Where Do Contributions Go?
We have been getting huge amounts of volunteer support with the new book from folks doing everything from helping with selection, to formatting lyrics, creating and checking chords, proofreading, etc. We have a great publisher, Hal Leonard Books, for Rise Again, but there are many large expenses that we need to pay for out of our own pockets as we finish the book from our end and launch it.
Since we left our jobs several years ago to work full-time on the new book, we have drawn heavily out of our retirement savings and loans to enable us to do this work so far.
Here are some of the ways in which your donations have been used. (Some were immediate - others over the coming year.)
Primary immediate expenses (which our 2014 Indiegogo campaign helped us meet but most of which are ongoing!):
Web build and development - approx. $30,000: The site enables people involved in this music work to use our books better, access lots of information (especially links to tunes) about the songs in the books, easily update information on their local sings, connect with other musicians doing this work, and explore with each other ways to strengthen this work in the world. Our main focus now is on building out and improving the online database we call "The Music Box" which involves a lot of complex web design to interface with a database.
Promotion and publicity - approx. $15,000: There are hundreds of thousands of people out there with copies of Rise Up Singing. But it took 25 years by word of mouth for people to find out about RUS. The Indiegogo campaign, social media, a bit of selected advertising, a targeted publicist close to book's release. Lots more needed here!!!
Administrative support - approx. $10,000: We have a terrific assistant who has dealt with many tasks that free us up to stay in the main tasks of editing, layout, drawing, and helping Hal Leonard with securing challenging song licenses. In addition we need assistance with sending stuff out so we can focus on finishing the book.
We need more help (volunteer and students) to build the data needed for the online song database out. It's a huge project!
Other ways funds have been or are being used:
Design coach - $1500: Annie went to art school before the digital age, so she has been using a terrific coach to sharpen her skills with many of the rich but complex features InDesign and Photoshop. This enables Annie to make corrections in our home offices when our publisher sends us the initially formatted layouts for each chapter, input illustrations into chapter files, create materials that spread the word about our work, etc.
Indiegogo video - $1000
Office equipment - $500: We needed a large priner capable of printing 9x12 sheets (to view how pages will look in the larger format book), a better scanner, digital stylus & other illustration tools, etc.
Legal support - $7000
Taking the songbook on the road - $20,000: We have been touring extensively with the new songbook since it came out which required trading in our little car for a slightly larger vehicle, repairing/upgrading our instruments, and replacing our 20 year old sound system.
Big picture: In the long run we hope that the book will do well and be able to provide ongoing support for our music work. But we still have at least nine months before the book comes out and considerably longer before we can expect significant royalties through the pipeline. We hope this helps you understand how important your donations are at this time.
Thank you for your generous support!