I contacted the booking personnel over at a venue called the Milkboy Coffee in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. I asked them to give their point of view on how bands should approach a venue when wanting to book a gig.
Once you’re booked promote like crazy. Get guarantees from 100 people that they will show up to your gig, that should net you 50. Use your personal networks of friends, family and neighbors and work to make this show different from the last one.
Read the club’s website and submit your materials how they want them. Some clubs want a mailed presskit. Some clubs want an epk. It may sound stupid but it amazes me how many artists waste their cds sending them to me. I’m one of the clubs that uses epks only and I literally throw cds away.Be persistent with following up and don’t get discouraged when you don’t hear back from a club. Talent buying goes in cycles and a booker will spend about 3 times as much time sorting out details of already booked shows as he/she will spend doing actual booking. That means that we’ll get to you in time. Keep your head on and repeat your correspondence as many times as it takes to get a response.
Do not play the same area more than once every 6 weeks. I know you think that people will always come to see you – and they will if you give them enough time between your gigs. There’s no place more lonely than an empty club and your reputation will suffer.