Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 1, 2013.

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Pre-order & take part in The Bowmans merry new project! A Christmas CD of originals & favorites, plus a charming illustrated storybook.

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!

Mert thinks he's made a grave mistake! "Mert at the Market" by Claire Bowman
Mert thinks he's made a grave mistake! "Mert at the Market" by Claire Bowman
Sarah, Claire, and Mert.
Sarah, Claire, and Mert.
A drawing by Claire to help get you in the holiday spirit
A drawing by Claire to help get you in the holiday spirit
John the Cat Espies Mert's Mysterious Blue Box (draft)
John the Cat Espies Mert's Mysterious Blue Box (draft)
Awake at Night by C. Bowman
Awake at Night by C. Bowman

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

FAQ

  • We've created the rewards according to what we feel we can best offer our fans. However, if you have a suggestion please feel free to message us. We're very happy to work together with you on getting you what you want.

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  • Why, yes! You can view it at:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc…

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  • If you pledge $10, you get a digital download of the CD but not the book.

    If you want just the hard book and hard CD, choose the $35 rewards category.

    You can get one digital CD and one hard Book or vice versa by choosing one of the $25 categories.

    All categories $35 and above include at least one hard CD plus one hard book.

    But, some higher categories include multiples. Check the chart in the previous FAQ to see how many books/CDs are included in each of those categories.

    Refer to the same chart to see additional rewards for each of those categories. Or, read through the rewards descriptions. :)

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  • Kind of. You're pledging to our campaign now so we can make the book and CD by Christmas. If you choose to contribute $25 or more, you will be receiving copies of the book and/or CD in time for Christmas. The digital equivalents will also be available in December.

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  • We ask that you contribute before July 31 to ensure that the CD and book will exist. We need to raise this money in order to finish making them. So, if our Kickstarter campaign doesn't succeed, we will likely be unable to finish this project.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    3 backers

    The MONOGRAMMER: $1 and up: You will be openly thanked and listed by name on The Bowmans website and personally thanked via email.

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    7 backers

    The GAMBLER: You will receive 3 digital-download songs hand selected by Sarah Bowman from the Christmas album, plus a personal thank you email from Sarah and Claire Bowman.

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    28 backers

    The COMMUTER: You will receive a digital download of the entire Christmas album, and a personal thank you email from Sarah and Claire Bowman.

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    27 backers

    The LISTENER-READER: You will receive a signed hard copy of the Christmas CD AND a digital copy of "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" -- the illustrated book. I guess by now, it goes without saying that all categories receive personal thanks via email from Sarah and Claire...

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    41 backers

    The READER-LISTENER: You will receive a signed hard copy "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" --the illustrated book -- AND a digital copy of the Christmas album.

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    THE HAPPY ASCETIC: You will receive one hard copy of the Christmas album and one hard copy of the illustrated book. Each will be signed by the appropriate Bowman.

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    37 backers

    The SAVVY COLLECTOR: The Bowmans will send you signed hard copies of two of their previous CDs -- "Live at Powerplay Studios" and "Far From Home" (one copy of each) -- AND a signed Christmas CD and Illustrated book package! That's THREE CDs AND a copy of "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" -- the illustrated book! This one's a particularly high value, folks.

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    10 backers All gone!

    The ART & ANIMAL LOVER: Everybody loves pet portraits! Send a photo of your pet or animal of choice, and Claire Bowman will illustrate your furry friend in her characteristic style. You'll get a signed, archival quality giclee print of your pal. Time to make your favorite cat/dog/sloth/honey badger a legend! PLUS, you'll also get a personalized Christmas CD and "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen." What a great value! (Note: the delivery date refers to the album and book, whereas the print may take longer.)

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    16 backers Limited (4 left of 20)

    The THOUGHTFUL GIVER: We'll specially wrap a gift comprised of the Bowmans Christmas CD and "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" and send it to the recipient of your choice. But there's more! Your gift will be delivered in HAND-DRAWN gift wrap with a personalized note (dictated by you) handwritten by Sarah or Claire. AND that's not all! We will send YOU your own Christmas CD plus a copy of "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" too! That's TWO CDs and TWO books plus our fancy gift delivery service.

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    The COLLECTOR-GIVER: We will send you signed hard copies of two previous Bowmans recordings -- "Live at Powerplay Studios" and "Far From Home" (one copy of each). Plus you get everything in the THOUGHTFUL GIVER category above. That's FOUR CDs and TWO Books in all!

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    THE ICONOGRAPHIC ANIMAL (aka "Bob's special"): You will receive a hard copy of the Christmas CD, a hard copy of the "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen," and an original 8 x 10 color drawing or watercolor of your favorite PET.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)

    The JOY PROLONGER: Claire Bowman will send an original art product to you each month for a whole year (value: $10/month)! Sarah Bowman will record an exclusive version of one of her original songs and send it to YOUR inbox. PLUS, you get TWO personalized Christmas CDs & two copies of "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen!" ...That's 12 art products, 2 CDs, 2 books, AND an original song! Wowwy! (Note: The delivery date refers to the Christmas CDs and books, whereas the song may take a few additional months. You may coordinate with Sarah on timing. And the monthly mailings may start as early as September.)

