Jill Sobule Talks About Her Experience Connecting With Fans, Giving Them A Reason To Buy

from the stalkers-into-promoters dept

With our CwF + RtB experiment in full swing, we've asked some of the participants involved to provide some guest posts, including their thoughts on the experiment itself. Jill Sobule is a well-known singer/songwriter, who last year embraced the CwF + RtB spirit with her Jill's Next Record experiment. We asked her to share some of her experiences with it as a guest post:
Around 2 years ago, I put up the website -- jillsnextrecord.com -- where fans, as well as semi-pressured family members and friends, could donate to the recording and release of my next record. I didn't want them to just give me money, so I came up with different levels of donation for various "gifts and services": For example: The $25 Polished Rock Level would get you an advance CD -- no big deal. But the $50 Pewter Level would place you in the liner notes. My favorite was the $500 Gold Level where I would write you your very own theme song -- just to let you know, the host of... "Dancing With The Stars" went for that one. Within two months, much to my surprise, I reached my goal. Not only have I bypassed that much maligned middleman (the record label) but I have developed and maintained a closer relationship to the one's that really matter: the fans. Someone asked me if I ever had any stalkers. I said yes, and I put them to work selling my merch at shows or helping me with my website... They do such a better job.

I really like that Techdirt is promoting artists and writers who are trying to break the mold -- and in many cases, already succeeding. Also, as in my case, the creativity didn't stop at just the music itself... We worked together to figure out how to best to offer my work. Our first idea was a semi-lame faux cactus (to match the cactus on the album cover). We, thankfully, came up with a better one: handwritten lyrics on a moleskin journal to go along with the new record. Wish I would have thought of that before.
Given her experience, we were thrilled that Jill agreed to be a part of the whole CwF + RtB program. Not only that, but she went above and beyond in enthusiastically volunteering to create custom, one-of-a-kind notebooks for everyone who orders the Techdirt Music Club. For each order, she'll take a brand new notebook, and jot down some song lyrics and some doodles on the first few pages -- so you'll get a totally unique "Jill Sobule original" notebook, along with a signed copy of her CD. If you order both the Techdirt Music Club and the Techdirt Book Club before midnight PT, August 3rd, we'll throw in a free Techdirt hoodie, or a free lunch with me (Mike).

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