A little experiment: Sharing the love at Patreon

So, here’s an interesting thing – I have a favour to ask. Would you be willing to be part of an experiment with me?

Back in September, I shared how I was moving most, if not all, my spontaneous creative work to Patreon. It’s why I’ve been so quiet here since.

A small number of people followed me over there, and I’ve been posting fairly regularly – new songs, impromptu jams, an unfinished novel, prompted poetry – you know, that sort of thing…

I’d like to get more people there but I came across something really, really ANNOYING about Patreon’s functionality.

Put simply, it’s REALLY difficult to find artists on Patreon, unless they’re already successful.

The flip-side of this is that it’s nearly impossible for an artist to find patrons on Patreon! Basically, you have to build audience elsewhere, and get them to Patreon to pay you.

[Patreon then reaps the reward of your hard work through their fee]

Sigh… Such is the way of things in the arts on the internet.

Still, it got me thinking – and the idea for my little experiment began to form.

Here it is in a nutshell:

For every 5 patrons I have at Patreon, I will ask the community to tell me 3 undiscovered artists who I can, in turn, sponsor on Patreon.

Basically, each one of my patrons will actually be sponsoring 1.6 artists just by sponsoring me at Patreon

[8 artists sponsored by 5 Patrons]

Though, of course, in reality it’s me sponsoring the extra 3.

[and yes, passing on 60% of my sponsorship]

My self-interest is simply to be able to afford to keep making music, writing books, and offering them to the world – but to be able to do that while also helping others do the same is just amazing.

So, here’s my question: Are you willing to be part of my experiment?

If so, all you need to do is sponsor me at Patreon – here are the per-month levels:

  • $1 – No reward – just for those who want to help me do what I do
  • $1 – Music Fan – you receive a physical and digital copy of any new CD I release
  • $2 – Avid Reader – you will receive a hard- or e-copy of any new novel I release
  • $10 – SUPERFAN! – you will receive physical and digital copies of any new CD or Novel I release, and private invitation to special events online and face-to-face

And, of course, you can choose to pay more than those subscription levels, but the amounts above are the minimum to get going.

So what say you? Are you willing to help me help you help my sisters and brothers in art?

Sponsor me at Patreon

Some things for you to ignore

Because right now, in all honesty, I’m tired of self-promotion and trying to persuade you to read/listen/enjoy anything I’ve put into the world.

So go ahead, please ignore…

Novels
Records
Poetry
Live Music
iOS Apps

Yes, but you have to have a pigeon-hole…

I’ve been called many things

[some of them nice, some not so much]

but the term I keep hearing is renaissance man which, according to dictionary.com means:

noun
1. a cultured man of the Renaissance who was knowledgeable, educated, or proficient in a wide range of fields.

2. (sometimes lowercase) a present-day man who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field.

Seeing as how I can’t claim Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo among my contemporaries, I guess I must be number 2

[hehehehe… he said number 2…]

I don’t know that my knowledge or proficiency in any field is profound

[that’d be up to others to judge]

I generally think of myself as still being like I was when I was young: just plain  interested in everything that catches my interest. Which is generally good enough for me, and gets me to this body of artistic and professional work that I love so much.

Then I hear something like I heard last night.

Apparently, I was almost passed over for a solo show because

I need someone acoustic, he just does electric

Wait… What?!!

Did this not happen?

Or this?

It bugged me. It really did. Then I realized, I have the exact same reaction when people say they’re looking for a band but didn’t consider me. Even though this happens:

And this:

I can’t blame people – it can be tough for me to keep track of all the things I get up to.

And, of course, we live in a passive ‘push’ world, where everyone who wants to share anything has to compete against information overload. In this push world, I can build my audience here, and over at Facebook and only reach less than 10% of that audience per post.

And, unlike the world the internet talking heads rhapsodize, very few people share things onward

[those that do are a rare, and generous, gift]

So I have to repeat myself.

Again.

And again.

And again.

As someone who gets really twitchy about too much self-promotion, it’s exhausting to keep folk aware of what’s going on; constantly running the self-perceived risk of boring people with repetition.

I’ve been going through that this week with the release of Writers Flow – Music For Writing. The umpteenth post in the umpteenth direction and I feel like someone’s out there just grinding their teeth

Sheesh! Can’t Tuckwood just give it a rest with all his self-promotion?!!

But the truth is, I can’t, because I haven’t even mentioned:

  • Escalation
  • Family Rules
  • Karaoke Criminals
  • Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies?
  • Garbled Glittering Glamours
  • Grope
  • Writers Unblocked
  • We Are Story
  • mySetlist
  • myOrgDev
  • View Beyond LLC

and a shit-load of other stuff. If I don’t mention them, no-one else will. If I’m not in your face, telling you about my stuff NO ONE ELSE IS.

Exhausting.

Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to do one thing, to sit in one pigeon-hole – wouldn’t it be easier to just have to sell yourself as

the best [fill in the blank] in the world

then I really think about what that would feel like, the constraints, the constriction. I’ll take my exhaustion over that sensation any day.

Though, this morning, I wish there was some easy way to point out all the pigeon-holes I sit in at once.

I wish there was a Zagat’s guide for Vince.

I really do.

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89

I told you so

Well, it looks like another boy band has lost a founding member.

