Paul Roub

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Shocked and Awed.

It would be an understatement to say I’m overwhelmed by the response to my call for CD funding (in case you missed it, I’m recording a CD, and decided to fund the recording process through pre-orders and donations).

$1050 in one month seemed like a stretch, which is why I chose that timeframe. Deadlines work for me. I assumed that come the last week of March, I’d be begging people to donate just a bit more, handing flyers to strangers… Instead, the whole thing was funded 10 days in. Friends are wonderful things, especially when they’re glad you’ve finally gotten off your ass and done the thing they’ve been telling you to do for years.

I’d love to see more people just pre-order the CD (you can still do that), just because the ultimate point of this is to make music and have it heard.

But I highly recommend Kickstarter’s tiered rewards setup, especially the fact that you choose your own rewards. You know your audience (if you don’t, figure that out first). Gordon knew that music geeks (like me) would want the limited-edition vinyl. JigGsaw knew their fans (like me) would want T-shirts and their back catalog.

I knew my friends would want to make me sing songs that I hate.

I can’t take credit for the original idea. In December, at a charity live-band karaoke, Mike Ingram promised to sing any song on the band’s extensive list for a donation to the cause. Making my fellow indie-acoustic-singer-songwriter sing “9 to 5”? Worth it, and many others agreed.

I knew that people who had been in bands — or high school, or the workplace — with me were well aware of my pointed musical opinions and dislikes. If you’ve been around me even once when Journey came on the radio, I imagine forcing “Open Arms” on me must be enticing.

Know your audience.

Which brings me to the second interesting facet of this project, vs. any I’d done in the past: I haven’t touched my mailing list yet. Like most artists, I have a good-sized email list I’ve built up over the years. More years than most, dating back to when I had to explain what email was.

And I know some, but by no means all, of those people. And many of those emails are out-of-date, or silently bouncing, never checked…

Instead, I talked about the project on Facebook (both my personal profile and my fan page) and Twitter. Where I know who I’m talking to — the exact same people most likely to show up at an eventual release party. The exact same people most likely to take me up on the “tell your friends” request. And they don’t just sign up for a CD, they chime in and taunt me with song requests, rubbing hands and discussing the possibilities. These are the people who will listen as work-in-progress mixes are shared (a backers-only bonus). Feedback rocks. Feedback inspires.

It’s not news: conversations are better than announcements, for both sides. I’ll have the CD soon enough, and it will be available from CD Baby, and for download on iTunes and elsewhere, and I will hit the mailing list, and that will be fantastic. I’m not sure it will be as fun as this part has been.

Now back to concentrating on the CD itself. I find myself practicing and thinking about guitar parts I’ve played for years. I’m more excited about my music than I’ve been in years.