There are several ways I sympathize with you. I spent my teen years playing in garage punk and metal bands playing drums and learning how to play from scratch with no prior experience or instruction. Try learning how to do blast beats all on your own....very hard to do I might add. People NEVER give credit where credit is due as far as hard metal bands go. I also spent a majority of that time getting laughed at when I said I wanted to be a professional musician. Well, here I am. A jarhead looking at spending xmas in Iraq most likely and not having played my drums in years. ....my drums, hell I don't even have drums anymore. My mom sold 'em coz I told her I needed the money.
Being a musician for pay is not easy and always involves either years of struggling for a record deal or conforming and giving some fat executive producer whatever he wants. Burning CD's has been something I have avoided ever since it came out. I do download music, yes. Just enough to know I like the band or not. Then I go and buy the CD. I have always prided myself on having this multi-volume monster of a collection that I can reference anytime I want lyrics or band pics. I never understood the lack of soul one must have to brag about how many CD's they have and then whip out this huge book of endless silver pieces of metal and plastic with permanent marker titles scribbled on them. I would buy that CD of yours.
When you make the decision to be a musician and make a living off of it you are saying you will accept the struggle that comes with it and nothing is guaranteed EVER. There are many people just like me out there who download a song or two and if we like it, we buy the CD. It does happen. Easy CD burning and such has helped this generation of Americans slide further into that spirit of "I don't WANNA work for it, I want it NOW!" Trust me when I say we aren't all like that.
I still maintain that most "pagan" music I have heard has sucked royally. Not because of production quality or other budget issues. Quite simply, there aretoo many people on this celtic kick and thinking that means your music has to be goofy, high tuned and sesame street sounding junk. There was a song called spiral rythms before that I downloaded (you probably know who I am talking about, I can't remember who she was but it was a solo musician) that was just HORRIBLE and was praised by the pagan music community. Somewhere along the line, someone must have shot out a memo saying all "pagan" music had to suck ass and sound like either a cheap Marilyn Manson rip off (He sucks regardless) or mister rogers on prozac with a ukelele (sp?).
You my friend are simply in that same hole so many other musicians end up in, struggling to make a name for yourself and your band and getting nowhere because music has turned into download mania instead of a buying frenzy.
.............there, we both ranted. In closing, 95% of self proclaimd "pagan" music sounds fit for nothing but elementary school, and you have a talent and need to just keep a day job, bust your ass on weekends and holidays to get free songs out as teasers, and book whatever small venues you can in and around Atlanta, Athens, and Buckhead and do whatever you can to keep your personal production costs down. That way you have more left over after you take in what little you will make at this point in shows. Burn your OWN CD's and have T-shirts and stickers made so you can tempt people at shows and festivals or whatever and play on their impulse buying instincts.
...........and I have never in 12 years of being pagan been to one festival. Too intimidating and more than likely these days it will be filled with lots of druggie losers and John Lennon fans (sorry, I worship a Goddess of war) or the typical comic book fan turned self styled Pagan coz they like Dungeons and Dragons so much they decided to make it their religion. You're fed up with the Pagan music fans, I'm fed up with Pagans in general. Can't we just be Pagan because we feel it in our heart? Why does being Pagan have to mean either being an angst filled teenage drop out (thought that was what punk and raves were for) loaded on acid and pot or a fat, glasses wearing Anime fan? (no offense, I wear glasses while reading or driving and I used to be overweight....and I used to be on drugs and hate the establishment......and I used to read comic books....when I was a KID)