I couldn't be more pleased.
Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes while I rested and recovered.
On another front -- it seems that my plans for a truly environmentally sensitive approach to distributing my music is running into some very tall hurdles. Some are technological and others are, well sociological.
On the tech front, very few companies are issuing digital download cards anymore. Those that still do are generally issuing cards made of plastic, designed to be reloaded from their server for multiple purchases of music by multiple artists. While on its face that seems fine, it does tend to dilute individual marketing efforts.
The one company I found that still issues download codes send them to you printed and perforated and ready to tear up into cards. They stress that the perforations mean it may not look as professional to a customer or a booking agent, but concede that it's cheaper than making CDs.
CdBaby, with whom I've done all my digital distribution (until this month, when I added my catalog to Bandcamp), advises that customers no longer want download cards because they represent an extra step in being able to buy and hear music. Older customers still want CDs, and prefer them over both download cards and online streaming/downloading.
SO --- I've had a lot to ponder the last couple of weeks.
As much as it pains me, I recognize that I will have to issue CDs for sale at live shows. Because of my age demographic -- my target audience is mostly 50 and over and I'm quite proud of that as a Jewish recording artist -- I am expected to have CDs for sale at my live appearances.
It bothers me, of course.
In an effort to reduce my footprint, I had hoped to avoid putting more plastic into the world altogether.
But the music business I operate in isn't quite ready for that.
Something funny I found online explains the psychology beautifully:
Well, in the Jewish contemporary music scene, many fans (especially older ones) still want their CDs, regardless of the environmental or technological concerns.
And so, with a big sigh at having learned a lesson, I will be making CDs available of this latest album.
But be prepared.
Due to budgetary concerns -- I had only raised enough money to record, mix and master the music, not to have CDs made -- I'll have to do it as plainly as possible.
I will NOT go back to my supporters and ask them to help me raise the money for CDs, especially when they will all be getting digital downloads before the official release date. (Dear supporters: Thank you for everything you've done to make recording my music possible. If you want a CD to play in your car, feel free to burn one from the digital files after you download them. You have my permission.)
So just know that the look and feel of this CD will not be super-glitzy or glamorous.
I am NOT about glamor.
I'll have the CD's duplicated in bulk, on a spindle, just as I did for City Of Love, so long ago. And as I did for my very first album, I will hold a stuffing party with some friends. We'll apply decals to paper envelopes (hopefully without plastic windows, but that's proving to be more expensive - UGH), then stuff the CDs into the envelopes and box them up.
This is exactly what I did for City Of Love.
And in order to give fans what they're really asking for, I will do it again.
But note: CDs will ONLY be available for sale at live shows. I will NOT make them available to any online distributors. That's another way of reducing my footprint, by avoiding too much of the physical stuff going by mail and using fossil fuels needlessly, when it's actually pretty easy to just download the music and save it to your computer or smartphone at home.
I hope people will understand that this compromise is one I'm not making lightly at all. It's something I've had to give a lot of thought to as I researched my post-production options. I appreciate peoples' patience as I've waded through the technological landscape. It's certainly a different one than when I started making Jewish music twenty years ago.
I appreciate your understanding and your support more than you can know.