Puts me in mind of Jay, the Empire Records A&R guy in Karaoke Criminals:

“Three bands, one night. Easy, compared to normal. He was getting off light. If he hadn’t had the boy band – ‘N-TaPrize!’ – on the way through, he’d be more active.

But he had.

So he wasn’t.

They were made to measure, career already mapped: three singles, a hit album, first pre-pubescent tour, fainting teenage girls, two more singles, self-written songs, internecine rivalry, second tour and a final, musical-differences fuelled split followed by solo careers for Dave and Billy and drug dependency for Ralph; a period drying out at the Priory, closely followed by a tour of regional theatres.

The money was close enough to in the bank already.

Ah well, soul-destroying as it was, at least it wasn’t panto. Not yet.”

Not to say I told you so or anything 🙂

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

Time to catch up

If you’ve ever wanted to catch-up on my novels and CDs, now is the best time to do so!

For the next two weeks, the combo pack (4 novels/2 CDs) will be priced at just $50 – buying the items individually would cost in the region of $130!

This offer is only available at my Bandcamp merchandise page.

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

The joy of spam

I don’t often do this, but I thought I’d share one of the spam comments I received to the blog t’other day.

Now, I guess the aim of the spammer is to get their link on the page – and said link either goes to a site that sells something, or to a site that host a virus, or a combination of both. Either way, I never click to check out what’s there.

There must be an assumption – and practice – I guess, of bloggers aut0-accepting comments. Not me. I moderate everything, and confess to being a liberal user of the SPAM designation. This prevents me, and you, having to wade through comments such as:

That checklist then becomes the basis for the perfect
boat search. paddling boat category because it takes so much more skill.
Beneteau yachts have conquered regattas each year, including their own-sponsored the Beneteau Cup, which
by the way, are participated by different types of yacht including the cruising Oceanis, Pilot Houses, and the
classy Wauquiez.

Frankly, I have no clue what the f**k they’re selling, or what anyone would make of seeing this comment on the blog.

Come on, leave me a comment that actually makes sense – who knows, I might not even hit the SPAM button!

Vince Sig 131x89

PS:

My personal favourite comment is when the spam-robot links to an audio chapter from Karaoke Criminals and tells me “Wonderful article – your insight reminds me so much of my experience…”

So, really… You’re an exiled London mobster planning the career of an up-and-coming singer you discovered in a Spanish karaoke bar? Really? Please do tell me about your insight (because I think I’ve written a novel about you…)

Thursday Insight – Wait, what country am I writing from?

A day late today – yesterday was the 4th, so I was helping friends celebrate the birth of their country. There were a few of us Brits there, so not too many jibes about the revolutionary war

[they soon tire of trying when I say, with a hearty smile, that America was but a tiny fraction of the Empire that my home nation has lost]

So, a day late, I thought I’d share some insight into what it means to write from here, about there, or from there about here…

As a Brit living and working in the USA, I run into many, many instances of

two countries separated by a common language – George Bernard Shaw

Generally, I don’t get tagged with accusations of losing my English accent

[though some do ask if I’m Australian]

but my family always get a laugh from the amount of translation I do without thinking about it: mobiles are cellphones, car parks are parking garages, petrol is gas, etc. This isn’t so odd to me as I’m constantly having to alter my language pattern to suit where I live. I’m always translating!

It gets really interesting when I write, however.

It was easy when I was in the UK. Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? was based in Kent, where I was living at the time, and Karaoke Criminals, largely in London

[in fact, if you’ve got a signed copy of Karaoke Criminals, it’s highly likely to have “To be read in a London accent” as the inscription]

so I didn’t have to translate, I was writing as a Brit, for a Brit audience. Job done.

Things began to get complicated when we moved to the US, however. I’ve written before about how the spark for Family Rules came to me when we were living in Manhattan. Suddenly, I was writing in the US, for a US and British audience.

Call me neurotic, but I really did have to stop and consider whether I americanized

[americanised?]

my spelling. I’d spent years in the UK screaming at Microsoft Word for auto-correcting me to American English, but now I really was an English American, writing American English. I had to think about it. Hard.

In the end, I made a simple choice, a get out really – I based Kenny’s early life in the UK, with his family relocating to New York when he was six years old. This get out clause allowed me to mix and match my spellings and translations without getting lost in micro-detail

[something I’m not so good at, even at the best of times]

So, Kenny spoke English, but sometimes dropped into American. Easy enough.

The challenge in writing Escalation was even greater. Here was a story set in a small New England town. Luckily, I didn’t have to play too much with local dialect – and I’ve generally found that my dialogue works well in either accent; I definitely had to have the characters speaking American English, though – engage full translation mode!

I think, in the end, I let either American spelling or English spelling through into the final copy. So far, I’ve not had anyone complain

[a reviewer did pick up the spelling in Family Rules, and even put it down to Kenny’s confused upbringing]

and, most importantly, I hear more about the characters and story than I do the grammar and style – which is just how I want it.

Now I’m back into Rufus, another small-town story, and I’m choosing not to answer which spelling I’ll use.

I’m focusing on characters and story.

Which is just how I want it.

To American friends, happy independence day. To Brits over here, hope you enjoyed a day off. To Brits back home, don’t worry, Aluminium still has an i before the u.

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89