Creator Q&A: Five Times August
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Brad Skistimas’ Five Times August project is one of the more ambitious projects we’ve had on Kickstarter. The project, which will fund the recording and release of Brad’s new Five Times August album, is seeking $20,000 in one month. The project has raised over $7,000 so far, and funding ends on August 17th. Rewards include a copy of the album, dinner with the band, handwritten lyrics, and even a song written for you.
Brad is approaching his project the right way. As he told us, “I decided to go to the fans on this one… THEY are my record label for this album.” He also has some of the best advice we’ve seen on how to mobilize your network:
I’ve been using a lot of my social networking websites and the Five Times August e-mail list. I usually post one or two tweets a day reminding people to pledge. I think it’s all about repetition. A lot of people had to see the link a bunch of times before they went to go find out what it was, but now I have quite a few backers reposting the link to their family and friends, too.
Brad has been working his project hard on both Facebook and Twitter, and his project updates have been fantastic. Brad agreed to take a few minutes to answer some questions about how things are going, and his answers are a must-read for anyone making a project or thinking of making one.
Tell us about your project.
I’m attempting to raise $20,000 in 31 Days to help fund the release of Five Times August’s next album Life As A Song. FTA is sort of my “one man band.” I’ve accomplished quite a lot as an independent artist and after talking with quite a few major labels in the past I decided that wasn’t the right path for me. I believe with the way the music industry is going artist’s don’t necessarily need record labels anymore. There are a lot of hard working, talented bands and artist’s out there that aren’t afraid to do the work themselves, they just need proper funding. I decided to go to the fans on this one. With their pledges they are essentially pre-ordering the next album and getting a unique opportunity to be a part of the release. In essence, THEY are my record label for this album.
How’s it going so far?
It’s going well, I am a little behind schedule but I still think we can do it. I chose a large amount of money in a short amount of time, so it was a risky venture to start, but it’s a realistic goal, it’s all about getting the message out to the community. I’ve had a good time thinking of creative ways to get people to the project page.
What’s been your most popular reward?
The most popular reward has been the $25 tier. Those who pledge will get a digital download of the album two months in advance of the official release, a signed CD copy of the album when it comes out, and their name will be listed in the thank you list of the CD liner notes.
What’s your strategy for getting your project funded?
I’ve been using a lot of my social networking websites and the Five Times August e-mail list. I usually post one or two tweets a day reminding people to pledge. I think it’s all about repetition. A lot of people had to see the link a bunch of times before they went to go find out what it was, but now I have quite a few backers reposting the link to their family and friends, too. I’m also trying to offer some unique rewards too.
Handwritten lyrics to their three favorite songs, out of print/rare CD’s, personal video performances, guitar lessons, dinner together, I’m even offering a weekend camping trip! Also, every backer gets exclusive updates with mini-podcasts, and rare audio, pics, and video to enjoy along the 31 days while we strive to reach the goal.
What will you do with the money?
The money will help fund all the extra promotion, manufacturing, and publicity costs for the album. I’ve actually already finished recording, mixing and mastering, but I still need to get the physical CD’s pressed and manufactured, delivered to Best Buy stores, print tour posters, pay for the publicist, etc. A lot of people don’t realize more money goes into promoting an album than actually making it. Having these funds will help spread awareness and promote it to a larger audience, giving it the boost it needs to be a successful release.
Any closing thoughts?
I’m just really thankful a website like this exists. It’s a really great opportunity to be a part of. I love the idea of building a supportive online community to help make individual dreams a reality. That’s why I decided to make my own pledge to the project. If we achieve the $20,000 goal I will be giving back to the community by donating half of my CD sales for the rest of the year to a variety of charities. I think it’s important to help others once you’ve been helped, and that’s what I plan to do.