Slow and steady wins the race right? I assure you I haven’t stopped moving, and things are starting to take shape. It might not be as productive a first half of 2018 as I’ve been hoping, but I don’t think I have to tell you that building a family can slow your productivity down.
That being said, I have a lot On The Burner, so let’s see what’s going on!
The Art Of Tactful Procrastination
I’m pleased to report that February was much more productive than January, despite having birthdays and parties to handle in the middle of the month. I’ve completed the music for 9 of the 12 songs, though I haven’t fully done all the editing I want to do on them. That’s okay – that usually doesn’t happen until I’ve started laying down actual vocals and feeling out what needs to move around, get cut, get added, etc. Basically, the music is where I want it in terms of how I’m picturing the flow of the song in my mind. As I start laying down vocals I’m going to find there are places the music wants me to go with the vocal melody, or places I naturally start flowing, that might not work properly with the music I have down. So at that point, as I start to really put the vocal together, the music itself might change slightly (or more) and in some cases that means recording a few more parts, or replacing old parts that I thought would work with new ones that I know will.
In other words, we’re coming to the “dance” part of the process, where I’ve done as much as I can without the vocal there to help frame it, and in adding the vocal I might have to do some changing things around. That’s okay – this part is rather fun! This is where I wanted to be back last summer, quite honestly, but I just wasn’t able to get there.
As an aside, this isn’t ALWAYS how the music comes together. In some cases I’ll put down some backing track ideas – stuff I probably won’t use later on – and then lay down a scratch vocal and build around that. As I noted several times before (and as you may have even heard) I did do some of that demoing and laying down scratch vocals back in Fall of 2014, but I didn’t do that for ALL the songs. So, some songs will likely sit as they do musically with no changes as the vocals come in. Others may change drastically. We’ll just have to see.
The important thing is that it’s moving forward. It’s still slower than I’d like but I can now start to feel an album coming out of it. And that’s great news! I’ve also discovered that I might have a different lead single than I was planning, and I’m really excited about that notion.
If you want to be involved in how this is developing and give your feedback, please Join The Mail List and ask to be a part of the listening feedback group.
Marketing And More
As I stated last month, I’m working very diligently on my marketing as I attempt to position myself in a way that I can be found for what I do and build a community around that. Right now I am marketing myself as “Alternative Synth Rock”, but as I continue with my research I’m learning more and more that that might not be exactly where I want to be. It’s frustrating, but it’s okay. The reason it’s okay is because while the work to get this all narrowed down is excruciating (thought sometimes fun), I know that as long as I’m working to perfect this aspect of my career the better I’ll be at it, and the more accurately I’ll be able to present myself to a target audience.
Nonetheless, all the work I’m doing on the album is just not going to come out or forward until I have an audience that is wanting to hear it. I can raise the money otherwise, but I don’t want to just raise money to put something out that no one cares about. The audience I’m looking for IS out there, I just have to get better at finding it, and the rest will sell itself.
Stay tuned on that front.
BandCamp And Patreon
You may recall a while back, that I was playing with the idea of starting a Patreon page for starting a subscription model and raising money for my projects in a way that was different from your typical Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowd funding. You may also recall that I abandoned the idea after concluding that it just wasn’t the best way for me to raise funds, and as it was I didn’t really have anything of true worth to offer any contributors.
In doing some more research, and in tandem with my developing content plans (see below) I’ve started reconsidering that concept. I love the idea of building a true fan club but haven’t really been able to figure out the best way to do it. I have an audience that is interested in my music, and pretty much that only. I also have an audience that is interested in the other stuff – like Operation: Joy and God Jots – and only that. I have a third audience that is interested in ALL of it. So how do I cater to all of that without burdening folks with stuff they don’t want?
Well, the best answer is something akin to what I’ve done with my mail list.
