I've received some negativity regarding my choice to use crowd funding. Its ok, I don't mind that. I won't get in a discussion/argument about it. I will tell you why I chose to do this.
I am a full time musician, wife and Mom to 4 children, a cat owns me, so this means I work out of my home studio. I have all of my equipment here. My piano is here, I have my Korg set up and connected to my computer. I can kill "two birds with one stone" because I work from from here I can also be a mother and keep an eye on my rather creative and rascally children. It works quite well. I do a lot of work from here. I am THE Marketing Director.. you know about me because I am the one doing all the tweets, FBs, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogging, and my partners in crime for broadcasting are working with me because I hired them. They do their job well. The Broadcasters LOVE the music and they are good people that love music and want to share with you!
Story time: I went to work outside of my home a few years ago, I wasn't able to focus on composing music, IN fact my children got into a lot of trouble. I wasn't home.. doing the work that was vital to keeping my music career going. The repercussions of that choice is still rippling.. but I found my way back and I am working here at home, once again.
I am taking big risks because I know the music is important. I have used crowd funding before, and it worked well. We hit the goal of 5k. Which payed for part of the recording, and manufacturing. The rest of it, I got a loan and payed for it that way. I don't want to incur more debt in order to keep my music going. But what should I do? Get more loans, CC, like the Walking Dead creator? I know my music is good, no its GREAT.. and I have to find my OWN path to create the capital to keep me recording albums.
I know, I know, I have been scratching my head too about all of this?! What the heck? Why am I getting loans? What is going on here?
The clincher is: The music business has been turned upside down. It may seem like I am making boat loads of money, when I am not. It may seem like we are rich, we are not. It may seem like I make a size able income, but do not. The only thing that comes monthly are SoundExchange Royalties, and that is diminishing. I am lucky to make $500 USD a month in royalties. It has come below to $300 a month. So take 300 x 12 = $3600.00 a year. That can pay for a new system, not an album. Sales are down, and I have to say here, thank God for those of you that have bought my music AND contributed to my crowdfunding campaigns!
You know about me because I work myself 8-12 hour days even with kids in the mix, because if I don't do it all of this stuff.. no one will.
A new album can cost between 5k to 30k. Since I released a solo piano album, it was a bit cheaper to do. So far it has cost 20k. This includes travel, car rental, lodging, food, studio time, awesome producer - Will Ackerman and rockin engineer - Tom Eaton, manufacturing, rental storage unit- to store music equipment and cds.. yes I have a small house, mail box, shipping, shipping containers, post cards, hiring photographer, hiring artists, website, business cards, bandcamp fees, cd baby fees, copy writers, press releases, PRO music subscriptions ( should I need it for professional reasons), conferences, marketing, promotion, publicist, misc stuff/unexpected stuff. The fact is those royalties are helping me pay the loan and credit card each month. Think Spotify and Pandora are helping me pay for all I do? Nope. In fact the other day I received a check from Music Reports for .01 ... yeah.. thats right, $.01. How can I keep the music flowing when the money is drying up everywhere?
I've had people judge me, tell me I should go get an outside job, waiting tables... etc.. where and when do I work on my music when I'm asleep? Do I leave my kids home to fend for themselves? Nope, that is something I cannot and will not do. So there are things I choose to do differently. I am at home working, every day. ps I am deaf in my left ear, I cannot do the mixing and mastering of my albums.. so this is why I choose to hire someone to help me with that. Guess what? Portions of the sales from FIRE IN THE RAINSTORM go to Hearing Health Foundation!!! I love them because their mission statement is:
Am I asking for a hand out?? OH hell no... this is a UNIQUE opportunity to be a part of the creative process. I love getting to know you better, and you getting to know me better. I have the product already, plus I announce to the whole world what you have done. Its a beautiful thing.. I love it and I love you for taking a chance with me.
So I come to you to help. Each of you is a strand of rope. When you contribute, the rope = music gets stronger and can withstand the pressures of marketing and promotion, the costs of creating an album. Each of you contribute to this "chord"... as the chord gets stronger, the more people can listen to it, and tell everyone they know about. You get to see how things are done, you have the inside scoop on everything. You all get to know me on a very personal level. How many musicians can you say you know personally and help personally? You get music, lots of it, and hand made items from my talented friends, myself and the gift of time with me too. Its an amazing, awesome, positive that will effect me for the rest of my life in a VERY positive sense.
So what happens if we do not get funded 100%? You still get the perks you contributed for and I will ship them to you. The contributions we have will pay Marketing and Promotion. I then will need to go back to the drawing board of creativity to figure out how to raise more funds to get T-shirts, shoot video, go on tour in the Western USA. Its not the end of things.. THIS is only the beginning.Its ALL positive!
I know this is a different path than most people will go. You are taking a HUGE leap of faith to help.. and I won't break that trust! This is a path I chose to walk, a positive way and I will always love you and thank you for contributing...