5 Reasons to Do It On Your Own

Now more than ever, we can use the power of the Internet to take charge of our own life. Let’s explore how comedian, Louis CK, self-produced his own stand-up special. Then I’ll give you 5 reasons you too should self-produce your art.

Louis CK

My sides could hardly bear the pain much longer, and my tear ducts felt drained. I laughed until I did not want to laugh anymore when I first watched Live at the Beacon Theater by Louis C.K.

This felt like the greatest $5 I’ve ever spent. I was one of over 200,000 people who must have felt this way. Louis CK made $1,000,000 in 10 days with his new business model.

Louis C.K. seized the opportunity to take his art into his own hands. He connected direct to fans.

5 powerful changes of doing it on your own

When an artist takes their work directly to the fans, the following five powerful changes occur:

1. Artists increase control.

Going direct to fans, the artist does not have the outside influence of the publisher, record label, or production company telling them how to make the book, album, or movie. The artist allows himself the opportunity to explore what the work wants to say, not what the people financing the operation want it to say.

2. Artists own more assets.

Would you rather a lump sum today or continually be paid over the long run? Many artists take the upfront money and sell away the long-term assets to business people. Bad idea. Especially in today’s era with the internet. Why do you think Jay-Z has been able to brag about how much more he makes than other rappers? He owns the rights to his music. He’s not a business man. He’s a business, man. Keep your assets.

3. Artists earn more.

Fewer middlemen and more asset retention. Sounds like a nice recipe to up the income on your art.

4. Fans get more value.

Rather than making 30 cents on the dollar (if that), the artists make a dollar on the dollar. What does that mean for fans? Louis CK can sell the special for $5 and make as much, if not more in the long run, as when he sells a Comedy Central produced special for $20. An internal debate occurs when I consider spending that $20. Whereas, I don’t have to even think about spending $5 on his special. It’s totally worth it to me.

5. Fans feel more connected.

Many of us buy art because we want to be a part of something or we want to support somebody. It’s all about connecting with something greater. Going direct to fans gives your fans the opportunity to support you in a more intimate way. This is not just labor. It’s a labor of love.


Question: Would you rather sign to a major publisher/label/studio or keep your art independent? Why?