First of all, let me admit that we have been receiving an incredible number of submissions of albums for review over the last 7 months or so. While this is not a bad thing – artists seem to be using their downtime during the pandemic to record as well as dig through archives of older material – it does mean that our already-overwhelmed queue has never been deeper.
As a result, there are some very, very good submissions that will not be reviewed, even though these albums are quite deserving of more attention. Sorry. There is not much that can be done about that. In an economic sense, there is more demand for reviews than supply of reviewers.
But if you’d like to maximize your chances for review, please take a look at our submission guidelines from 2017. Since then, we have noticed a few additional things that can easily be done to make it more likely that we listen to and write about your music. Most of these suggestions involve ways that you can help us save time in processing submissions so that we can spend more time writing about them. (Eventually, I’ll be integrating these points into the guidelines.)
- Don’t spam us with off-topic music in the hope that we write about it. A surprising number of submissions fall outside of the types of music we cover. While we make no qualitative judgment about such submissions, we generally delete them after a quick listen. But this takes time, perhaps a few minutes per submission, and we often receive a couple dozen of these per day.
- Submit MP3s. If you submit WAVs or FLACs, we have to convert them. It means that we generally will not listen to the recordings until the conversion is complete. Exception: If an individual reviewer asks for non-MP3 encodings or physical media, please honor those requests. But submissions to our main email address should include links to downloadable MP3s.
- Get your metadata right. We play digital files on systems that use metadata for indexing and search. If your files have incorrect metadata – or none at all – we may not be able to find your music. Metadata should clearly identify the artist, album title, and song titles. The rest is optional.
- Do not embed or link album cover art into digital files. This really screws up Microsoft Windows file management tools as well as some media players. We often have to manually edit MP3s with embedded art in order to remove it. Again, more time spent doing something other than listening to your music.
- Do not contact us on social media. We use Facebook and Twitter in largely a “write-only” fashion and do not check our inboxes on these platforms every day. If anything, Avant Music News is going to be reducing its social media presence in the future, so please make submissions via email.
All of the above may seem like minor nits being picked, but the volume of submissions results in us spending hours per week managing, sorting, and queuing these submissions. Anything that you can do to reduce our efforts in this regarding is going to increase the likelihood that we spend more time listening to and possibly writing about your music.