When I did my Celtic Music: Christmas lens last month I included several CDs from the Maggie's Music label. It's a small label with a dozen artists including the founder, hammered dulcimer player Maggie Sansone. The next day, I published a lens featuring Bonnie Rideout, an American fiddler who plays in the Scottish style and who has recordings on the Maggie's Music label.
The next day I got an email from Maggie Sansone asking about doing lenses on Squidoo to promote Maggie's Music. Then she proposed a trade where I'd make lenses and she'd send me some CDs. I liked the idea for two reasons 1) my budget for buying CDs is non-existent these days and 2) I really like the music on her label. I've been listening to samples. Some of the samples available at CD Baby are two minutes per track.
It's a busy time of year for traditional musicians, so it's taken a little while to work things out, but we did, and now I've got a couple of lenses published under the account set up for Maggie's Music:
Maggie's Music: Christmas
The Christmas one was the first one I did, and it's a pretty basic lens using Amazon Spotlight modules, with text links to pages on the Maggie's Music website for each CD entered into the text space between the title and the CD cover. Time is very short, so I wanted to get something up and maybe catch a little of the late Christmas traffic. The neat thing about the CDs is they're available as digital downloads from iTunes via the website or from Amazon (some are even available from Amazon.co.uk, which is very new) if ordering off the lens.
The one for Maggie's Music just uses text modules with CD cover images and text from the website. It's got text links to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk but the CD cover and title are both links to the Maggie's Music website. It also has the text and graphics inside colored text boxes, which I think add a lot to the lens, making it different than your standard plain text-and-image lenses.
I just got email from Maggie. She likes the lenses, so now I can get the word out.
I'm happy to have a more direct connection through this arrangement that enables me to help out folk and traditional musicians. During my coffeehouse days I found that folk musicians are super nice people.
It's not too late to order some beautiful music on CD for delivery by Christmas. If you're the type who likes downloading, even Christmas day isn't too late!