 3 to 2 months until release

Album Release Countdown: 2 to 1 months before release

Album Release Countdown: 1 month until release

Album Release Countdown: The day of release

Album Release Countdown: post-release

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