Four Down and…hey, where’s my money?

By JoCo July 22, 2005

I have finished song #4 (well almost – what rhymes with “Optimus Prime?”), which turns out to be a classic body augmentation breakup song. Better than I thought it was going to be when I had no ideas but stupid ones. Perhaps some recording this weekend, and then I will turn my attention to the fifth and final song about artificial wombs. I may actually finish everything on time, and it might actually be good.

Speaking of my goodness, hey all you freakin downloaders, how about a buck for your old pal Coulton? I’m starting to get depressed about the number of people who download music and don’t buy or donate anything. Don’t get me wrong, I like being heard and it’s important for me to get my stuff out there. And I’m honored and thankful to everyone who likes the music enough to forward someone a link, or post on their blog, or whatever. But honestly, I’m giving up about a gig per day in downloads, First of May alone has gotten 900 hits so far this month and still no love.

I know, I know. I’m giving it away, so what do I expect? And I’m probably guilty myself of failing to donate to sites that I like. And I certainly sell more CDs than I would if I didn’t give anything away. I could start selling some of this stuff through Bitpass or something similar, but I hate all the friction that causes. Who’s going to take the time to follow a link and fill out a bunch of financial information when they just want to listen to a song? Do I have too many freebies? Am I not clear enough about appreciating compensation? Do I need to put more links to the iTunes store? A big dumb jpg of a smiling tip jar?

Anyway, I’m ready to sell out. Just tell me where to sign.


Lili says

Dude! I bought CDs and t-shirts and I bought t-shirts for all my friends. You should have received at least $1 from that. Also, I've been wearing my shirt (about the pony) and everyone that sees is squees and thinks it is so cool. Then, when I tell them there's a song, they get even more excited! I should be carrying around handtowels or something! Anyway, then I tell them to buy the CD. So hopefully you may be receiving another $1.

See how easy it is, kids? If people are going to look at my rack anyway...

JoCo says

See, now Lili knows where it's at. And jpez and Josh [insert very special shoutout here] and all the rest of you shirt, CD, and mp3 buyers. You my street team. You my niggaz. And as Lili demonstrates, telling your friends to buy the CD is also a great idea.

Lili, I am grateful, and now that I read my posting again it sounds a little whiney. Apparently I'm grumpy today. It's all about volume - for every thousand freeloaders, there hopefully will be some number of non-freeloaders who will pick up the slack. And the ratio swings back and forth, and sometimes the sales trickle off, and the buzz goes away, and I get discouraged.

This will all change once my robot army is up and running again.

ryan says

Sorry man, I'm too poor to buy anything. BUT, I'm working on getting some stuff into Zazzle and Cafepress myself, then maybe I'll have the $$ to buy a CD or somethin'. But I do appreciate the freebies...

In the meantime, how about a *real* smoking monkey?

Amis says

I think part of the problem is that I would think the majority of whom your songs appeal to are nerds whom sit at their computers all day or spend it trying to construct the newest thing out of a few wires, and are thusly poor. Another problem why people do not purchase many CDs is because for some, such as myself, it is an extreme hassle to purchase anything online. Be it from iTunes or elsewhere.

However, if all lines up as it should, I'm in line to make the effort to get a few of the funds I have into a medium appropriate for online transaction so I can purchase Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow sometime tomorrow. It takes that long for my money to "convert" sadly. But I think the album is worth it.

Hang in there. (And I agree that the robot army may help you out a bit... But, please take me off the list of those to be demolished. )

Josh says

Hey, I love your stuff and bought both of the available albums via cdbaby. I lent them to people at work, and encouraged them to purchase said albums. (which they also really enjoyed.) I don't think anyone else has yet--perhaps I should threaten to slash their tires?

+1 on the robot army!

jpez says

Right back @ ya, homey.

Mhenry1384 says

What about a big ol' unsubtle "Please click here to donate a buck to help defray my bandwidth costs" graphic on the download page?

And if you determine that ppl linking directly to your songs are a problem, it shouldn't be tough to whip up a bit o' code that won't allow a song to be downloaded unless you go to the d/l page first.

FWIW, I bought both the CDs, and a coworker who I turned on to your stuff did likewise, so I've already done my bit. ;-)

Mary says

I just bought both CDs from CD Baby and am trying to choose among t-shirts because I am all about supporting talented people. I think you have just the right number of freebies. If I had downloaded one or two songs, I may have liked them enough to buy more, but I KNOW that downloading all of them and playing them a lot meant that I was extremely motivated to buy them again in physical form.

You're always going to have freeloaders, but the kind of generosity you've shown here is more effective at roping in the rest of us.

So when are you gonna cross the border and play Toronto? Huh? Please? We have extra special Kraft Mac and Cheese up here AND ketchup or dill pickle flavoured chips.

JoCo says

Ryan: sweet, thanks for the link. That monkey seems like a real asshole though.

Amis: hassle is exactly the problem. If buying music was as easy as downloading music, almost everyone would do it. And I can almost promise that I will not destroy you when the revolution comes.

Josh: word.

Mhenry: those are both good points. I probably should have a bigger donate graphic and some more control over funneling eyeballs to the actual download page. On my to do list.

Mary: I barely ever play in NYC as it is, so Toronto seems very far away to me. But I dig those chips, and I am certainly intriged about the Kraft Mac and Cheese - how could it possibly be even MORE special than it already is? Does it have cut up hot dogs in it (pleasesayyes pleasesayyes)?

Mary says

No, sorry, hot dogs aren't included, but there's a dizzying variety of flavours of Kraft Dinner (see However, Toronto does have awesome grilled hot dogs available from street vendors that would be easily integrated into a fresh, hot dish of KD.

Or check out the recipes at the KD site: Mmmmm .... KD pizza ...

JoCo says

Oh. My. God. The pizza crust is MADE of mac and cheese. What kind of a monster would do such a thing? What kind of a delicious, cheesy, carb-loaded monster...