Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 31, 2012.

Update #9 - For backers only

Best Music Writing update (August 2013)

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To the Backers of Best Music Writing publishing project,

Many apologies for my lack of communication on this project.

I am writing to let you know that the project will not be published. The problems of starting a publishing house and launching an internationally distributed trade book within a six-eight month time frame proved to be way beyond my capacities. As many of you know, I was primarily responsible for the creation and production of the editorial material for the book over the last seven years, and that was my area of expertise. It was my grave error to think I could acquire and utilize a second, enormous skill set involved with production and publishing, especially given the time constraints. That does not necessarily explain why it has taken additional time to write to you, but I hope you understand that this was due to a sort of panic about how to save the title. It is something I love and have held dear to me for my entire adult life. It is my profound sadness to have failed with it.

That said, much work had been done on the book, including selection of the pieces that would be included. I intend to publish the list of the Best Music Writing as selected by the book's incredible, world-class professional editorial board. This in and of itself is a great
achievement and I hope you will take the time to enjoy the pieces mentioned on the list. This will arrive to you via email in the first week of September, after the dust has cleared from this announcement. I hope to separate the good work of those editors from my failure with the publishing house.

So, the money. The $15k that I had hoped for was money I knew I needed to produce only the intellectual property for the title -- editorial stipends, administrative staff, and payment of reprint license. To my grave error this was not a realistic number -- the reality is that it would take another $10k to produce that property, and another $10k to produce and publish a book. I had intended to raise additional funds in pre-sales, but as the project stalled I thought it dishonest to move forward in any way with money.

Which brings me to my main reason for reaching out to you: I intend to pay back all of the backers for this project out of my own pocket. I have done the number crunching and given my current revenue streams it should take about three years of monthly payments to backers. I apologize for this long duration between your donation and my return and promise to do what I can to get it done as quickly as possible.

I have set up a timetable for return to each of you within that frame. If you have questions or concerns about your place in this please email wemakefeedback@gmail.com. (Please please do not make requests through the Kickstarter interface, because I'm trying to track everything in one place. Just send email to the feedback email, thanks!). Otherwise I will begin payments in September, reaching out to a select number of people each month via Kickstarter to see if you prefer check or Paypal. I will send a final email when the project has been fully refunded.


Thank you again for your support of this project, and my deepest apologies for having to deliver this bad news about it. My goal with Best Music Writing was always to present the best of the world’s writing on music, musicians, the industry, and music in the world  around us. I hope that you will continue to be hungry to read that work, and support those who labor to write and publish those works for you.

My deepest thanks and apologies,
Daphne

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    We'll send a thank you email with a sneak preview of the cover art and one of the book's selected stories to your inbox two months before the book launches.

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    We'll send a lovely Best Music Writing thank you postcard to your house a month before the book launches.

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    Consider this a pre-order! For $15 you get an e-book version of Best Music Writing 2012 delivered to you on launch day and a thank you postcard.

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    A handsome BMW tote in which you can carry your copies of Can't Stop Won't Stop, The Rest Is Noise, How To Wreck a Nice Beach, Out of the Vinyl Deeps, Mystery Train, Just Kids, Love Is Mixtape or about 10 33 1/3rds. See http://vol1brooklyn.com/2011/05/11/literary-tote-bag/ to find out how your life will improve with this fashionable accessory.

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    A Best Music Writing t-shirt! Nothing makes friends faster than publicly announcing you love and support music criticism.

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    Consider this a pre-order (for US residents)! For $30 you get a print copy of Best Music Writing 2012 shipped for arrival on launch day and an e-book version for your handy device or computer screen.

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    Consider this a pre-order (for non-US residents)! For $35 you get a print copy of Best Music Writing 2012 shipped for arrival on launch day to your delightful but slightly more expensive to mail to address, and an e-book version for your handy device or computer screen.

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    The New Yorker's esteemed music writer Alex Ross wants to give you a copy of one of his books. With this reward, choose either The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century or Listen to This and he'll sign it just for you.

