Toyshop available for $1- GET OUT OF DEBT SALE!!

January 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm (Music) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Download Toyshop here!!

My rock album launched 15 months ago.  It’s incredible, if I do say so myself.  10 original tracks of energized rock, with tastes of punk, opera, electronica, gregorian chant, metal, and gothic sensibilities, produced by the legendary Martin Bisi of Swans, Dresden Dolls, and Sonic Youth fame.  It is my pride and joy, and the thorn in my side.

The thorn because I am still struggling to pay it off.  I live hand-to-mouth, and had no savings to speak of, but I knew I couldn’t put off creating this album any longer.  I was afraid of getting involved with a label (if one would even have me), and my bandmates weren’t willing/able to chip in (they are as broke as I am).  So I came up with the brilliant solution to take out a personal loan from the bank.  Of course, they wouldn’t give ME a loan, since my income bracket is so pathetic (even though my credit is good), so my dad had to co-sign.

It still seems like the only way I could have gone, and I don’t regret it.  But I severely underestimated how hard it would be to sell albums.  I assumed all my friends and many of my acquaintances would buy it the second it came out, as I always did for my friends’ bands.  Some did, but I got a lot of “You should give it to me for free,” “I’m broke, maybe next month,” and “um, I don’t like rock music.”  I thought I’d be able to sell to our enthusiastic audiences, but people hardly ever come up to you and ask to purchase one, and if you ask even a raving fan, they usually say they don’t have any money on them.

For 4 years (2.5 now) I need to pay the bank $126.83 a month.  That means I need to sell 12 albums a month.  At the time, that sounded totally manageable.  In reality, it’s been impossible.  I sell about 1-2 albums a month.  Not because my album isn’t fantastic, just because it’s really hard to sell albums without a huge following (and even with one).

So we’re gonna try another tactic.  Starting today, my digital album is available on Bandcamp for $1.  $1 is the minimum donation, but you can pay as much as you like.

I owe the bank $3,101.83.  After PayPal and Bandcamp take their cuts, I get 75 cents out of one dollar.  That means I need to sell 4,135 albums.

Do I think I can do it?  Well… not exactly.  I’m doubtful that I’ll be able to literally sell over 4,000 albums.  I am really counting on a few things happening:

1. A few generous people giving me really wonderful donations- $100 or more.

2. People who have been meaning to buy the album but putting it off taking this as their cue, and paying the full $10 for it (or whatever they can afford).

3. My contacts with much larger platforms than me really pulling for me- spreading the word to their networks and really recommending me.  I hate to ask that kind of favor of people, but at least since I’m trying to get out of debt and not just doing regular fundraising or marketing ploys, it has a charitable enough slant to it that I can get away with asking for help.

4. Getting a small bit of media attention just for trying this stunt.  Even if it’s just the next college radio DJ to play a track off my album mentioning that you can buy it for $1 online, or my hometown newspaper running my press release- you never know what can get the right person’s attention.

The album is available here.  You know what to do.  Buy the album for $1.  Buy it for more if you feel you can afford it.  Share the link with your friends.  Put in a good word for me and what I do.

A few last notes:

>The hard copy will still be $10, available from me in person or by post if you include shipping and handling.  (It’s also available on CDBaby, but it’s more expensive and not as profitable for me.)  Even though I’m keeping this campaign digital, I would LOVE to sell off some hard copies and move some of these boxes out of my tiny apartment!

>If you already have my album but just want to contribute, or if you want to avoid the bandcamp charges, that’s fine.  As much as I hate to feel like a charity case, I will certainly not turn down random donations!  You can paypal me at amanda at notjustanotherprettyvoice dot com.

(Oh man, my email address is way too public for my taste.  Should probably get a new one and keep it more secret… I fail at being famous on several levels!)

Finally, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting independent artists.  Even if you don’t purchase, just that you took the time to read this says that you care.  That gives me a lot of hope for the future of music and musicians.

