It's been a great ride so far, but we’re just getting started.
So what's Patreon? if you're just showing up here for the first time....here's the lowdown:
If you're a fan of Launch Point and want to support me in the creation of new songs/videos/writing/tours and more random, unpredictable things, this is the place.
Most artist have been struggling to find the right platform for ongoing support, through which they can release constant material (and get paid).
I’ve gotten to know myself. as a creator, as a songwriter, and as a recording artist, but also as a fan myself, and I thrive on instant gratification and a direct mainline to my audience without having to go through labels, distributors, the machine, and mass media. I love making things and instantly sharing. I know my fan base: you're smart, kind, supportive, positive music lovin’ people.
We all started learning how to trust each other with kickstarter, pledgemusic, indiegogo. I think subscription sites like Patreon are the new revolution in music-release and art patronage.
What i'm doing diverts from most conventional approaches: I try to release pretty much ALL MY ARTISTIC CONTENT for free: the songs and videos live FREE on youtube, bandcamp, my site, wherever. (yes, music is also available on iTunes and other various online outlets, but i’d rather people experience it free than to never have it at all).
THAT IS HOW I LiKE IT. Not everybody wants to buy it. That's fine. It's yours, it's everybody's, you can take it, you can share it.
But to DO this: I need support, true patronage. Those willing to be the driving engine to pay for the recording studios, the filmmakers, the office rent, the staff costs, the gas, the food, the lodging. I need a salary and a budget.
I really believe in the future of crowd-power and what these people and companies are doing. It isn't making world news, because it is what it is: a quiet, underground network of artists connecting directly with their fans, bypassing the entire commercial system. This is AWESOME.
These are the days of negativity and tumblr outrage, the bright side of the net: it is how the web can really *save artists* in an art-economy that is floundering. AND it means YOU need to step up and support the artists you love, the political cartoonists you want to see bravely satirizing the system, the painters you want to see reflecting their realities, the musicians you want filling your hearts and your speakers.
THIS IS HAPPENING! AND HERE YOU ARE!
This is more of a commitment than a kickstarter campaign: an ongoing commitment to me and my music. Though you do get to road test it if you're scared (you can pull out before you're charged at the end of any month, so it's risk-free).
Kickstarter is like a serious date, this is like getting married.
More backstory? I've been flailing (often happily, for sure) since I started this band in 2008. Self-releasing and distributing CDs isn't easy. Giving my music away for free online has been an adventure, but not as sustainable as I expected. You may be surprised to know that “From Where To There“ - even with a Grammy ballot appearance and rave reviews in the press - sold relatively few copies.
But while kickstarter is awesome for huge one-time projects, I don't want to be repetitive and exhaust the fanbase with "HEY I'M MAKiNG YET ANOTHER RECORD, PRE-ORDER HERE....AGAIN!."
I just want to be able to go into the studio, make music with friends, call a film director, make a video, take a few months off, write, record, and press PUBLiSH when I'm done. INSTANT
I also don't want to have to think up “clever” merchandise (I know we all love fuzzy posters, and t-shirts, mugs and tea-cozies....but how much Stuff is too much Stuff before we don't need any more Stuff cluttering up landfills?)
Don't get me wrong: I’m not going to give up on physical merchandise (I mean, manufacturing my own vinyl and t-shirts is great) and I'm not going to give up on collecting my music into "albums".
SOME THINGS COST A LOT OF MONEY! Some of the projects have had budgets of $15,000 or more. SOME THINGS COST ALMOST NOTHiNG! A song like “Stare Out” cost me a few thousand dollars (to pay for studio, mixing, and mastering time).
The idea here is that you trust me to use the ongoing budgets as we see fit. Not every project will cost the same...but the more budget we have, the more fun & crazy stuff we can do, The more staff we can pay (and the better we can pay the staff we already have), and more we can spend on artistic collaborations. We like feeling like a pipeline through which money can flow. It gives me great pleasure to be able to pay other artists to Do Their Things as well.
If you guys know me, you know I LISTEN. We're here to make this work together, and we will.
Even if you're a one dollar backer, I want to know what you're digging about the platform and what's bugging you. The conversation (via comments here, and on twitter and facebook) will help us know where to take this.
Every patron who's supporting us is important to this community, YOU'RE who we’re creating for, and I'm glad you found me here.
Whether you're backing us for a dollar or ten dollars...THANK YOU.
F.A.Q. (frequently asked questions)
If you have questions, please submit them on twitter, on facebook, on the website (launchpointmusic.com), or here on the patron stream once you sign up.
Q: “I have a question about your patreon, who can I contact?"
A: reach out to [email protected] and they will get you sorted!
Q: “Why are you charging Per Thing versus charging Per Month, like some other Patreon artists?"
A: I thought hard about charging Per Month instead of Per Thing, because Patreon lets you do either, and a lot of artists are successfully charging per month. However, that makes me nervous: what if i’m traveling and touring and/or taking off time for three months in a row and don't have output to share? i’d feel guilty. I do my best work consistently; but life happens. Per Thing seemed safer. Here's how I figure it: Patreon has a MONTHLY CAP, so if you want the security of only EVER paying $10 a month, because that's what your budget allows, you can CAP at $10. That way it's like paying $10 per month, WITH the added advantage that if I decide to post No Things in a given month, you'll be charged NOTHiNG. So it's technically better for you, and I won't feel guilty, ever.
Q: “But if I cap my backing at $10 a month, does that mean I won't get ALL THE THINGS? I want ALL THE THINGS!!!"
A: Lucky for you, I’m treating everybody equally. Don't forget...almost nothing here is paywalled. The CONTENT goes out to the public, you guys are the backstage. You don't lose access to ANYTHiNG when you hit your cap. You'll still get EVERYTHiNG emailed to you if you're backing at the email level, and access to all streams even if your cap is $1 a month. You don't get punished for capping.
Q: "Does patreon accept paypal?"
A: Yes, paypal is accepted!
Q: " I want to join your Patreon, but I don't have any idea how much to donate. I want to do it for about $25-35/month. You say it's donating "per thing" - how often do you do those "things" - so I can get an idea how much to donate per thing. For example, if you do a "thing" every 3 months, I will donate $100 per thing. guidelines on "thing" timetables... at least roughly?" (facebook post)
A: Well...that's really generous. Right now you have two options: you could just back me at $25/thing, which is the closest denomination (in general I put out about one thing a month and haven't put out 2 or 3 yet... but might!) and I'd cap your donation at $30, or $60....so you never pay more than you're happy with. OR if you're feeling more generous, you can actually "write in" a higher amount per thing (i.e. you can write in $20/$30/$50 at the $10 level) and that extra dough per thing, until you hit your monthly cap, is just considered generous gravy.
Q: "When are you going to put out an Actual Record I Can Touch? call me old school, but I just want to buy a simple record."
A: SOON! i'm workin on it.
Q: "um....what if I want to just donate money to you once? this is weird."
A: That's great. you can make a one-time donation to my site's music page here...down to the right where it says "support the music". thanks. (http://launchpointmusic.com)