UPDATE 2/14/18: Now that we've funded our basic goal AND the album is done, it's time to reach for those stretch goals! Check below for updated goals! </update>
Hello! I'm Sarah Shay, an acoustic musician from Seattle specializing in nerdy folk songs about fictional hobos and dead poets. Since 2010, I've played washboard in folk-punk trio The Mongrel Jews, performing everywhere from living rooms to the Oregon Country Fair, and sharing stages with everyone from Jason Webley to Molly Lewis. In 2013 I started performing as a solo artist, and after five years of gigging around Seattle with my homemade EP, Edit That Shit, I'm finally recording a proper full-length studio album of my songs! By supporting this campaign, you can help me make it a better project and an easier process.
This album is going to feature some old songs, including updated versions of tracks from Edit That Shit (like fan favorite "Fictional Love"!), as well as a few newer songs that even some fans won't have heard yet! I want to keep the recordings true to my live performance, but naturally I'm also fleshing them out a bit by bringing some friends into the studio: we've already got banjo, bass, and accordion down, and plans for some piano and cello!
That's right: I'm already recording the album, because I'm on a tight schedule! I need to have the finished CDs in hand before I leave for my California tour at the end of February, so you know this project is going to happen come hell or high water. No worries about this being one of those projects that never materializes: if I don't have those CDs before I leave Seattle, I'm the one in trouble!
I'm committed to making this album happen one way or the other, but with your support I can make a better product, and have a much easier, less stressful time doing it. Let's get into some details!
Where the Money Goes
I have tried to build some flexibility into the budget, to make sure I don't get caught by surprise. Unexpected expenses are inevitable, and with such a tight timeline I HAVE to be prepared!
I was EXTREMELY fortunate to get a highly discounted rate for studio time and mixing. This is far lower than a full-length record has any right to.
Session musicians: $400
I feel VERY strongly about paying every single musician who records on the album. If we achieve our goal with time to spare, the first stretch goal will be bumping up the amount I'm able to pay my fellow performers from "token of thanks" to "reasonable compensation."
CD duplication/packaging: $750
This will cover the manufacturing of CDs, both to fulfill Kickstarter rewards and to sell on my tour!
Digital distribution: $75
Gotta get the music in places where people can find it!
For the album cover/insert.
Creating a new sticker design, both for the Kickstarter rewards and to sell as merch.
The cost of postage can change unexpectedly! Many a successful Kickstarter has been brought low by a hike in postage. There's no way for me to plan a total shipping amount without knowing how many people will choose physical rewards, so this is an estimated buffer.
Kickstarter/payment fees: $250
The cost of doing business.
TOTAL GOAL: $2,500
This is a pretty bare-bones campaign: I'm not planning any music videos or hiring any orchestras, or even ordering CDs with a booklet. As a result, my stretch goals aren't perhaps as "fun" as some other campaigns you've seen, but they would make the experience of creating this album so much better!
Stretch goal #1: $3,000
At this total, I can increase the amount I'm paying my friends who've worked on the album to something resembling a fair wage for their creative labor, plus adding a little more wiggle room to cover some unexpected tour-related expenses!
Stretch goal #2: $3,500
Will be unlocked when we reach the first stretch goal!
For more information about me, what I do/have done, and my tour, you can visit www.sarahshay.com.
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest risks with any crowdfunding campaign is that you'll run into unforeseen problems once the project goes from an idea to reality. By already starting recording, I've knocked out at least some of those concerns, because the idea-to-reality train is already on the tracks!
Another common risk is when people dream too big without having any experience in the thing they're dreaming up. I've already successfully recorded and released a studio album with my band, The Mongrel Jews, so some of those first-experience hiccups are out of the way.
I also have one successful Kickstarter campaign under my belt, for my band's last album. This was in 2013, when crowdfunding was still young, but we were able to deliver exactly what we'd planned, under budget, with only a five-month delay from our initial delivery estimate (and kept our backers updated every step of the way). All things considered, that's not too shabby!
One issue I've already planned for is that due to the time crunch, I won't actually receive the funds from Kickstarter until I'm already on the road! Luckily, I have a generous benefactor who agreed to loan me the necessary funds until after the campaign.
Of course, there are still issues that could come up: shipping delays, price changes, miscommunications, etc. But in my experience, as long as you plan some wiggle room in your budget and keep the backers in the loop, there's no reason you can't still deliver what you promised and keep everyone happy!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)