Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Last Kickstarter Post

We're in the last four days of Amanda's Kickstarter.

Over the last almost-a-month of the Kickstarter she's gathered a huge amount of support, set records for what crowdfunding can do, made the news internationally,  and she is now planning a giant webcast block party in Brooklyn on Thursday night for the people who supported the project and to count down to 11:59 when the Kickstarter ends and she starts to play.

She's certainly got enough supporters, and she's already well exceeded her goal and is somewhere off into the land beyond her wildest dreams. (As I write this she's 900% funded, and looks on course to make this a million dollar Kickstarter.) But I still thought I'd stick something up here, in the last few days, because...

We put together the Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer Kickstarter last year, to raise the money to professionally record the West Coast tour we did in November. We raised a lot more money from the Kickstarter than we had expected, so we made everything we could even better than anyone had expected. The double CD we had planned to do became a beautiful triple CD package, for example, and then we did a special super secret bonus CD with a banana on it to go along with that - as well as over two additional hours of extra material we released digitally for all the supporters. We worked very hard to make sure that everyone who supported us got something better than they had thought they were getting when they signed up.

And when the stuff started showing up in people's mailboxes and they started posting happy photographs of their stuff (like these...)

...then people here and on Twitter and on Tumblr started sending me sad messages, telling me they wished they had supported the Kickstarter, they'd missed it as they hadn't seen it, or had forgotten, or were broke at the time -- but was it too late to get the stuff?  I wrote back a lot, and said yes, I was sorry but it was too late. We'd only made enough for the Kickstarter backers.

(We do plan to release An Evening With Neil and Amanda commercially, probably towards the end of the year. And it'll be a nice package, but it won't be what the Kickstarter folk got. That was special, and it was just for them.)

Amanda will be releasing a version of her new CD to the public in September. That's the one you'll be able to buy at your local store. But the two CD set inside a book (the blue thing on the right), or the quadruple vinyl in its box, or whatever else she decides to throw in to the other levels, the art-book she's making -- that stuff will only exist for Kickstarter.  If you want it, or any of the other rewards (down to the $1 reward that gets you the whole album digitally when it comes out, which I promise will be significantly cheaper than it'll be on iTunes) then this is really just a reminder that you only have four days to click on the Kickstarter link and support it...


Amanda did a post the other day on her blog and for backers, explaining that, no, a million dollar Kickstarter wasn't actually going to make her rich. People are signing up for things, she'll make the things and provide them, but she doesn't get to put a million dollars into a swimming pool and then throw it into the air, like Uncle Scrooge. It's not tax-free donations, it's people signing up for services.

So, to clarify:

The Kickstarter exists to fund a CD release (to the public, not Kickstarter supporters) and a tour (ditto).

The Kickstarter money funds the studio and promotional costs (just as a record label might have done). The business model isn't, Make Money From 20,000 people. It's Use 20,000 people to crowdfund the costs of manufacturing and distributing and promoting a CD and a tour to the General Public. And then get rich from that.

You'd think a band who took their video and studio and promotional budget from a record label and used it as income instead of as an investment in their future were being pretty shortsighted. That's the Kickstarter money: it's a video and promotional and design and manufacturing and touring budget. That's what it's for.


There. That's the very last post about Amanda's Kickstarter, unless I start blogging from a rooftop in Brooklyn when it's all over, as the NYPD haul Amanda and the Grand Theft Orchestra away. She says they have all the permits in place for a midnight rooftop gig, and they've even hired the police to block off a road and so on. I just think of the Beatles on the roof of the Apple building, and the legion of uniformed cops who appeared to make them stop...

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