After a few months of working your task list religiously, following up on every CD until specifically told “Not interested”, you should be ready to book a few gigs. Many an agreement has been made based on a phone call and a virtual handshake, but if you want to live without headaches, I suggest you get in the habit of sending a written agreement for every gig.
The story usually goes like this: you sent the CD in January; to finally book a gig in April for this upcoming August. It’s just a Tuesday night for 100% of the door, a place to stay and some food, but it’s a must needed stop over between Colorado and Nevada. You call a week before the gig from somewhere in Texas and the club has never heard of you. What’s worse, there is another band booked on that night and the other band has a confirmed written agreement.
For gigs that are low to no-dough deals, you should still send a written agreement. Email is the easiest method because you can easily send the same message over and over until you get confirmation. Faxing is also relatively easy but having to send a snail mail agreement over and over can be a hassle. Your goal here is to constantly remind the talent buyer of your agreement and put all of the details in one place. The higher the dollar value on the agreement the more diligent you should be on insisting on a signed copy.
Check out http://www.faxwave.com, they will give you a free Fax-to-Email phone number. This gives you the ability to have a buyer physically sign your agreement and fax it back to you, but instead of receiving a traditional paper fax, you will get an electronic copy of the signature in any email inbox that you choose. This eliminates the likelihood of agreements or faxes slipping through the cracks. Most venues book a ton of talent and have their own problems keeping the information straight.
Now that you have a gig coming up in a brand new market you had better make sure every possible media outlet in town knows you are coming.