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7 Comments

  1. How to help Bands you like: Beyond the Retweet « Not Just Another Pretty Voice said,

    [...] feel like, since I’ve launch my “Get out of Debt Sale,” a lot of people have been asking me lately, “Let me know what else I can do to help.”  [...]

  2. Sarah Taylor said,

    Hi Amanda,

    You could always contact the Hunter College radio channel maybe they will play it and advertise for you: http://whcs.hunter.cuny.edu/

    Sarah

  3. Not Just Another Pretty Voice said,

    [...] Why am I saying all this now?  Because of my Get out of Debt Sale. [...]

  4. Piper said,

    *This is a REALLY long comment and you might think you’re being trolled, but honestly, read it, it may help x

    Saw this after it was retweeted by someone I follow on Twitter – so your plan is at least beginning to get ‘out there’.

    I just wanted to offer my opinion, as someone who has worked professionally in the arts industry for years, both as a musician and a manager and promoter.

    While I applaud your efforts to support and promote yourself and your music, and agree with you that lesser known and independant artists need all the assistance and ‘followship’ they can get, this fundraising scheme actually comes across as a lot less about you and an awful lot more about the bank It’s not a ‘charitable’ appeal as you suggest – you haven’t paid the bank loan off and are now find yourself struggling to survive, but are just trying to get others to help you pay back what you borrowed in order to make what is (if there isn’t genuinely the fanbase or commercial demand to justify it which you admit there isn’t) a vanity project to satisfy your own creative wants. The attitude of ‘oops, it didn’t work out how I imagined so please can everyone feel sorry for me and bail me out now please’ is an immature one. Can you not get a ‘real’ job to pay off the loan – what EVERY real musician has had to do at some point or other in their career? What are YOU doing to raise funds, other than begging for others to assume the responsibility?

    I’m genuinely not trying to troll you here, but to offer you advice on how better to construct your campaign. Why not offer to play gigs or parties in return for a minimum donation, or write a song to be published on this blog and across the internet that includes a cool line about someone in return for them paying something towards it? You need to be a lot more imaginative if you want this to go viral, which is clearly your hope and overall intent.

    If your music was exciting or commercially viable enough, your ‘friends on higher platforms’ would already be doing more to help you, so you need to improve the overall package you’re offering if you want to make enough money to clear your debts and live as a professional musician. I sincerely wish you all the best, but you’ve got to offer ‘a lot more bang for your bucks’ than I’ve heard from the tracks on the bandcamp website. Nothing wrong with the ideas and you obviously have the contacts to work with, but something isn’t working – find it and fix it if you want to succeed. Being a professional performer – and by that I mean someone who makes a living from their art, not someone who is ridiculously overpaid for being a clotheshorse with an autotuner fitted – is all about the non-stop commitment and hard work. Forget about hoping others will do you a favour and lend a helping hand – what are you REALLY going to do to make sure your album sells and you can afford to pay your living and career costs. Your life is nobody else’s responsibility, only yours at the end of the day.

    Genuinely wishing you all the best, and hope that what I’ve written will help you in achieving your goals. Let me know how you get on, if you’re ever in the UK I may have a gig for you!

    • Amanda White said,

      Well, I don’t think “pay what you will” is begging for charity. But I did want people to know my situation, in hopes that they’d offer more than if I were just being greedy. I have several day jobs, but times are tougher than usual. I think my music is exciting and commercially viable, but that’s my opinion. We can all agree that there’s plenty of music that’s great but remains hidden for one reason another. I’d say I’ve done most of what you’ve suggested at one point or another, but that doesn’t always cut it, and I think offering my music in a way that can either be a great bargain or a kind-hearted donation, depending on how you play it, is a good compromise for everyone.

  5. WomensRadio, Lionheart Rock, Whiskey Bar, sale update « Not Just Another Pretty Voice said,

    [...] for the $1 “sale of desperation,” it’s both working and not.  The ways in which it is working: a bunch of people who knew me [...]

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