Fine Tuning 2015

Okay, so we're about to begin year three of "What Could I Possibly Do if I Had the Time to Possibly Do Things?"

2013 was the year of prep.

I began this particular series of blogs. An essay on Mondays (my usual day off), pictures with silly captions Tue-Thurs, cause it was easy to do on my lunch breaks, and a Top 5 list for Fridays (The Friday Fives).

The goal was to build an audience, familiarize myself with multiple social-media sites, and create the story with which to launch my second album (a first person concept album based on my son's impressions of the world as he learned to fight with his own four year old demons.)

I needed a hub for all the stuff I wanted to try. Something that was unique, memorable, available on all social platforms, and personal.

"Wait . . . Dad?" was born because it was something my son used to constantly say when he had follow-up questions to something I'd said earlier.

And earlier could mean a few minutes to a few days. He would walk into a room, kitchen, studio, whatever; stand with a quizzical look on his face and say "Wait . . . Dad?" and I would say "What?" and then he would say something like "You remember last year when you said that a manual transmission was easier to drive than an automatic?" and I would say "Yes." and then he would say "I think you're wrong."

"Wait . . . Dad?" fit all of my conceptual criteria.

I developed a revenue stream tier, that began with live performance, CD sales, digital sales, digital streaming, potential licensing, ad sales through blog and website, and finally could re-edit the popular essays and sell them directly as a collection.

If I got lucky, and anything went viral, then boom. All I had to do was launch.

2014 = Go Time:

And it started out so good. For two whole weeks I was meeting quota. But then I hit a sizable plateau. I had anticipated to ramp up to an average performance schedule of 10 shows per month (I got all the way up to 2).

Mistake Number 1: It takes a lot more time and momentum to find and secure gigs than I had calculated (My original get was about 5 shows for every 20 inquiries, and after a month it dropped to 2 shows for every 100 inquiries) Quite a drop.

Mistake Number 2: I expected CD sales to reach what they were in 2007 with my first album, about 5-10 per show, but I ended up giving them away more often than not, nobody buys music anymore, like at all. Really good to know.

Mistake Number 3: Digital distribution is so cool. Only, and I can feel how Facebook feels, sorta, but the revenue I've been able to generate through online sales of albums, ads, licensing and books, for the entire year of 2014 couldn't buy me a decent pair of shoes.

Mistake Number 4: Nobody got "Wait . . . Dad?" It didn't make any sense when spoken out loud and required a very long explanation. It also required repeating and then repeating and then spelling out because of the double plosive between Waittttt and Ddddddad. (I'm a lyricist, I should've caught that one) But I'm pretty sure that half of the people who were only mildly interested got lost looking for WayDad.

So no viral.

I tried a video concept for YouTube and learned great deal, but each video took an average of ten hours of concentrated work and revision (audio and video editing I had to learn on the fly) And was impossible to do whenever I was interrupted, which I am, often, which is fine because I would much rather make a sword out of cardboard than stare at a computer screen.

However, the view hits started promising at around 50, then dropped to 20, then to 15, then to 7. It was about that time that I got the hint that these weren't all that compelling and dropped the project after two months.

YouTube will have to wait for the day when I can afford a staff.

And a more comfortable chair.

Show opportunities dried up and I got discouraged halfway through the year and decided to write a novel.

But then I saw an ad for a vocal harmonizer, something that wasn't available in 2007, and decided to give it a go.

And . . . well . . . it revolutionized my sound. Instead of a plunky/chunky guy with a guitar, I suddenly had a reasonably impressive live show almost tailor made for the baby boomer generation that grew up on the Yardbirds and Crosby/Stills/Nash and sometime Young. I didn't even have to change my repertoire.

I discovered that bars might not be my target demographic, but wineries and special events could pay for groceries, and were a whole lotta fun, and I could usually get home before dark.

Win, win. Win win win.

Alright . . .

So now . . .

It's 2015.

The Make-it or Break it Year.

What can we see?

Well, for starters there will be a lot more shows this year, now that I know who to target, how to target, and feel confident with an impressive show. Also, I'm starting to get unsolicited offers which will take time from sitting at the computer and more time playing music.

The blog will continue, it's form is now set

I'll be seeking publishing for my first novel.

I'll be writing another one.

I'll also release another essay collection.

I still have music available for licensing, so you know . . . wing and a prayer.

And I've decided to give up on Wait . . . Dad? (The Website) and move stuff over to:

It's more streamlined (prettier) and organized. (Please check it out and tell me what you think.)

Anyway, there's still a lot of fine tuning involved (And God only knows what kind of deviations I'm gonna make) but it's a lot like my golf game . . . and right nowI'm moving the ball forward.

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