I’ve decided that I will have a Music Fan Club built off of the BandCamp platform, and a fanclub geared more around my books and writings that will be supported by the Patreon platform. Neither is ready to go yet, because in all honesty I have to finalize a lot of my content ideas, scheduling, and logistics before I can ever consider asking for people to pay for these things. But I am aiming to have these things running by sometime in the summer. They are going to take a LOT of work to get moving, and I really have to make sure that my free content offerings (the stuff you might find on my YouTube and Facebook) are solid enough that people want to dig deeper into more premium offerings. What will those offerings be? I’m still working on it.
And I’m well aware of the fact that it’s going to be hard to get folks to want to pay for these things when I haven’t put up a new blog for Operation: Joy or God Jots in several months. I have to get back onto those things if I expect to see an interest.
Video Content Development
As you are probably aware, on January 25th I presented the “soft launch” pilot of my new EnderBowen.TV show, Wireless Garage, an approximately-one-hour live show featuring me playing an eight-song acoustic set including cover songs and original tunes, and presented on Facebook Live.
This is all part of a developing video content idea that I’m hoping to really have moving by the summer or fall of this year. It will involve regular programming of some type, presented on Facebook in a live format (most of the time) and archived on both Facebook and YouTube (and, by extension, here on this site). I’ll be doing everything from video versions of some of my Operation: Joy and God Jots stuff, to behind the scenes of my music, continued and more consistent entries of my Video Journal and so on. I’m also developing what I think will be a really cool and inspirational talk show, and a whole lot of other stuff that I haven’t really fleshed out yet.
In any event, the video content I’m hoping to produce is going to range everywhere from music performance to good old fashioned inspirational and informational stuff – but it will all be centered around who I am and what I do, and ultimately continue to tell the story of what it’s like to chase your dreams in the new millennium.
If/when I get it all rolling, I think it’s going to be really good, and a LOT of fun!
It’s the 15 year anniversary of my second album, 2003’s Scarlet Dawn. I’m currently in the (very slow) process of getting that cleaned up and prepared for a release, hopefully by the end of the year. I’m not putting the kind of pomp and circumstance behind it as I did my previous two anniversary re-releases, but I am using the anniversary as an excuse to finally get that album sounding like it should have to begin with, as well as testing the waters with outsourcing the mixing process. In the past, I’ve done all my own mixes, which I know have been flawed. Now I’m going to start relying on someone else to do it, so that I can step back and work on the music and development. Again, with a growing family, I just don’t have the time to put into the mixing process anymore, and as it is, the mixes I’ve done in the past just haven’t been good enough to make that time worth it.
This also means that as things progress, and I start building more and more of an audience, even the anniversary stuff I’ve already re-released is going to get a professional mix done, starting with the Best Of stuff that will be coming out in 2020.
You laugh, but I’m already thinking ahead to 2022, and beyond. The older you get and the fewer resources you find yourself having, the further ahead you need to project for your plans. That’s some advice for you to consider. I promise you it’ll run away from you if you don’t.
Don’t forget that the new Ender Bowen logo will be on Matt Tifft’s Xfinity Cup NASCAR March 10th at Phoenix Speedway, thanks to the awesome folks at Dollar Shave Club (if you haven’t become a Dollar Shave Club member yet I highly recommend it – I’ve used them for over two years and love them – I have clickable ads on most of this site’s sidebars, give it a try!) Again, the logo is not likely to be on the hood, but more likely on the side or back or something small like that. As soon as I have pictures to show I’ll present them. And while I don’t have all the details yet it should be on television. Please be sure to check it out!
Social Media Team
As another reminder from last month, I’ve gotten my hands on a cloud-based chat platform called Flock. My intention is to invite my Social Media Team members to it so that we can better keep track of the social media campaigns I have out there, and in so doing push more visibility and engagement with potential and current fans and followers.
Again, if you want to be a part of this team (which is separate from the Listening Feedback one – but you can be a part of both) join the mail list and request that you be added.