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For Your Consideration: Reasons to Support the Best Music Writing Kickstarter

January 30, 2012

When I planned on writing this post earlier today (Sunday), the Kickstarted campaign was close to its $15,000 goal but not quite there with Tuesday’s deadline approaching. Late this afternoon, the project met its goal and secured funding. However, since funding is open until Tuesday morning and your dollars would still go toward a worthy cause (and secure you some cool stuff, more on that further down the page), I decided to write it anyway.

LINK: Launch the Best Music Writing series as an indie pub

1. The Best Music Writing series is worth the funding price alone.

Published annually, the series, like some of the other Best series you may have seen if you’ve spent time browsing a chain bookstore, culls some of the best music writing from both print and the internet. I have a few past years’ editions on my bookshelf, and I’ll keep them if only because they capture a sampling of the things some of the brightest minds and sharpest pens considered in a given period of time. (This is not to mention that many of these pieces are fantastic and, even for someone like me who reads a fair amount of music writing regularly, many of the pieces are new to me when the book comes out). If nothing else, your Kickstarter money gets you a gift for the music fan and/or budding scribe in your life.

2. The Kickstarter campaign funds more than just a single book.

Sure, the 2012 edition of the series is the face of the campaign, but the money raised goes toward the creation of Feedback Press, a publishing outfit dedicated toward printing music writing. The press’ first undertaking will be the 2012 edition of the series (with the first step, a ten member editorial board, already accomplished during the funding phase), but the success of this campaign (and the Best Music Writing series going forward) means more opportunities for music writers to meet publication. This may seem like a 20th century idea, but the prospect of a dedicated press for music writing (along with things like Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, and the established outlets in print / on the ‘net) bodes well for more writing of high quality. Even if it just means another outlet for music writers to earn money for their words, it means that more writers can be paid for their hard work, and that perhaps some of the most thoughtful and productive writers may spend more time writing about music rather than splitting time between music writing and other gigs that pay the bills. In an era where it seems like music is both more plentiful and easier to access (even and especially through legal means!), I find myself relying on the writers I trust to point me toward new music and finding new ideas through these thoughtful pieces. Even though anyone with a blog and some free time can write about music, I prefer more thoughtful voices over a higher number of voices, and the establishment of Feedback Press seems like another step in the right direction.

3. This is an excellent example of a Kickstarter rewards system.

The rewards at the highest level (the ones above $30 in particular) reveal two things to me. First, there are a lot of people willing to dedicate their time, talents, and creativity to this campaign to encourage people to contribute. This sense of community makes me believe even more in the cause and its goal to bolster the amount of high quality music writing. It also makes me wish that I had more money to contribute so that I, for instance, could get a phone call telling me that I can make better use of my free time than writing about the new Hospitality and Chairlift records.

Even the expected rewards – in this case, a copy of the 2012 edition of the series – went beyond my expectations. The lower levels included an electronic copy of the text (including a copy delivered on the publication day to those who bought the print edition). While e-books aren’t exactly revelatory in 2012, I was glad to see that Feedback Press will offer titles in multiple editions.

4. They are offering a 30% discount on Ellen Willis’ Out of the Vinyl Deeps

I’ve been meaning to buy this collection of Willis’ criticism for a while now, especially after reading so many sing Willis’ praises. While it would have lingered on my Amazon wishlist until (at least) the Summer “when I’d have more time to read,” I will likely order my copy tomorrow and pick through it bit by bit when I should be doing other more pressing things.


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