Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Options on FlyingSpaghettiMusic.com


Some of you know I've been releasing new songs under the label "Flying Spaghetti Music" via the crowd-funding platform Patreon. The closest analogy I can think of is it's like a subscription service. You pledge $1 or more per song, then you automatically get each new song delivered to your inbox. Patreon charges you only when there's a new song available.

I've been experimenting with this, posting songs about once every month or two. (Below is a YouTube playlist of the songs I've released to date.)

So far I'm loving it. My Patreon patrons are supporting me for a total of $81/song right now. It's not a lot of money, but it feels great to know that I have people waiting and excited to hear the next song I record.

If I can get my total up to $350/song, I'll start to break even on my recording costs. If I can get it up to the $1500 - 2500 range, I could start shifting my main source of income from performing to recording.

Not that I want to give up performing altogether, but having the option to lean more on recording would be a dream come true for me. It would mean a more predictable and steady income, less stress, and more time for my creative work, especially writing new songs. It would also help my work reach a larger, more wide-spread audience.

Patreon allows artists to set up a rewards structure, incentivizing patrons to pledge more than the minimum. I recently polled my patrons and found out that they didn't care about most of the rewards I was offering. Their typical motivation is to help bring more of the sorts of songs I make into the world. One more reason to love Patreon!

The rewards they did care about were related to getting the music. So my new options are focused there.

Patreon suggests that $1, $3, and $5 are the most common pledge amounts. So I wanted to make the $5 level a no-brainer.

For $3/song, I offer a download package with the new song plus some extras. For $5/song I'm throwing in a CD download of your choice from my back catalog. That's $5 for a new song, bonus material, and an entire CD. I think it's a great deal. We'll see if I get any takers!

I'd love to have you on board! You'd probably buy my music anyway at some point, right? :-)


Monday, August 03, 2015

Kimberly to the Rescue...

Okay, here you go... Old site on top, thanks to Kimberly Chapman, who knows how to find things. (Nothing on the web is gone forever, I should know better than that!) And.. the new site on the bottom. Don't tell me which you like better. The new one is better. It just is.

Brand New Website

Darn - I didn't take a screenshot of the old website, and now it's gone forever. I'm unexpectedly emotional about that. I keep reloading the page but for now it just says "coming soon." Dealing with my nerves by writing to you.

It's the end of an era for me. I learned html back when the World Wide Web was a brand new fad, so I could make my own website. I was one of the very first children's musicians to have one (if not the first - sure, let's just say I was the first, why not?) Back then it was mostly text formatting, and if you included a photo, you had to wait and watch it load in one pixel at a time (practically).

Over the past twenty or so I've kept my own site updated, including porting it to different formats and different hosts, but it's all been my own doing. Yes, the thing had grown into a sprawling mess, but it was my mess.

But over the past few years the technology has left me behind. These days your site needs to be responsive, so it can re-shape itself for iphone screens, and that kind of programming is beyond me.

So... I've entrusted my new website to HostBaby's Site Builder system. It limits me in what I can do, but that also forces me to simplify, simplify, simplify. I'm still "doing my own site" in a way - but now I'm in charge of content and they are largely handling the format and look with their automated system.

Bad news is - all my old files will disappear. I have them all backed up, but things like old podcast episodes will no longer be available. Over time I can replace and repair those links, wherever they may be (iTunes, my blogs, etc.), but my online presence is a sprawling mess, so I'm sure someone somewhere will click on an old file of mine and find it missing every day from now until the end of time, leaving many people slightly annoyed and infinitesimally disappointed. What a legacy.

The good news is - HostBaby makes it really easy to employ music on your site, so there is music music everywhere. If you want to spend a day listening to everything I've ever recorded (nearly) - you can do so now, straight from my website. Also, it should be a lot easier for me to keep things updated, and that, in theory, will create more time for me to post here on my blog.

A...nd, there it is! My new site is live now. Old one is gone forever. On we go...