We have another success story for you today, this one about a woman named Lindsey Murkel. Lindsey’s project is called You Are Among Friends: The Book for the Little Sisters I Never Had and its goal is to produce a zine for young women with some great guest contributors, and a podcast, too. With 33 days to go, Lindsey has raised $658, when she only sought $350. Nearly 200%!
I sent Lindsey the same questions we’ve sent our other successful project creators about her project and experience. Her response is below. (Pay close attention to her favorite band answer — it’s a good one!)
Tell us about your project.
I’m working on a book-length version of my adolescent-empowerment zine, You Are Among Friends, and will be publishing it this summer. I joined Kickstarter with the intention of gathering together enough money for preliminary copies, which will be sent to newspapers and magazines, as well as to publish copies to send to women’s shelters, Planned Parenthoods, and after-school programs nationwide. I gave myself two months to meet the goal, and then well surpassed it in about 24 hours, which is cause for a neverending dance party until I die.
How many of your backers do you know personally?
“Personally” is a little fuzzy when you’re an independent artist working primarily online! Who do I not know personally at this point? I’d say that about half of the names were familiar, and maybe 20% of my backers have been near and dear friends. For the most part, though, the project has been backed by total strangers who were either affected by the zine (or podcast), or who came across the Kickstarter page and were inspired to be generous.
How are you going to be updating people as you go along?
So far, I’ve been sitting with my mouth hanging open, filling an update box with silly little words that seem meaningless compared to how completely amazed and thankful I am. I’d love to make more videos, skywrite the numbers, whatever people want—it’s been an incredibly humbling experience so far.
Have you learned/discovered anything from the experience?
Learned that people are amazingly generous and that they are more than willing to share their money and their encouragement. Was reminded that the project I believe in—and that I sometimes falter in believing in, since it’s also something I make with my own two hands—is worthwhile and important. People have just been absolutely astounding.
What was unanticipated about the experience?
Ha, how much I’ve raised and how quickly people came from the woodwork to help! Also, how easy Kickstarter was to use. It’s so user-friendly, from both the project and the backer sides.
What, if anything, would you change about your project?
Nothing—I can’t wait to print the books in July!
Who’s your favorite band and why?
Right now, it’s Allison Weiss—because the girl seriously knows how to get it done. I’m away from home for three weeks right now, and while I’ve been gone I also followed her every move on a six-day tour with Lauren Zettler: daily video updates, a webcast of a house show, Twitter and Tumblr updates…her utilization of the resources available to her as far as connecting with her fans, both current and potential, is awe-inspiring. We should all—every DIY artist—be taking about a thousand pages from her manual. And she also surpassed her Kickstarter goal in less than a day!
You can find more from Lindsey here:
The Chicagoist just posted an awesome interview with Jacob and Michael, the kid geniuses behind Don’t Go Into the Woods, a self-made horror flick they have up on Kickstarter. They’re only looking for $500, and have raised $204 with nine days to go. The Chicagoist asked them about this small budget. Their responses:
Jacob: As far as the movie production goes, we don’t really have a budget. One of the things that Robert Rodriguez says in his book is that you should use what you have to make your movie. And that’s what we try to do. We kind of write our scenes around what we already have. That’s why our first movie took place in the woods. We have a woods on our property, so we decided to shoot it there. We had this creepy, old black dress, so we decided to make the killer in that movie an old lady. So we try not to spend much on things that we don’t have to.
Michael: The $500 dollars will be going toward a couple of things that we would have liked to done for our first movie, but didn’t think about back then. We used a lot of music and didn’t think about the fact that we need to have permission to use it. This time we want to get music legally and have the permission. We’ve looked into doing this and are saving $150 of the pledged money for that. Another $250 will go toward making a number of DVDs that we can send back to our funders, send to podcasts and blogs to review and then sell what’s left over. The last hundred will be put toward the costs of festival entries and conventions which we hope to attend. We shoot on a Panasonic DVCam that is pretty old. We hope that The Unhuman will be the one that lets us make the jump to HD for our next movie.
Just awesome. Don’t you want to help these kids and see what they come up with?
The omnipresent fact of an ice cream driver’s life is, without a doubt, the music. This issues from a nasty little metal box on the dashboard that has four settings, corresponding to the four songs that will provide the sound track for the day. “Pop Goes the Weasel” is pretty much out of the question: Building as it does to its absurd little climax every nine seconds or so, it’s the sonic equivalent of Chinese water torture. “Turkey in the Straw” is OK for a while, but pretty soon it starts to make you feel like you’re on Hee Haw.
The third selection is a simple two-tone progression, the “dee-dum” that big trucks are required to make when they’re backing up. For a while, this one seemed to have promise as a sort of electronic mantra, and I managed to amuse myself by pretending it was the new Philip Glass record, but this wore thin after a while. There’s no way around it: You’re stuck with “The Entertainer.”
Some sad news to report. The musician Jay Bennett, a guitarist, keyboardist and singer, died yesterday in his sleep. Jay was most well-known for his work in the band Wilco, particularly on the Being There, Summer Teeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot albums. He was a very important creative force in that band for such a significant period of time; Jeff Tweedy has always been at his best with a foil, and Jay was a formidable one.
Since leaving Wilco, Jay has continued making music: five albums in the past five years, the most recent of which, Whatever Happened I Apologize, just went up as a Kickstarter project this past week. Our condolences go out to Bennett’s friends and family, and to the fellow fans out there.
Earlier this month, Bennett made headlines when he sued former bandmate Jeff Tweedy for breach of contract stemming from unpaid royalties; in a post on his MySpace blog shortly before the news of the lawsuit came out, Bennett blogged about upcoming hip replacement surgery and his work on his long-in-the-works album Kicking at the Perfumed Air.
Jay was 45 years old.
Phone call with The One who hit the mark
Jacquie Tran in Melbourne, Australia was the donor who sent us over the 2K mark and won a phone call from yours truly! Check out this video of our conversation about accents, the future, sports medicine, summer, and this project.
Allison Weiss owns Kickstarter. Check out the video of her phone call with the backer who put her over the top (on day one!). And she gets to talk to the future! So awesome! Congratulations, Allison.
Jay Bennett, formerly of Wilco (and the overlooked Titanic Love Affair), is using Kickstarter to put out a 180-gram vinyl version of his latest record, Whatever Happened I Apologize. Give Jay your support!