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    We thought the only thing better than listening was reading about music, but Laura of the beloved Eating the Beats blog ((http://www.eatingthebeats.com/) proved us wrong in the best way. With this reward, name your favorite song or musical artist and Laura will whip you up a desert that most resembles its sound and sentiment. She'll even send you a note to let you know what's in it (prescription) and why it tastes like it sounds (description). Treats come in the spring and a digital copy of Best Music Writing 2011 in the fall. Sweet music critic dreams are made of these.

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    You may know Douglas Wolk as a hero among music writers, former Best Music Writing series editor, comic book public intellectual, karaoke king, mixtape supermaker, shambolic pop record label owner, or unapologetic Portlandia resident. Did you know he's also a wicked limerick writer? With this reward, choose the artist or recording and Douglas will compose a set of three limericks for you on the topic, laser-printed on fine paper and suitable for framing. (Specify clean or dirty.) It's the best taboo breaking music writing with end rhyme music writing you will ever read. You'll also get a digital download of the Best Music Writing 2012 book, which may be as funny but won't be as brief.

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    Mairead Case, eloquent music writer, creative non-fiction editor of Another Chicago Magazine, and community arts organizer wants to keep you inspired on your next big writing push. Choose this reward and she'll send you 15 writing prompts a la Oblique Strategies via postcard in the month of your choice. It's the writing coach you've always wanted: constant, encouraging, and glossy coated. You will also get a digital copy of Best Music Writing 2012 (in Sept) with this reward.

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    That's What I Get: Want the opposite of Wolk's limericks? Best Music Writing series editor (2006-2011) and Feedback Press publisher Daphne Carr offers her long, super not funny 33 1/3 book on Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine in its special, raw silk and silver foil stamped special hand-numbered limited edition. Only one option: pristine, but dirty. Arrives in Feb. Get a digital copy of Best Music Writing 2012 in September.

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    For a donation of $60, you can be one of the readers at literary website Vol.1 Brooklyn's (www.vol1brooklyn.com) Greatest 3-Minute Punk Stories event, happening on April 10 at Brooklyn's Public Assembly. Or if you'd prefer (or aren't based in New York), one of Vol.1's editors will perform a dramatic reading of your piece. (If the latter option is chosen, the dramatic reading will be recorded; you will receive a copy.) Plus, you'll receive a print edition of Best Music Writing 2012 in September.

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    Jessica Bruder, Columbia University subculture journalism professor, NY Times blogger, Burning Man megaforce and Brian Eno cover band shredder, wants to make your favorite musicians in miniature. Tell her who you love and she'll send you a HO scale replica of the artist or group and matching stage set up. She'll toss in a critic either as enthralled audience member or mind-blocked writer, your choice! Suitable for your pop micro doll house, house plant music shrine, or office conversation ender. Get a digital download of the Best Music Writing 2012 as well, so you can read it to your music dolls when no one's around.

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    Oral history is a method used with increasing frequency in music writing. Have Daphne Carr, former series editor and current co-publisher of Best Music Writing, help you devise your music oral history project, be it a story, recording archive, or book project. She's used the technique in her Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine 33 1/3 book, in her long term fieldwork as an anthropologist, and in a 1100 page oral history of the New Jersey Wildwoods community. She has taught oral history as a class in the past. With this reward you'll get reading selections on classic oral history and music oral history texts, a suggested gear and resource list, and three in person or Skype/phone coaching sessions to discuss the readings, work through your project proposal, and make a concrete and feasible research plan. You'll also get a copy of Best Music Writing 2012 in September.

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    Maura Johnston, music editor of the Village Voice and professor of music journalism at NYU, wants to give you feedback. With this incentive, send her three of your arts writing samples (up to 1500 words each) and she'll give you the line edit of a lifetime plus general feedback on how to shape your writing style. All in the name of better music writing! You'll also get a copy of Best Music Writing 2012.

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    Maura Johnston, music editor of the Village Voice and professor of music journalism at NYU, has graciously donated another set of line edits and feedback for the Best Music Writing fundraiser! With this incentive, send her three of your arts writing samples (up to 1500 words each) and she'll give you the line edit of a lifetime plus general feedback on how to shape your writing style You'll also get a copy of Best Music Writing 2012.

