The above and below tracks are ROUGH MIXES for the Christmas album.
We're making a wish! Will you include The Bowmans as part of your holidays?
We want you to join us in spreading the Christmas (in July) spirit! First, let's introduce ourselves. The Bowmans are Sarah and Claire Bowman - identical twin sisters from Iowa who have a history of making music and touring internationally. This is our first joint Kickstarter project.
With your help this month, we can complete our full length Christmas CD and our illustrated story book to boot! It's an epic project that's been over two years in the making.
This project nicely pairs Sarah's distinctive musical capabilities and Claire's unique artistic style, which are brought to bear in a jolly Christmas context.
The delightful details:
We need your help now (this July) so we can finish the CD and book. But, if we don't meet our goal, this project might not get made at all! So, we need you. By "backing" us, you're essentially pre-ordering for the holidays. In addition to our sincere gratitude, you'll receive some great stuff in return. Check out the cool rewards!
On the one hand, we're creating a 12 - track Christmas album. Half of the songs are familiar favorites, while the rest are delightful and compelling original songs. Soon, you'll be singing along to this album with your family and friends -- swapping harmonies the way we do!
Claire's debut illustrated story book, Mert, the Anxious Evergreen, was inspired by one of these songs. Mert, the Anxious Evergreen is a triumphant tale about a little pine tree who longs to grow up to be a Christmas tree. He learns more about the true spirit of Christmas when he meets Sally and Cole.
Mert, the Anxious Evergreen will be an illustrated hardcover storybook, which will be approximately 25 pages, 8 x 10" with vivid color illustrations.
The CD + book = The Perfect Gift.
Sarah Bowman has been writing songs and crafting rich arrangements for The Bowmans Christmas album over the last two years. The album includes six joyful, lush, and captivating original songs coupled with six fresh & surprising renditions of familiar favorites. All of the songs feature The Bowmans' signature sister-harmony style.
We're ecstatic to finally be working on our long time holiday wish! And, we're counting on you this Christmas.
We want The Bowmans Christmas album and Mert, the Anxious Evergreen to become part of your holiday tradition for years to come.
How we will use the funds:
The funds we raise for the CD go toward final recording, mixing, mastering, manufacturing, distribution, and a little help with promotion. In our experience, even the most carefully budgeted album costs over $20,000 to make. ($10,000 will be put toward the book, but there's more on that later.)
Sarah is an experienced self-producer and will be taking the lead on production for the album. She's done a wonderful job so far. Hiring somebody else to produce an album can cost from $15,000 to $50,000! But to manage production, Sarah needs some gear -- a few essentials totaling $10,000 -- (significantly less than the cost of a hired producer). These essentials include a high end pre-amp, a pair of pro studio quality microphones for our vocals and strings, an editing monitor, 2 hard drives to back up the album, and the like. But she’ll use them again, so we only want to recover a small portion of this cost from your contributions.
The remaining music-making expenses include studio time, mixing, mastering, and paying musicians who’ve enriched the album with their talents. With the quotes we’ve received and the payments we’ve assured, these costs come to a total of $11,950.
Acclaimed Nashville engineer, Greg Droman will mix the album. Mixing an album involves, on a basic level, taking all of the musical ‘ingredients’ and turning them into a fabulous pie. Similar to how a chef combines signature spices, the mixing engineer folds in the vocals and instruments until it sounds just right, sometimes adding subtle effects to enhance the cohesive ‘flavor’ of each song. Mastering bestows the final touches on the album by running the audio mix through impressive and expensive digital or analogue sound boards until the toothpick comes out clean! Now, the album is radio ready.
Once the CD is recorded, mixed, and mastered, we will need to send it out for duplication. "Duplication" is pressing and packaging the CDs, which will feature Claire’s distinctive artwork. We’ll print 2000 copies because we expect them to go fast. That will cost a little over $2000 before taxes and shipping.
Distribution ($50-$100) is the process of getting the CDs out to stores and making the music available for download. We hope to make the CD available in as many places as possible around the world. Of course, every CD sent to backers will be signed by Sarah, (as the book will be signed by Claire).
Album art layout and design will cost about $300. And, there are many out of pocket costs like these that add up, including copyright registration, digital distribution fees, legal fees, etc.
The funds for Mert, the Anxious Evergreen go toward drawing and painting, drafting, editing, printing and binding, shipping, and distribution. To print 500 copies of an approximately 25 page book, 8.5 x 10.5" with color hardcover costs about $7600, and shipping those books to Claire will be about $300.
Hiring an editor to review the book will cost an average of $50 an hour. And trademarking Mert (as a protective measure) will cost $275. Print design and layout for the book costs $1400. Art and printer supplies to make the prototype will be about $300.
Formatting for print and digital conversion can cost up to $2,000 for a highly illustrated book, as this will be. And although we're not immediately distributing this book to stores, we do want to make it available as an ebook. Of the 500 initial printed hard copies, those not distributed to Kickstarter backers will be available for purchase through our website (and anywhere else we're able to make it available). Every hard copy sent to backers will be signed by the author and illustrator, Claire.
The book is on its third draft and two of the illustrations are nearing completion. Each illustration takes between 3 - 16 hours to complete. The printing process takes 3 - 5 weeks and shipping takes about another week. All the illustrations will be complete by late August to mid-September. Editing and formatting will begin immediately upon content completion.
Marketing and PR for Mert, the Anxious Evergreen will only be subsidized if there is a significant amount of funds raised beyond our goal point.
If we’re miraculously over-funded:
As you can see, basic costs exceed our goal point, so if we are lucky enough to be over-funded, it'll help cover those extra costs. If the goal is well surpassed, we will put aside a nest egg for the next Bowmans Christmas project! We hope to make this an everlasting tradition. Thank you so much for backing us and/or sharing our project with your friends!
Risks and challenges
This is a work in progress, however, much of the recording is already completed and "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" is on its third draft.
It's possible that we may encounter some obstacles that could delay things, but we've factored in most conceivable pitfalls. Sarah and I have successfully released three previous albums within similar deadlines. Mixing and Mastering are currently scheduled immediately following the close of this campaign.
This will be our first book, but we've done our homework and are well poised to meet printing deadlines.
We are prepared to do everything in our power to conquer any obstacles, as our products and rewards are very much under our own production control. (Ah, the benefits of DIY.)
We promise to work with the diligence of elves in getting these quality rewards to you in a timely fashion! We are very responsive to inquiries, too.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)