A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "kickstarter"
- Share your process freely—before what you’re working on is done.
- Collect emails.
- Email people when your thing is ready to buy.
Rinse and repeat.
Kickstarter opens up the creative process to an audience, and makes it feel less like a black box where ‘magic’ happens. This is both good and bad. It’s great because that openness turns a book into a continuum of experiences for the audience. They now have back-story and can connect to the work before they read it. There’s the story of making the story, and you can build a small community of people with that.
On the negative side, that openness turns the process into a kind of performance. The writer has people watching, and that can be stunting. There were several points while writing where things were a total mess, and I felt like I had to be very strategic about what I shared with the backers to make it seem like the train was still on the rails.
Emphasis mine—this is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
For fun, here’s Joan Didion, talking about the writer as a kind of performer:
Somehow writing has always seemed to me to have an element of performance… Sometimes an actor performs a character, but sometimes an actor just performs. With writing, I don’t think it’s performing a character, really, if the character you’re performing is yourself. I don’t see that as playing a role. It’s just appearing in public… not somebody else’s lines. Your lines. Look at me—this is me, is, I think, what you’re saying… I think it develops into a fairly stable thing over time. I think it’s not at all stable at first. But then you kind of grow into the role you have made for yourself… The real person becomes the role you have made for yourself.
When the New York Times covered Amanda Palmer’s triumphant, million $$$ Kickstarter to fund her new record, they quoted former music executive Greg Scholl as replying, “Kurt Cobain wouldn’t have been hawking his Kickstarter campaign.”
Scholl responded that he chose a poor example, and what he really meant to say was:
social media enables a new type of audience engagement, and this demands a new and different type of performance
This is a good point, and the major thing Scholl is interested in is: how will this change affect what music gets made? Will we miss out on good stuff, if only performers w/ social media skills or a platform are able to reach audiences?
My friend Rob Lifford came in with an excellent response:
Many artists are already starting to unlock the potential of Kickstarter (and similar tools) in a huge way, but the fans have barely caught on yet. Someday, and I don’t think the day will be too far off at all, an unknown artist — someone who’s an electrifying performer, but fairly inept (or even just inexperienced) with net-based self-promotion — will pull in an eyebrow-raising amount to make a debut album. And it’ll happen via a Kickstarter project initiated and run completely by fans, on the strength of fan-produced audience videos, and little else.
Which brought me back to @waxpancake’s tweet:
I want to see more fans use Kickstarter to commission art. Hire your favorite band to do a house show, your favorite artist to make a comic.
It’s exciting to think that not only can you ask your fans and your community for support, but they could also grab the reins and rally it for you…
I think the bottom line is, the gap between audience and performer, reader and writer, is shrinking, and we’re entering an age in which an artist gets true power by embracing that change and treating it as a chance for collaboration. Amanda Palmer is doing that.