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    Critical life coach. Ann Powers has had a lifelong passion for music and the written word that saw her start as a poet, work in alt weeklies and music magazines. She then became a staff pop music critic at the New York Times, then the LA Times, and now, NPR Music. In the meantime, she's co-authored a bestselling book on Tori Amos and a fantastic memoir, Weird Like Us, that should be required reading for every arts writer. With this incentive, send Ann your CV and a few music writing clips, and then you two can have a frank phone conversation about next steps in your music writing career. Also, you'll get a copy of the Best Music Writing 2012 book and either a t-shirt or a tote (in Sept).

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    Listening/Learning Lab: Jazz. Trombonist and music scholar Aaron J. Johnson is the go to at Columbia University when any professor needs to explain jazz theory, history, and aesthetics to non-experts. A lifelong musician and lover of the genre, he is also a patient, thorough and accommodating teacher. Which is great, because if you get this reward you are getting the chance to let Aaron help you sharpen your listening skills, hear jazz like a musician would, and get the rudiments of jazz music theory explained to you. You'll get a reading and listening list and either two sit down meet ups in NYC or Skype lessons. You'll also get a copy of Best Music Writing 2012 and either a t-shirt or a tote bag.

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    Got a great record collection? As music critics, we think it could be a little better. Let Neil Sweeney, expert buyer at New York City's finest record store, Academy Records, come to your apartment with Daphne Carr, Best Music Writing series editor. She will give you copies of Best Music Writings past and a fine box of chocolates to savor while Neil surveys your collection, giving you tips on what to keep, toss, and get to expand and complete your collection. It will be a life changing nerd out. Academy Records was named by the Village Voice as "Best Place to Buy Vinyl" in 2011, and Neil has been a record buyer in New Orleans, Melbourne, and New York City. His expertise is limitless and his passions are for psychedelic, folk, early music, and industrial/noise. This reward is only for New York City residents and can be redeemed any time after our Kickstarter campaign ends.

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    Feeling analog? Get a special cloth edition of Best Music Writing 2012, a print copy shipped for arrival on launch day, and either a handsome BMW tote bag or BMW t-shirt (specify size).

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    Deems Taylor Award-winning classical music writer, executive editor of New Music Box, and celebrated food blogger (http://wonderlandkitchen.com/) Molly Sheridan, wants to make you a dinner album. Send her your three favorite pieces of classical music and she'll design you a three course meal based on the sounds. She'll test it, photograph the process and results, and then copy out the recipes and write about why she chose the ingredients. Then, she'll lay it out in a book just for you.

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    The devil is a friend of mine. Let Douglas Wolk (see above) call and convince you that you do not want to be a music critic. He will not get off the phone until you've been at least partially convinced. Please don't buy this incentive for anyone but yourself, however tempting it might be to do so. Also you'll get a copy of Best Music Writing 2012 and either a t-shirt or tote, so when people ask you can say "I almost did this too, but Douglas saved me."

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    Wow! You'll get a print copy of Best Music Writing 2012 shipped for arrival on launch day and an e-book version for your handy device or computer screen, a handsome BMW tote bag, a BMW t-shirt, AND a letter from one of our editorial board members on the musical subject of your choice! Get ready for epistolary criticism at its finest!

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    For your generous pledge you'll get five special edition copies of the book in the cover of your choice, five print copies of Best Music Writing 2012 shipped for arrival on launch day and five e-book versions sent to the electronic word nerds in your life, five handsome BMW tote bags, and five BMW t-shirts (specify size) AND a letter from one of our editorial board members on the musical subject of your choice.

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    Patron of the music criticism arts! Build a new walk in closet for all your BMW gifties, including ten special edition copies of the book in the cover of your choice, ten print copies of Best Music Writing 2012, ten e-book versions sent to the electronic word nerds in your life, ten handsome BMW tote bags, and ten BMW t-shirts (specify size) delivered to by two editorial board members who will fly to the continental US city of your choice and host a public BMW reading.

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