To everyone who buys music, art or some other creative work for gifts (or for yourself!) over the holidays, thank you! Please read this if you'd like to maximize your support for the artist with your hard-earned sheckels. If you care about #smallbizSat or #ShopSmall, buying local, buying direct - thanks for reading and sharing.
It can be really crazy to try to make a livelihood particularly as a musician or an author these days. So much great work being created, and so many new outlets to get it in your hands or on your devices! But before you go try to save a dollar or two at Amazon, please consider this advice.
Most of us get paid a pittance from those big "convenience stores", and they take their sweet time paying us too. On top of that - they are likely keeping HALF OR MORE of what you pay! If you'd like to do the most to support the artist, here's my suggestion - CONTACT THE ARTIST FIRST and ask what's the best way to do it. You'll get a lot of benefits - you're letting an artist know that you appreciate their work enough to want to support them, and that is HUGELY APPRECIATED! But you also might get the perfect package of products, autographed for the appropriate recipients, and your money will be helping that artist pay their bills over the holidays instead of fattening shareholders for some faceless company that won't answer your emails or phone calls.
If you asked me what's best for me, I'd send you to http://andrewmcknight.net to look and listen as much as you'd like. You could order my music at a very reasonable price through the Bandcamp players - downloads and/or discs. This holiday season, you can get downloads of everything I've released in the last 20 years for $38.35, which is a whopper savings over Amazon or anybody else. You'll get better quality downloads too - even lossless if you like. If you get discs, I sign them and I ship them. If you don't find the perfect combination of what you're looking for, send me an email and we'll figure it out and get it to you in plenty of time for holiday treasures.
Whatever art it is that you covet - music, books, paintings, photos - someone has dedicated enormous hours to that craft and producing that work. It makes our whole day to know how much someone cares about it to buy it as gifts. It helps us keep making new work when we are able to pay the bills with what we produce. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, in gratitude for my art being possible because of you. Happy Holidays.