by No. 1 Best Selling Author, Jaci Rae
Take care of your health! Most important. If you can't play or sing, you can't make the money you need to in order to survive on tour. Zicam at the first sign of any sickness does kick it in our experience.
You also don't want the expense of an out of town or out of country doctor. If you don't have insurance, check online for temporary travelers insurance.
Save money on gas and food by getting them free. Check online for surveys. I have all that listed in my Shop for a Day with Jaci Rae - How to Get Something for Nothing.
Scriptcopier.com has copies for two cents. This will help defray costs for the flyers you need for your street team. Make sure you have one.
Make sure you have black and white photo cards made up, inexpensively (the least expensive I have ever found are in Los Angeles). Autograph these free while you are sitting at your merch table after the show.
Always have someone staffing the merch booth. Many people will come during the show to avoid the lines.
Walk around after the show with your CD in hand and several in your pocket as well as change (dollar bills) to sell to people. Talk to your fans, don't just sell.
Make sure to have a sign up sheet on the table at the merch booth. Say something like, "Hey, if you sign up for my touring list, we can notify you of our shows and I will give you a free autographed picture."
To save money on hotels or hostels, contact the people who are involved with your tour. DJ's, promo, publicity and find out if they have any friends who might want to be your host family while you are there. Do not take advantage of the host family. Be of value to them and give them autographed goods, CDs, etc.
Don't waste your money on a lot of merchandise such as T-Shirts, etc. until you are more established and have a fan base that is actually yours. Why? You will spend a lot of money on product that may go to waste. Spend that money once you have a solid fan base that is showing up to your gigs because you are there, not because another band is.
Ask other bands in your genre if they would want to share lists. By that, I mean, when you send out a notice about your group, you also send a notice about theirs and visa versa. It's a great way to cross promote.
Make friends, not enemy's. You are not a diva and people don't like them so don't become one.
Make sure you have a contract. Without one, you can get screwed.
Learn the business. This is show business. Put on the show with all your heat and soul so they want to come back, but learn the business.
Make sample cards with music samples, not full songs on them and hand them out at the gigs. Keep costs down and make sure you get a great deal on this. Don't waste your money if you don't have extra.
Youth hostels are a great way to stay. Be safe.
Hone your craft and skills.
The money you make won't be in ticket sales, not even the big stars make the most money that way. You make the money with merchandise and by sponsors.
Just because you aren't a "big" star, doesn't mean you can't run in the same arena. Go to you local Joe Smogh shop in the town you live in and ask them to sponsor you band for $10, $25 or whatever. Stress that it's a tax write-off for them and will help your band. In exchange, you will put up a banner they provide (they need to provide it). Alternatively, you will put them on the flyers. Get enough sponsors to help support your tour.
Good luck! Blessings. Jaci Rae