Getting in ahead of the kick-starter rush

Does anybody remember ‘Swing Out Sister’? Eighties jazz-infused synth-pop trio who by their second album had become a Bacharach-jazz style duo.

One of my bookshelves...
One of my bookshelves…

They got quite big in Japan, for some reason, in the 1990s and they’re still around exploring the full meaning of the word ‘mellow’ in music.

Lately, they’re ‘making a thing’ on Pledge Music, the music version of kickstarter. That’s the service Rick Wakeman turned to when re-imagining his 1975 classic ‘The Myths and Legends of King Arthur’. And it seems to me that if long-established bands and musicians with decades of experience and a solid recording history under their belts are looking now to crowd-sourcing, what does that say about the state of the business?

It’s true for writers too. The world’s changing, and the old certainties where publishers had a stable of regular authors, paid (significant) advances, and came back looking for more are gone. All that self-publishing via Amazon and other places has done is create crowded rooms filled with authors screaming for attention. The fact that occasional titles sell very well acts as incentive to the rest, but the reality is that most titles don’t sell.

I wonder, though. Is crowd sourcing going to become the new point of competition – the new place where authors clamour for attention and money? It can only really work by exploiting an existing fan-base, so maybe it wouldn’t be such a boon for beginning authors.

But I can see crowd-sourcing platforms for authors getting as crowded and competitive as the self-publishing platforms, or the social media that everybody’s using to get a profile.

Thoughts? Meanwhile, I haven’t gone for kick-starting (yet) – and some of my books are over there on the right hand column… *Hint* *Hint*

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016


3 thoughts on “Getting in ahead of the kick-starter rush

  1. I think crowd sourcing with go the way of may things ( down the swanny) but I think it is a useful tool for those who cannot fund themselves through other routes for what every reason.

  2. Great post! Like you said, crowd-funding tends to work for people with a big fanbase already. I’ve seen it work- but it tends to only be for people that have already made it big on youtube (another attention based platform). I don’t see how more people shouting into the void in a different way will make much of an impact. On the positive side, traditional publishers and authors with an established fanbase are still doing well, regardless of whatever new gimmicks get invented. (sorry to say I don’t know who that band is- I’d use the excuse of being a toddler when they came out, but considering my music taste tends to come from anything earlier than the decade I was born in, that’s the more likely reason😉 )

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