I'm making two children's music albums - both about classic children's books.
My name is Caroline Herring, and I'm a Mississippi-bred singer/songwriter who lives in Atlanta, GA. Though I've released several albums for adults, I also like to write about children's books. My last children's project, The Little House Songs, did well on Kickstarter and received RAVE reviews. So I thought I'd try again! Thanks for reading.
Here are the projects:
1. A BOOK IS TO SING - I plan for this to be an album of 12 to 15 songs based on classic children's books. Each book gets one song, and I've picked the favorites of mine and my children, including Leo Leonni's Swimmy; The Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes by DuBose Heyward; Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina; Madeleine and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans; Ferdinand by Munro Leaf; Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire; Little Bear's Birthday Soup by Elsa Holmelund Minarik; The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter; The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats; A Hole is To Dig by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak, selections from Aesop's Fables; and more. I've left a little bit of room for Kickstarter supporters who might just want to add their favorite title to the mix. Each of these books certainly deserve an album of their own! However, I've enjoyed experimenting with different ways of writing songs about books. So many books, so little time.
2. ROXABOXEN SONGS - When I did my first Kickstarter in 2011, a generous donor funded me to write a song based on their favorite book, and that book was Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran and the most fabulous illustrator Barbara Cooney. I have fallen in love with this book about children creating their own imaginary town out of rocks and boxes on an abandoned hill near their homes in Arizona. Roxaboxen is a true story based on the stories McLerran's mother told her about the making of that imaginary world. Roxaboxen is magical, just the way stones and scraps of wood can be, though it takes a bit of time to let it all grab hold of you. I decided to write an album of songs about Roxaboxen instead,and I'm finally ready to make the album.
My band and I will be playing Roxaboxen Songs, as well as some of the songs from A Book is to Sing at two special children's shows on June 15th in Decatur, Georgia. We'll give 100% of the ticket sales to Poverty Is Real, a non-profit organization out of Decatur, GA, that raises funds (and then gives 100% of those funds) to local charities. Poverty Is Real has hosted shows throughout the Southeast, and this show will dedicate funds to DEAM - Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry. I'm thrilled to participate in this fundraiser. I figure I'm just paying your generosity forward.
REWARDS: I have listed some fun rewards that I hope will interest you. Included in these possible reward items are a series of recordings called Caroline's Five Album Special Collection. You can choose any, some or all. They will include 10-song recordings of songs sung by Billie Holliday, Mississippi John Hurt and Jean Ritchie, as well as a gospel favorites album. Lastly, I'm excited to include a B-sides recording of songs I've compiled through time but never recorded. I won't sell any of these recordings at my shows or online. They'll be just for you!
If you are able to invest in my work, then I encourage you to choose a favorite children's book and let me include a song about it on A Book is to Sing. I'll be glad to dedicate it to the child, grandchild, parent, person or place of your choice and send them copies. At a higher level of giving, I'll also perform a show in their honor, and provide additional copies.
One final note: I plan to provide educational materials for both albums, so that schools and libraries might use them to further children's literacy - and children's music. Presently I participate in Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center Young Audiences program, and I will use both albums in school and library assemblies through the Atlanta ten county area and beyond. Educational materials will also be available online.
Thank you so much for your support!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I have a tight schedule in place. If all goes well, I will have Roxaboxen Songs available for sale in June at my Poverty is Real show in Georgia. If the studio catches on fire or I lose my voice for a month, then I will continue with the recording until it is finished and present it at the Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the United States, over Labor Day Weekend.
As for A Book is to Sing, I will start that recording process just as soon as Roxaboxen Songs is completed. I hope to have at least a couple of songs to write as suggested by potential donors, and I must give myself a small bit of breathing room in order to write a worthy song! I plan to release A Book is to Sing in early October 2013, though my donors will get a copy as soon as it is made.
Money certainly matters, and $5,000 doesn't really pay for one album, much less two. But I do have savings, and will plan to scrimp or luxuriate on extra instrumentation and publicity according to my financial realities.
I need at least $15,000, at the very least, to make both records. But I was too nervous to make my Kickstarter goal $15,000. Kickstarter is all or nothing. This means if the artist receives $14,500 in pledges but does not reach $15,000 by the end date, she makes NO money. Does that make sense? So, yes, the truth is I am still fundraising, and will probably continue to do so long after this Kickstarter project ends.