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Re: Beer Budget CD Release Strategy as an Alternative to The Way It's Normally Done

Those are all great reasons, Rick. Everyone is going to have their own 
personal and valid reasons why they outsource or make their own product.  
is a very interesting topic!

Just for others' reference.....for me, after doing the math, saving let's 
say 50 cents a CD to do it myself, vs. going with Kunaki (which has no up 
front fee, and you can order as few or as many as you like for the same 
price of $1.75, with free UPC code that you will have to pay for yourself 
otherwise), the decision was clear. And even if it were a manner of 
finances, even if I were making my own CDs for only 50 cents, the $1.20 
discrepancy with Kunaki is so insignificant, that I could just counter it 
charging that much more for my CDs.  This is how businesses would do it 
anyway...you build production costs into your street cost of the project. 
Or if you don't want to charge your customer more, then you just give 
yourself less profit, or you cut operation costs, design costs, etc, etc. 
It all works out in the wash with a balance between profit, customer 
satisfaction, quality, competitive prices, etc.

But I know making homemade CDs isn't just about boring business mechanics 
and running a financially sound business for most people, otherwise, if 
add up your operation costs (manual labor, etc), and then what you can do 
with this savings (like creating more music, creating lesson plans, 
a good book, having sex with your significant other, etc :) --- then the 
cost of opportunities lost in not outsourcing are tremendous. The logic 
would point you directly to outsourcing once you realized what you could 
with that free time that outweighed any personal satisfaction of creating 
your own production line, in addition to being your own CEO, CFO, 
R&D, sales force, etc. Folks can probably do this with the low quantity 
they make and not lose too much lost opportunity costs in the long term, 
though if you had to make thousands you would go out of business and have 
not time to play or record - you would be forced to outsource and change 
your philosophy of CD production.

But this is all not valid if you enjoy making the product yourself and 
controlling the process, despite the arguments that say it is not 
financially sound. All good reasons for people in the arts.  People in the 
arts, I have discovered, do all sorts of quixotic things that make no 
financial sense or keep them financially bereft their whole lives, but it 
makes sense to them in the grand scheme of things, and spiritually and 
emotionally, which carries the most weight.


----- Original Message ----- 

> Rainer wrote:
> "So basically, if you do not value your own spare time at all (or even
> give it a negative value), then that can be ok, if, on the other hand,
> you value your spare time a great deal (like Krispen), then by all
> means don't make your CDs yourself! It does not pay off."
> There are a lot of ways that things can pay us off as you say.  Not all 
> involve money.  Some are economic,  some are time saving,  some
> involve spiritual or personal satisfaction,  etc.     It's hard to 
> quantize in this case for me so I can't agree with
> your assessment of the way I do it.
> Let me explain why your approach doesn't appeal to me:
> What you say WOULD be true if I were in the economic bracket that you 
> Krispen are in, but I'm not.
> What I mean by this is that I don't make very much money (because I live 
> mostly off of my artistry or things related to it, peripherally like 
> teaching, giving seminars, studio work, touring , et. al.)  at all so I 
> have a lot more time than either of you to work on my music.
> What I happen to do as an artist in a sense means that I'm not on the 
> clock.
> Not that time isn't valuable to me,  but the fact of the matter is that 
> lay out less actual cash doing it my way than with the Kunaki solution 
> (which, by the way, I think is a wonderful solution for lots of people: 
> especially people with really high paying and time demanding jobs 
> of the music, like you and Krispen).
> Because my resources are vastly smaller than yours,  it's actually a 
> better alternative for me to do it the way that I do it, merely because 
> lack the financial resources.
> In my own world,  I rationalize this decision by thinking that I would 
> have to go out and do work that is time consuming and not meaningful to 
> to make more money to put it out in ways that are more expensive.
> I think if I were starting over again, however, that I might very well 
> take the route that you are taking (having a good job that derives 
> not directly related to music) because it's gotten to be so vastly more 
> difficult to make a living as a professional musician than when I was 
> starting out.
> I've just done it for 30 years and I just feel stubbornly (and 
> egotistically) attached to doing it the way I do it.
> Additionally,  I get a lot of artistic satisfaction out of doing 
> everything myself.
> I really like being in control of every aspect of my final 'product'.  
> order to do this, I have to spend very little money to retain the 
> aesthetic control that pleases me and gives me satisfaction, 
> I'm down with that compromise.  I actually love doing way more, with 
> very little (it's one of the salient reasons that draws me both to found 
> sound and to lo fi toy videography)............I can spend a lot less 
> money on all of it and it spurns me on to be a lot more creative.
> Spiritually (and this is just for me: please understand that I"m not 
> putting down anyone who chooses a different path),   I like that I'm 
> involved with every step of the process.
> Doing so forces me to learn a lot about all kinds of things that have 
> helped my skill set in music and visual arts,  from designing to 
> production to mastering, etc.  I get to grow a lot as an artist, 
> consequently.
> Sure, I'd love to do a killer vinyl release of Dayglo Orange Plastic (in 
> fact, can't you imagine a cool limited run of 200 using Translucent 
> Vinyl?)  but I literally don't have enough money to do that.
> It's all good...................I just wanted to pipe in and let people 
> know that there are  a lot of ways to do things in the music industry 
> without going down the typical paths.
> And all that said and done,  I have great respect for both yours and 
> Krispen's artistry and all the things you guys chose to do to put your 
> artistry out to the world.
> Happy New Year to you and may 2009 be a really fruitful artistic year 
> you.
> yours,  respectfully,   Rick