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    The PERPETUAL SURPRISER: Sarah Bowman will record a cover song of YOUR choice and publish an EXCLUSIVE music video with the song, dedicated to you or person of your choice. PLUS Claire Bowman will send an original art product each month for 1 year (value: $20/month)! In addition, you get the Christmas CD and "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen." This is a really fun one! (Note: The delivery date refers to the Christmas CD and book, whereas the song may take a few additional months to complete. You can coordinate with Sarah on timing.)

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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    The WELL-ROUNDED SUPPORTER: You will receive an entire signed sketch book FILLED with Claire’s original (one-of-a-kind) drawings (apx. 20 6x8" pages)! AND Sarah will record and personalize an exclusive version of one of her original songs for you, create a music video for your version of the song, and dedicate the song and video to you or person of your choice. PLUS, you get two signed copies of the Bowmans Christmas CD & two of "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen." Plus, your name will appear in the Special Thanks section of all printed copies of the CD AND illustrated book. It's a treasure trove of goodness! (Note: The delivery date refers to the Christmas CD and book, whereas the song and video may take a few additional months to complete. You are welcome to coordinate timing with Sarah.)

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    The GRACIOUS EXTENDER: Your name will appear in the Special Thanks section of all printed copies of the CD AND illustrated book. Sarah Bowman will record a cover song of your choice and create an exclusive music video of the song, dedicated to YOU or person of your choice. The Bowmans will send a selection of original art AND music products created by both Claire AND Sarah each month for a year (value: $50/month)! PLUS you will receive two signed copies of The Bowmans Christmas CD and two of "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen!" You will be part of The Bowmans' history forever -- and our gratitude will live on and on. (Note: The December delivery date refers to the CD and Book. The monthly deliveries may begin as early as Sept. 2013. The song and video will be completed by July 2014 at the latest.)


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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    The APPRECIATED CHARACTER: YOU or person of your choice can appear in likeness as a character in "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" -- the illustrated book by Claire Bowman! AND, provide a theme to Sarah from which she will write, record and dedicate an original song to you or a person of your choice. PLUS, your name will be printed in the Special Thanks on all printed copies of the Bowmans Christmas CD and "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen." FINALLY, you receive three personalized Christmas CDs and three illustrated book! (Note: the December delivery date refers to the delivery of the CD/Book packages. The song will be completed by July 2014 at the latest.)


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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    The DISTINGUISHED PROPRIETOR: You will receive the ORIGINAL, 33 - page first draft of "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen," which includes text and sketches (like the one shown in the video). The pages have been carefully extracted from Claire's notebook. It will be simply ribbon-bound by hand with cardboard covers, signed and dedicated (as you wish) by the artist. The one-of-a-kind set is comprised of sketches drawn in a Paperluxe notebook using a purple Staedtler fine point drawing pen. This revealing booklet shows the artist's process as she creates the first draft of what is to become "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen." Made with love by Claire Bowman. PLUS, your name will be printed in the Special Thanks on all printed copies of the Bowmans Christmas CD and "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen." FINALLY, you receive three personalized Christmas CDs and three illustrated books!

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    The ILLUSTRIOUS BENEFACTOR: You or the person of your choice will appear in likeness as one of the two human PROTAGONISTS in "Mert, the Anxious Evergreen" --the illustrated book by Claire! Limit one male character, one female character. PLUS you can provide a theme or idea from which Sarah will write, record and produce, and dedicate a song to you or a person of your choice. And each month, The Bowmans will send a selection of original artistic products created by The Bowmans both in song and art for a whole year! Your name will appear in the Special Thanks on all printed copies of the CD and illustrated book. PLUS, you get 2 personalized Christmas CDs and two illustrated books. Keep in mind that the characters are in their 30s, so Claire will portray you at about that age. (Note: the estimated delivery is for the CDs and books, but monthly deliveries might start as early as September.
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    THE ART-GIFT CURATOR: You will receive 20 signed original drawings (approximately 6x8") by Claire Bowman and three signed preliminary drawings for illustrations from book itself! Plus, you will receive giclee prints from 5 of the book's full color illustrations, plus 3 Bowmans Christmas CDs and 3 copies of "Mert the Anxious Evergreen." Additionally, you will receive 2 copies of each of The Bowmans' previous recordings (3 CDs). All items will be fancy-wrapped in beautiful hand-drawn paper. If you'd like any of the items to be sent as gifts, Claire will hand-write the card using your prose and send the gift directly! Just let us know which items you'd like to be sent to whom.

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Funding period

- (29 days)