JJ Heller, CCM Magazine - image

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As you may or may not have seen, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 was the fruition of months of hard work on my new Christmas album, Unto Us (buy—my 10th full-length record of my nearly 13-year career as a full-time musician). I have an incredible network of fans who are willing to support my music, and over 2,000 Kickstarter backers helped fund the making of Unto Us this summer.

Even though I’m an independent artist, I can still make a record of the same quality as a signed artist. I tracked in the same studios and hired the same producers, musicians and studio engineers a record label would hire. But, because I don’t have a label I’m responsible to pay all of these talented people. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the freedom this allows me, and this arrangement lets me create music and recordings which are consistent with who I am as an artist and a person.

The $81,000 pledged this summer made Unto Us one of Nashville’s top 25 most-funded Kickstarter campaigns to date, and I definitely count it as a success. However, just like most things in life, there’s more complexity beneath the surface. So before you picture my husband, Dave, and me counting our piles of money like Scrooge McDuck, let me pull back the curtain as we look at the breakdown of the expenses associated with the making of Unto Us.

THE NUMBERS BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN
$81,071 in pledges looks very impressive doesn’t it? I think so too. Of course, Kickstarter needs to make money to keep their lights on, their staff paid and their website up and running.KICKSTARTER’S FEE = $4,023

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