Kickstarter Math is Weird
September 3, 2015 2:55 PM   Subscribe

"Say you want to fundraise to make a thing, and the thing you want to make is My New Album — hooray! So first you make a budget, then you set that as our Kickstarter goal, right? Easy! No." Musician Marian Call provides advice on crowdfunding planning and pitfalls. Also, spreadsheets.

Call's own Kickstarter just raised $67,035 to make her ninth album. (I held this post till it was done, because of Metafilter rules on such matters.)

Previous advice from Angela Webber of the Doubleclicks.
posted by Shmuel510 (7 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
This could have also been titled Why Production Middlemen Will Never Go Away.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:12 PM on September 3, 2015

I can say this with confidence because almost everyone’s rewards are underpriced.

I would say most are overpriced. But I've always treated my Kickstarters as pre-orders that fund a project, not as a grant.
posted by iamck at 3:28 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Did she pay herself for the 50 hours it must have taken to make all those spreadsheets?
posted by subdee at 9:03 PM on September 3, 2015

Very cool. I think NoxAeternum nailed it on the first comment. Look how much work and thought she has to put in to this as an independent artist; many people who are artists in whatever discipline will not be interested in putting in these hard yards and will either fail or have to pay a producer some margin on top of the "cost" of Marian's time to get someone else to think through this stuff for them.

I wonder if posts like this drive potential producing/consulting business her way. I wonder if she's even interested in that kind of work, because I bet she'd be good at it.
posted by Aizkolari at 9:03 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Fascinating. Reminds me of the excellent chapter on the music business in David Byrne's "How Music Works" in which he breaks down the numbers comparing his self-released vs label-released albums.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:10 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

Thank you so much for posting this -- I forwarded it to an artist friend who is planning a Kickstarter and she said it was invaluable.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:12 AM on September 4, 2015

Continuing this discussion, Ron Gilbert shows off the budget for his Kickstarter project. It's a good comparison for a different industry (video games, in this case.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:40 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

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