Creating an EPK for Musicians
What is an EPK?
An Electronic Press Kit is a document that should as clearly as possible outline what your band or music is about. It should introduce you to any potential promoter, programmer, venue, agent or marketer, and immediately display all of your best content to them.
Why have an EPK?
Besides giving bookers an impression of your band’s music, an EPK is the best way to send marketers and venues information about your band after you’re booked. If your EPK is readily apparent on your website, there doesn’t have to be any back and forth with marketing teams, and everything can move faster.
- In practice your EPK is most often your website, which should have all of the information outlined below.
- It can be valuable to have a page for press that also contains a downloadable version of your EPK, that you can also send directly to people.
- Ideally you will also have a shareable folder prepared, on Google Drive, Dropbox etc. that you can forward when requested, or can be linked to an EPK page on your website.
- This should include an abbreviated version of the content on your website
- 2 hi-res, 2 low-res photos (Check under ‘downloadable photos’ for some ideas on photo specifications.)
- One short and one long bio (including some press quotes). Consider including your bio as a word or other word-processing document, even a Google Doc. A PDF document makes it more difficult for users to copy/paste your bio correctly.
- Radio-play appropriate files (good quality .wav or .mp3 if needs be)
- Video clips, or a list of links to videos on your YouTube channel. Bonus points if you include video clips which are edited for Instagram/Twitter, i.e. in a square format and less than 45s long.
How much is this going to cost?
- If you can put some time into it, Wordpress has gotten very easy to use as a website builder, and if you are prepared to put a good amount of time into it you can probably come up with something quite serviceable. You can use a free version, or pay for a domain name or a more sophisticated platform. Squarespace is another frequently used option.
- If you have a bit of money to spend on promoting, it might be more useful to spend it on recording a single or a couple of tracks professionally - EPKs can be serviceable without being professionally made, whereas to get tracks out on radio, they need to be high-quality recordings.
What to have in an EPK
- Place your highest quality video at the top of the page. If possible, include one music video which gives a good sense of your music, and one high-quality live recording for a booker to get a sense of your live show.
- An excess of video is not always a good idea - choose the best quality two or three, and then a link to a Youtube channel etc. for other options.
- Embeds or links to your Youtube, Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and anywhere your music can be purchased.
- If embedding sound files, again pick the highest quality 2 or 3, rather than overloading with them. Links exist to direct people onward to further options if they need them.
- In your direct send folder, you can include one or two high-quality .wav or .mp3 files which can be used for radio promotions.
- Ensure tracks are clearly labelled with your name, the track name and album name/release details.
- A short one of less than 100 words
- A longer one of up to 500 words.
- Include 2 good press quotes, they won’t go looking for reviews if you give them the best ones to hand.
- Your first sentence should describe your music as evocatively as possible - can you create a sentence to let people almost hear the sound of your music? If possible, avoid generic terms like ‘boundary-crossing’, ‘experimental’. Unless very relevant they usually don’t help to form an auditory picture.
- Include any logos or names for funders/supporters you need to mention.
- Try to have good quotes immediately visible - Clip a line or a few words out of your best reviews and have them either immediately visible or very easily accessible.
- Having links or a copy of the complete review can also be very useful, but the shortest, best thing should be to the fore.
- Try to have hi-res print-quality photos (300dpi) available for download from your website. This means if it’s something that could be used for an A3 poster, it’ll need to be more than 5000 pixels high, more than 3500 pixels across in portrait format.
- Different formats of images are very useful
- Do you have one photo which is cropped to a square or will work if cropped?
- One portrait which can be used for posters or flyers
- A wide shot in landscape with a good amount of negative space is useful for cover images.
- If your website doesn’t allow large images, try creating a dropbox with images, and including a link to this.
- You can also include some lower resolution (72dpi) photos for web use.
- Make sure the photos are clearly named for ease of identification, e.g. ‘PRINT, band name, live, purple lighting’ or ‘WEB, band name, promo shot, brick wall’.
- If you have them, it can be a good touch to have a mix of good band photos and some live action shots from gigs.
- Do you have a band logo? If so, include it as a good-quality PNG, transparent background if appropriate, so that marketers can use it on their materials.
- If you can, use an email address:
- You can use any of the usual tricks to try and avoid spam, e.g. admin [at] improvised music [dot] ie, but an actual email address makes it easier for a potential booker/journalist etc to contact you directly and quickly, and could be the difference in your band being featured somewhere or not.
- Your phone number.
- Any other relevant contact details, for a record label, manager or agency.
- Easily Visible Social Media links.
- Especially if your handle is something slightly confusing or could be mistaken for something else, include your exact handle (not just a link) in your downloadable bio, or somewhere easily visible for marketers. e.g. Twitter: @awesome_musician_ Instagram: @_awesome_musician
- The easier you are to tag, the better.
- Search your band name on all platforms to be sure there isn’t someone who is easily mistaken for you.
- It can make things far easier for producers if your tech rider is available as part of your EPK. See our article here about creating a Tech Rider.
- If you are concerned about producers/venues making technical arrangements without consulting you you can include disclaimers that riders are venue-dependent and should be confirmed with artist/manager.
Other points to consider
- How easy is your website url going to be to remember or find - is there another bigger website that will come up when googling your name?
- Do your social media accounts and website all link to each other? Tools like Linktree can be used to link to multiple places from social media bios.
- Website tabs - how easy is it to see what goes where? If you have a section labelled ‘Press’, is this a section FOR press containing your EPK, or a section containing your reviews and press quotes. Can you have an EPK section, or will it go under Contact?
- Check your bios across your EPK and social media match.
- Try and look at your EPK with first-time eyes. Does it give an immediate sense of your band’s music? Is your best content the most easily visible?
There is lots of good advice available from other sources on building an EPK. You can review different ideas and see which seems most relevant to your band.
- Steve Grand on Youtube https://youtu.be/PfsB9d4iuLI
- Sonicbids Blog http://blog.sonicbids.com/how-to-make-an-epk
- Musician on a Mission https://www.musicianonamission.com/how-to-make-an-epk/
- Ditto Music https://www.dittomusic.com/blog/how-to-create-an-electronic-press-kit-for-musicians
- Tunecore https://www.tunecore.com/blog/2016/10/common-mistakes-avoid-building-epk.html