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Tue, Nov. 5th, 2013, 09:07 pm
Speculating on a Potential Crowdfunding Project

This is probably a really good time to ask you all about a possible crowdfunding project.

First off, understand that this would be for three purposes: reprinting some CDs that I've run out of or nearly out of (e.g., The Last Hero On Earth and Homecoming: MarCon 2005); getting some spiffy new printings of some of the ones I've been burning myself, complete with actual covers 'n' stuff; and paying for some personal stuff that I need -- dental work, auto repair (or even replacement), that sort of thing. (That precludes Kickstarter, by the way, which doesn't allow fundraising for personal causes. The likeliest site would be Indiegogo or GoFundMe, but I have a few to check out.)

I need to be right up front about that. Neither I nor the economy is what it was six years ago; I'm no longer able to just squeak out a living at filk, not like I did. SocSecDis just about pays my regular bills; my food and any extras are covered by online sales and conventions. I'm not suffering, but I'm sure not flush -- it's the old every-time-I-get-money-in-it-goes-out game, with a side of one-bit-hit-could-leave-me-in-deep-trouble.

My original thought was to basically write at least one album's worth of songs in January and February, say, a dozen, with an initial goal of $5,000. That would cover the reprints of the two albums I'm thinking, the production of the new album itself, the dental work, and a new set of tires for Cashmere (the "new" van, the goldish one -- it definitely earned a name on the trip out west. Ran like a dream).

Stretch goals would include another song every $1,000 or so. Add-ons would include downloads of other albums, house concerts (where I come to you), maybe a personalized song (assuming I don't have any others in the fire), stuff like that. And the resulting cash would give me a buffer.

Leslie even suggested I run an online game for a few people. I have to think about that, but OOOOOOH it sounds great.

Lexi wants me to come out with a song book. I've been puttering at that for ten years; maybe this is the time to spend a month finishing the damn thing.

So. Thoughts? Are those levels reasonable, at least as talking points while I think through the details? Am I being a jerk about this, getting you guys to fund my dental work?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1642404.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 02:22 am (UTC)

> Am I being a jerk about this, getting
> you guys to fund my dental work?

No more so than when you want us to fund your, you know, food and shelter. You give good value; please don't kick yourself.

Your goals sound reasonable, and I'll be happy to kick in when this gets set up.

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC)

For the most part I think what you're doing sounds reasonable. My main concern is reprinting CDs. I'm not sure about the state of physical media. I prefer it, but I know I'm in a minority. There's no sense in reprinting a bunch of CDs that are just going to sit around and collect dust. I think you should talk to Devo Spice and ask him about how well the FuMP is doing on selling CDs and maybe talk to Bill Roper when you're at Windycon and ask how his sales are doing and if he thinks they'd sell (and give him time to think about it since he is part of the concom). There are probably like a dozen filkers at Windy that you can talk with about it. (Damn my brother for having his wedding reception on Windy Weekend!) I would try to focus on new material and selling recordings of concerts.

Devo has also done a few kick starters for his albums I'd consult with him. $5000 may be a bit high, but you said your estimate included reprints. I'd move them to a stretch goal and lower the amount. The best KS I joined were albums all of them made it but most had lower amounts. For your first one, I'd aim lower (in terms of cost and goals) and see how it goes. Some made double the initial goal and others barely squeaked by. I hear projects sometimes get a rush of funding after they made their goal because people know it's going to be done so feel safer joining. That's another reason to keep the initial goal low.

Good luck and you have my support.

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)

I'm pretty darn broke too, but will be happy to boost your signal some. And as for CDs vs. downloads, if you're planning to travel and do house concerts, merch is a good thing. I'd maybe even add some t-shirts.

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 04:49 am (UTC)

Good point about house concerts and cons. At Musecon Tom gave me some download cards to complete my collection (I forgot I was missing some of his earlier albums). Those can be sold, but I'm not sure how popular they are. I remember buying the Ookla the Mok mini-album via download card for $5.

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 04:19 am (UTC)

When do I start backing your project? :)

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)

You will totally have my support. And I'm another vote for the songbook--printed, pdf, whatever.

Just be sure to do all the math so that you'll end up with the $$ you need after production costs . . .

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 06:11 am (UTC)

If I can help man I will. I'm not sure how much but I'll do what I can my friend :) we;re all in this together aren't we?

The song book sounds like a great idea. Personally I still buy CDs but I do admit that the market is going away, albeit slowly. *sigh* we old fogies and our old fashioned technology just isn't what it used to be man. ;)

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 11:09 am (UTC)

Yes, those are reasonable levels.

No, you're not being a jerk by asking for help.

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)

Many artists on Kickstarter ask for a bit of money so they can take time off their day job and focus on the project, and even more ask for extra to take care of unforeseen expenditures. As long as it's not a huge amount nobody seems to have a problem with it.

While I personally prefer digital goods (haven't even touched a CD in over a year) I know many people in the fannish community who love having stuff they can hold, so the songbook and other extra stuff is a good idea. Just be sure you get accurate quotes for shipping, then add 15%. I've seen a number of Kickstarter projects get slammed by postage.

And here's an idea for a stretch goal: A crowdsourced song. People who donate above a certain amount get to take part in an experiment where they can suggest ideas for a song, offer lyrics, vote on suggestions, then you wrap it up and make it into a song. There are lots of ways to handle this, and it would be interesting to see how it develops.

Thu, Nov. 7th, 2013 01:21 am (UTC)

Depending on timing, I may not be able to throw money in the pot, but I am quite willing to discuss mailing options to keep costs minimal. I'm a USPS letter carrier.

Mon, Nov. 11th, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)

"Delaware seconds."
"Ye would, ye lousy wart."

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)

1. YES!

2. "Skullrose And Tourmaline" ?

Thu, Nov. 7th, 2013 02:03 am (UTC)

Dude, if I ever win the lottery jackpot, you're on the list of people to get money. So, of course I'll pitch in for a crowdfunding.

No, you are not a jerk; you are a living breathing human being dealing with reality in the 21st century.

Thu, Nov. 7th, 2013 04:19 am (UTC)

Nope, long as you're up front about what you're raising funds for you're being perfectly reasonable. I think I'd like the songbook though if you mean to include all or most of your songs I want it in electronic form since otherwise I doubt I could LIFT it... :)

Fri, Nov. 8th, 2013 05:09 am (UTC)
Win Day: Kickstarter game, and funding artists

Have a look at this Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mariancall/marian-call-european-adventure-quest?ref=live. Marian used it to fund a European tour and production of a live album recorded on tour. The game was a big draw.

Actually, have a look at her website too http://mariancall.com/, and in particular her Donors Circle http://mariancall.wordpress.com/specialty-items-donor-details/. I've been involved in that for a few years now. She gets some fairly large donations to keep her afloat personally while creating music for us, and also uses a virtual Tip Jar to collect smaller chunks of money.

Edited at 2013-11-08 05:10 am (UTC)

Fri, Nov. 8th, 2013 07:30 am (UTC)
Matthew Scouten: Re: Kickstarter game, and funding artists

Seconding "Skullrose And Tourmaline". What I have heard so far is awesome.